I will list here the current equipment I take with me when I go out hiking. I’ll try to link every product to their producer website (if available). I’ve removed all the Amazon links because as time passes I’m re-discovering the pleasure of buying things from physics stores. No one will help you better than a real passionate business-owner, trust me 🙂 In this way I won’t “enforce” you in buying from a specific platform, but you’ll be more encouraged in finding the best way to proceed: buying from a local store, the producer website or any online marketplace. Amazon it’s not bad itself, but we are beginning to give for granted that everything has to be bought there: this is simply not true.
Garmin eTrex 20x (GPS unit)
The first piece of equipment I bought when I started going outside in the wild. It’s my current GPS hand-unit I use, where I load all the maps/waypoints about the tour I want to make. I usually use QMapShack to plan the route (more info about this in the software section) and also make sure to bring with me an extra pair of batteries. It’s a really cool product and the ratio between price and quality is top notch.
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX (hiking/trail-running shoes)
I looked for a while for a good pair of hiking shoes that were waterproof AND lightweight. Luckily my next-door hiking shop suggestd me to buy this pair (they were also discounted!) and I couldn’t be more happy.
Mountaintop DSM6000 (backpack)
My main backpack. It has a lot of space and again the price it’s really good. Very flexible and has many side-pocket that I use for the items I need to have a quick access to. When I started I used a smaller backpack I already had at home, but now that I bring much more stuff with me it became kind of essential.
I’m not a person that usually suffer from cold, but surely I wouldn’t have been able to pass through fall/winter walks without this pile. Very comfortable, it’s really not weighing on my shoulders and keep me safe from razor wind and similar weather conditions.
Midland G9 PMR446 (PMR Radio)
In Italy there’s a recent project called RERAMONET, where you can freely subscribe and use a common radio-channel to notify other hikers about where you are and your trip plan. In this way, if something goes wrong and you are not able to contact emergency support, at least someone knows where you were the last time you contacted the channel. I find this service amazing, hence I bought the radio to use it. In Italy, to use one of this, you need to pay an annual tax (12 euros), you can find instructions in RERAMONET website. Moreover, don’t go for a cheap radio from an online store: chances are it’s illegal to use that one because of some security reason. Double check before you buy that it’s usable in your country.
Eken H9R and some extra tools (action-cam)
I decided to do some trying with an action cam, and this one was one of the cheapest. It has a good quality and a lot of tools, the only thing in which it lacks is probably stabilization. Other from that I can easily record even full hiking trip.
Petzl Tikkina (headlamp)
This has been very useful expecially in autumn/winter, in which I found myself at early morning with little to no visibility. Really lightweight and easily wearable, it does a lot of light; can’t live anymore without it since many hikes I’ve done were during pretty crazy hours (3AM and so on).
Marmot Men’s Summit (winter hat)
Very comfortable hat for cold days or just windy ones.
I can’t find my exact model on the website, but I highly suggest this brand. Great grip and great resistance: I used them for at least 3 years and there’s not a single scratch on them!
If you want to really learn how to orientate yourself during hikes this is important. If you stay on marked trails you’ll probably never need it, but if you like to go off-trails it becomes nearly mandatory.
Virginia Extreme (compass)
Nope, I’m not crazy. This compass is a different kind: is actually built in a way to allow it to be placed on a paper map and be used to orientate ON THE MAP. So choose the kind you prefer, depending on your need.
Beanie Merino 3535 (summer beanie)
If, like me, you tend to sweat a lot during physical activities, this beanie is pure gold. Lightweight (18 gr) it will repair your head from the sun while keeping you fresh: pure magic for what I can understand (made of Merino’s wool). Shout-out to the producing company to be very careful regarding the environment: the package is fully made of recycled cardboard.
Deuter Raincover II (backpack rain cover)
If you like to go out with any weather this also is pretty important: you don’t want the content of your backpack to be soaked in water once back at home. There are three identical variants (I, II and III) depending on the capacity of your backapck: choose the correct one.
Campingaz 206S 1250W (backpacking stove) and Popote Scout (backpacking dishes)
Useful when you want to have something different than sandwiches along the way: the stove is lightweight but a bit cumbersome in the backpack, so plan your space accordingly. But nothing beats cooking your meal or warm up some coffee into the woods.
Laken Therm (canteen)
A bit smaller than you usual canteen (0.75 lt.) but it maintains the liquid temperature: so useful both for fresh water and hot coffee. It’s so good that I began bring it to my workplace also.
Where to buy them really depends on your location: the link I provided above is the publisher of the main zone I hike in. If the GPS in any way fails you can at least be sure to not get completely lost; moreover, reading a map is an useful skill that is getting lost as time go by. You may never know when it can be useful.