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Spring Hiking Gear List & Guide - Everything You Need To Take

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Spring marks the time of renewal. The sun shares a bit more warmth, the monochromatic snow-capped landscape gives way to lush greenery as plants begin to sprout up again, and the world around us seems to come back to life.

It becomes increasingly tempting to trek the trails as winter loosens her grip, melting into spring. Thanks to an abundance of mud, lingering snow, high-water crossings, and unpredictable weather, early season hiking requires a bit of extra thought and careful planning.

Many parts of the country experience a wet spring with wide temperature fluctuations, which means that if you are spending time outdoors, you have to be prepared for anything.

Packing everything on this list of hiking gear will ensure that you stay safe, and comfortable, while enjoying spring hiking.

Necessary Hiking Gear: The Essentials

These may seem obvious, but nonetheless, it is worth repeating. It is absolutely necessary to bring these items on any hiking expedition, during any season.

  • Water
    • A general rule of thumb, bring 1 liter of water per person per hour you plan on hiking. Keep in mind that higher altitudes, and higher temperatures, require more water consumption to stay hydrated. Always bring extra water, just in case. Another tip is to pre-hydrate, drink at least 4 cups of water before starting your hike. Your body will thank you.
    • Tip: invest in a water filter. You’ll be able to drink fresh water straight from a glacial stream without having to worry about slurping up harmful bacteria.
  • Hiking backpack (to carry all of your gear)
  • First-aid Kit
  • Food
    • Make sure to pack nutritious, high-energy, lightweight food. Plan your (simple) meals ahead of time. A good rule to follow is to pack one and a half to two and a half pounds of food per person, per day. Bring an extra meal or two in case you find yourself in the wild a bit longer than you had planned or come across someone in need. While you do not want to weigh yourself down with too much extra food, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Some foods to consider packing include:
      • Trail mix
      • Nuts, seeds, nut-based bars or nut butter packs
      • Fresh, whole fruit - apples, bananas and oranges
      • Dried or freeze-dried fruits and veggies
      • Energy bars
      • Granola or granola bars
      • Ready-made tuna salad pouches
      • Whole-grain tortillas
      • Shelf-stable, dried jerky
  • ID Card
  • Cellphone
  • Credit Card/ Cash

Spring Hiking Clothes: What to Wear

Spring Hiking Gear List & Guide - What To Wear Hiking In The Spring

Check the weather forecast ahead of time and plan accordingly. Dress in layers. As mentioned previously, spring weather is unpredictable and temperatures fluctuate greatly. You need to be prepared to deal with chilly winds, rain, snow, and sunshine. Depending on where you choose to hike, it is entirely possible that you may experience all of those conditions within a few hours of each other on the same spring day. Pack the following:

  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Waterproof Boots that are suited to the terrain you’ll be hiking
  • Packable Insulated Jacket (for fluctuating temperatures)
  • Moisture-wicking underwear
  • Moisture-wicking T-shirt
  • Quick-drying pants
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Lightweight fleece or jacket
  • Socks (synthetic or wool)
    • Pack extra socks! Your feet are your most important asset on this trip, take care of them and keep them dry.
  • Extra clothes
    • Pack at least one extra outfit
  • Gaiters
  • Warm hat
  • Warm gloves

Emergency and First Aid

  • First Aid Kit, as mentioned above
    • An effective first aid kit should be sure to include:
      • Adhesive bandages
      • Gauze
      • Medical adhesive tape
      • Splints
        • Finger splints
        • SAM (structural malleable aluminum) splints
      • Medication
        • Ibuprofen/ pain-relief medication
        • Aspirin (primarily to treat a heart attack)
        • Prescription medications (such as antibiotics)
        • Antihistamines to treat allergic reactions
        • Injectable epinephrine (for severe allergic reactions)
        • Diarrhea medication
        • Antacid tablets
      • Antiseptic wipes
        • BZK-based wipes preferred; alcohol-based are acceptable
      • Topical treatments
        • Antibacterial ointment
        • Blister treatment
        • Insect sting/ anti-itch ointment
        • Sunburn relief gel or spray
      • Medical tools
        • Fine-point tweezers (for removing splinters)
        • Safety pins
        • Blunt-tip scissors
        • Safety razor blade
        • Cotton swabs
        • Medical/ surgical gloves
          • (nitrile is recommended, as many people suffer from a latex allergy)
        • CPR mask
        • Standard oral thermometer
      • Small notepad with waterproof pencil or pen
      • Medical waste bag
      • Emergency heat-reflecting blanket
      • First-aid manual or information cards
      • Throat lozenges
      • Eye drops
  • Insect Repellent
    • For best results, make sure to choose a spray that contains DEET
  • Lighter/matches and Fire Starter
  • Whistle
  • Bear Mace (if you’re hiking in bear country)

Health & Hygiene

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toiletpaper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • SPF-rated Lip Balm
  • Water filter

Shelter

If you are planning on spending more than a few hours in nature, be sure to pack the proper materials to build a shelter to protect you from the elements.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Water-proof tarp

Navigation

  • Map
    • Consult your map and plan your route before starting your hike. Make note of any waterways you may have to cross and plan alternate routes in case you come across obstacles, such as flooding.
  • Compass

Tools & Repair Items

  • Knife or Multi-tool
  • Small Gear Repair Kit
    • Duct-tape
    • Zip ties
  • Headlamp
    • Bring extra batteries!

Sprint Hiking Gear List & Guide - Spring Hiking Clothes, First Aid Kits, and more Necessary Hiking Gear

If you found this spring hiking gear list to be helpful, feel free to let us know and share it with friends. Stay safe and enjoy yourself this spring. Happy hiking!

If you are a fan of the great outdoors, let us inspire your next adventure here: survivalgear.us

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