Whether you want to hike for an hour with your dog and earphones, or 6 hours with a hiking tour company, it is important to pack wisely for the trail so you can get the best out of your nature experience. You don’t need all the bells and whistles to get started, so we have created a simple to follow guide to get going. Here is our backpack essentials for the beginner hiker.
Your backpack is a staple piece of equipment to take with you on a hike. A short half day hike up to a full day hike will require a small backpack for essentials. We recommend a 10 – 20 litre pack. The bigger the pack, the more likely you are to fill it.
Depending on the time of year you are hitting the trails, this list can vary, however the Perth hiking season runs from Autumn to Spring. We recommend you check the weather forecast 12 hours prior to your hike, to be sure you dress for the weather.
You can carry a reusable rain poncho which weighs as much as a hand pack of tissues, so it won’t weigh you down if you don’t end up using it. There really is nothing worse than getting soaked through in the first 10 minutes of your hike, and walking 10 km in wet clothes. You can get these at Kathmandu for less than $15.
The sun in Perth can be fierce, so remember to always pack a long sleeve top, preferably with a lightweight and breathable fabric if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the sun. This can also be helpful in the cooler months, to keep you warm as you get started, or stop for a rest.
Although not a backpack item, Long pants are recommended for all year round in Australia. They not only help to keep you more protected from the sun, and keep you warmer in the cooler months, but they also help protect you from bush critters such as ticks, and snakes. In the unlikely event that you should be bitten by a snake on the trail, long pants will encourage the snake to close down on his ‘pray’ at first contact. If this is a pair of loose fitted hiking pants, then you have a much smaller likelihood of the snake bite reaching your skin!
If you are spending any period of time in the Australian sun, you should always bring a hat. Make sure it covers your entire face, and preferably your neck too.
Another sun related item is sunscreen but this is something you could apply just prior to your hike so you don’t have to carry it. We recommend buying a small sunscreen and taking it with you so you can reapply if hiking more than 3 hours.
Water water and more water! You can never have too much water on board for your day hike. Depending on the time of year, we recommend roughly 1 litre per 2 hours of hiking. Summer months require almost double the water of winter hikes. A cheeky tip is to hydrate before you leave home with a good litre of water. Then, your body is already starting the hike with adequate water resources. Just make sure you visit the toilets before you head off! We also suggest investing in a reusable water bottle like an insulated stainless steel one. This will help keep your water cool for longer, and is better for the environment! You can get a steel water bottle with your hike bookings with The Hike Collective, so check it out next time you book!
Snacks! Firstly, who doesn’t love to have a break on the trails to take in the sights and sounds of the beautiful surroundings? Pack some light but nutrient and calorie dense snacks for your trail adventures such as a fruit and nut mix, muesli bar and a piece of fruit. Foods high in salt can dehydrate you and cause your body to need more water, so stay away from salted crackers and the like.
First aid supplies are recommended if you are heading out alone, but keep in mind that if you are hiking with us, your guide will have this all stored including snake kits, and a personal locator beacon for areas where there is no reception. In your supply kit, you should always carry gauze pads, a bandage, bandaids and a disinfectant cream/wipes as a minimum.
Bring your camera or smartphone to capture your beautiful memories on the trail! With so many insta-worthy spots out there, why wouldn’t you? Take a buddy to snap some pics or get your guide to take a shot with the waterfalls or kangaroos.
Well, with your backpack ready to take on your trail adventures, we hope you have an amazing time out there! Make sure you tag us in your socials so we can support your hiking adventures!