The Basics: Hiking Gear for Beginners - FITS®

September 29, 2022

Are you planning for an upcoming hike? Whether you’ll be hitting the trails alone or with a group, it’s essential to have the appropriate hiking gear for beginners. Use our checklist to ensure you have everything you need for an enjoyable time.

Hiking Gear for Beginners Checklist

When choosing your hiking gear for beginners, consider the distance you intend to hike, the location's remoteness, and the weather prediction. You'll need more clothing, equipment, food, and water the longer and more remote the trip is. Use this checklist to help you plan accordingly. 


A good navigation tool is one of the most important pieces of hiking gear for beginners. Make sure you know how to read a map or use a compass, and consider bringing a GPS device, personal locator beacon, or satellite messenger. That way, you’ll be able to find your way if you get lost without cell service.


Whether you’re hiking during the day or not, packing a headlamp could come in handy should you be out longer than expected. Hiking in the dark is dangerous. And even if it’s not part of the plan, it’s better to be prepared by taking a headlamp or flashlight on every hike.

First Aid Kit

The more time you spend outdoors, the more likely you are to get a blister, severe cut, scratch, or even a spider bite, all requiring some level of first aid. So, carrying a basic first aid kit when hiking is essential. 

Sun Protection

Getting outside, enjoying the fresh air, and feeling the sun's warmth while you hit the trail is incredible. However, too much sunlight can cause serious problems. Be sure to pack the appropriate sun protection to keep your skin safe.


Packing a knife when going on a hike is a good idea for many reasons. You probably won't use it on every hike; however, you’ll be glad you have one when you need it. A knife is good for defense, opening food, cutting cords, splitting firewood, making tinder, and creating a spark with fire steel.


Nearly 2,000 hikers get lost in the wilderness each year. If a hike takes longer than expected or you can’t find your way back, you may need to start a fire to keep warm or signal for help. Packing matches, a lighter, or fire steel will allow you to make a fire anywhere. Like most survival hiking gear for beginners, you won’t use it every time. However, it’s a great thing to have should you need it.


You may set out to only hike for a couple of hours. However, should you get hurt or lost, you may have to spend more time in the woods than you thought. Carrying an emergency bivy will be handy if you need to take cover until help arrives.

Food and Water

Hiking can take a lot out of you, and having extra food and water on hand can give you the energy you need to keep going. You can’t go wrong by having a few granola bars and bottles of water in your backpack. 

Extra Clothes

Throwing a few extra articles of clothing in your backpack can come in handy if the weather turns or you step in some water. Having an extra pair of men’s hiking socks or hiking socks for women to keep your feet warm and dry will make your outdoor adventure much more enjoyable. If you're hiking in an area with snow, bring a pair of gloves and a hat. It's better to be safe than sorry, and you'll appreciate having the extra clothes if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

READ MORE: What is Thru Hiking?

Explore More with FITS Hiking Socks

At FITS, we know having the right hiking gear for beginners is essential to a safe, enjoyable adventure. That’s why we sell the highest-quality wool hiking socks for men and women. Shop our selection of hiking socks today to find the perfect pair for your next adventure!


Sock Sizing
women and men size chart

The Perfect Fit Starts With the Right Size.

Your sock size shouldn’t be a guessing game. Our socks range from small to double XL, but the best way to know the perfect fit for you is to match your shoe size to the chart on the left. That way, you’ll know the size you select will give you the fit and feel you expect.

Between sizes? Go with your gut, but rest assured that your socks will still fit great. If you receive your order and find yourself wishing you’d gone up or down a size, just let us know. We’ll happily send you replacements for your preferred size.

Concerned about laundry mix-ups? All FITS® socks are coordinated by color and size, based on the colors you see on the size chart. So, you won’t have to worry about mixing up your sizes with the other FITS® wearers in your home. (But stray socks mysteriously going missing in the dryer? Unfortunately, we can’t help with that.)


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The Light Hiker is perfect for everything from big adventures to everyday wear.
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How Do You Determine Sock Size?

Sock sizes are typically measured in inches, not by your shoe size. So, a sock size 6-8 will comfortably fit someone whose feet are between six and eight inches long. However, at FITS®, we make it easy for you to choose the ideal sock size without having to measure your foot. Simply use our sock size conversion chart based on your shoe size to select the right fit for you. 

How Do You Measure Your Foot for Socks?

To measure your foot for socks, measure the length from the heel of your foot to the tip of your longest toe. The measurement in inches correlates to your sock size. For example, if your foot is 10 inches long, a sock size 9-11 should fit you comfortably. At FITS®, you can skip this step and find your sock size based on your shoe size using our conversion chart. 

What Is the Sock Size Conversion?

The sock size conversion refers to sock size compared to shoe size. While all companies may vary slightly on which size socks to purchase based on your shoe size, you can always measure your foot to find the right fit for you. 

What is Sock Size to Shoe Size?

Because sock sizes are determined by the length of your foot in inches vs. your shoe size, shoe and sock sizes differ. The FITS® sock size to shoe size conversion is as follows:

Knowing this makes it easy to choose the ideal sock size based on your shoe size without measuring your foot. 

What Age is Sock Size 9-12?

Sock sizes typically don’t correlate with age. For kids, age can be a general indicator of what size sock they’ll need, but everyone is different. An adult sock size 9-12 fits anyone whose feet are approximately nine to twelve inches long. For kids’ sock sizing, check with the company to find exact details to ensure your little one gets the perfect fit. 

Got more questions about finding the perfect sock size for you? Let’s talk.



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Check out our best selling sock styles today! 
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