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How to Pack for Mountain Hiking

Going for a hike in the mountains can be exhilarating, but it also has its dangers. Make sure you pack for the occasion.


  • Step 1: Determine the trip length Determine the length of your hike since this will influence what and how you pack.
  • Step 2: Pack food and water Pack plenty of food and water. Don’t skimp on these since having the energy to complete your hike is essential to a safe journey.
  • TIP: Drink at least half a liter of water per mile of hiking.
  • Step 3: Pack clothing Pack clothing that you may need along the way. Dress in layers to adjust to temperature changes. Include rain gear and an extra pair of socks.
  • Step 4: Pack supplies Pack supplies for your hike. Basics include matches and kindling, a map and compass, a knife, a flashlight, a first aid kit, sun protection, and a blanket or tarp.
  • Step 5: Distribute the weight Distribute the weight of these items in your pack so that the burden falls near your center of gravity. Balance the left and right sides so that leaning does not lead to soreness or blisters.
  • TIP: Women have a lower center of gravity than men and should pack accordingly.
  • Step 6: Distribute for access Make sure the items are distributed for ease of access. Food, first-aid gear, and rain gear should be readily accessible.
  • FACT: More than 250 hikers are rescued from the Grand Canyon each year.

You Will Need

  • A hiking pack
  • Food
  • Water
  • Rain gear
  • Extra socks
  • Matches and kindling
  • A map and compass
  • A knife
  • A flashlight
  • A first aid kit
  • Sun protection
  • A blanket or tarp

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