What Gear to Take Walking and Hiking

Some of the best selling points of walking, hiking and backpacking in Australia are that they’re free and they require little more to get started than some free time and a pair of shoes.

Of course, there are some things you can buy or find around the house that make walking easier and safer. Here’s our list of essential and optional accessories to consider before you head out for a walk.

Essential Walking Gear

  1. A hat – prevents sunburn and windburn, keeps your head warm and dry in winter
  2. Sunscreen – the Australian sun is no joke so don’t forget to slop on some sunscreen
  3. Reliable walking shoes – the longer and rockier the walk, the more important this becomes
  4. Long-sleeved shirt and pants – in dry or dense forests you’d be surprised how many nicks and cuts you can avoid with a long-sleeved shirt. Also, on sunny days a collar keeps the sun and wind off your neck
  5. Good socks – cheap socks cause blisters and cause your feet to overheat and blister. Wool socks are hardy and don’t collect moisture (so your feet stay dry and healthy)
  6. Map – again, the longer the walk,  the more likely you’ll need a map
  7. Water – Carry twice as much as you’ll need, just in case
  8. A friend – Even if they don’t walk with you, it’s always a good idea to tell a friend where you plan to walk before you go

Optional Walking Gear

  1. Backpack – waterproof backpacks are much lighter in the wet and leave your hands free to take photos
  2. Compass – learning how to navigate with a compass is a great way to improve your sense of direction
  3. Snacks – fruit, nuts, muesli bars always taste amazing after a two-hour walk
  4. Walking stick – most useful on rocky climbs or walks with lots of steps
  5. Rain Jacket – stay warm and dry when walking in the wet
  6. Binoculars or Field Glasses – popular with birdwatchers, field glasses are light, compact binoculars
  7. Camera –  maybe a tripod too if you’re serious ;-)
  8. Gators – if you’re walking in particularly tough or sharp scrub, these protective accessories can save you some pain

One Response to “What Gear to Take Walking and Hiking”

  1. Peter Alabaster | 5/08/09


    point 8 is about gaiters, not alligators.

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