Skip to main content
Pack the Essentials for an Incredible Hiking Experience Header Item 1

Pack the Essentials for an Incredible Hiking Experience

Exploring the great outdoors is a very Vancouver thing to do. Even in October, locals and visitors alike are discovering the breadth and beauty of our wilderness. Packing the right gear is essential, with the weather, the remoteness of destination, and the level of experience playing a crucial role. To help you plan your next trip, we’ve crafted this master list that you can tailor to your journey.

#ONE: Bring a Daypack

Whether you’re venturing into the backcountry or doing a five-kilometer loop in North Vancouver, consider a light-weight and water-resistant bag for all your hiking essentials.

#TWO: Think About Your Attire

Dress in layers for the most comfortable hiking experience. Stay warm in cold weather and cool on sunny days by sporting moisture-wicking wear from top to bottom. Remember, if it’s raining in Vancouver, it could be snowing in the mountains.

#THREE: Wear the Right Shoes

Blaze the trails with true hiking boots. Choose a sturdy boot with ankle support and enough space to wear bulkier wool socks. Tip: Wear them around your house the week before you leave to break them in.

#FOUR: Bid Adieu to Bugs

Pesky insects are everywhere in the great outdoors—yes, even in the fall—but don’t let them ruin your fun. Keep mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats, and other pests away with long-lasting bug spray.

#FIVE: Wool up

Avid hikers will tell you: Always trek in wool socks. Not only do they deliver maximum cushion and temperature control, but they also won’t slink down into your boots like regular socks.

#SIX: Think Ample H2O

Staying hydrated is important for your health and safety. Always bring plenty of water with you while you venture into the wild as you’re exerting more energy than you think.

#SEVEN: Carry Nibbles

There’s a reason it’s called “trail mix”. You may not want a meal mid-hike, but nourishment is a good idea. To keep your energy levels elevated, pack a healthful snack such as nuts, a banana or an apple.

#EIGHT: Seek Shelter from the Sun

Even in the forest, protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays is a must. A breathable sun hat is an ideal accessory for your hike.

#NINE: Bring an Emergency Kit

Be prepared for blisters, splinters, cuts, and other blunders with a well-stocked first aid kit. Think adhesive bandages (Band-Aids) in several sizes, antiseptic wipes, elastic bandage, and, one thing many people forget, a list of emergency phone numbers.

#10: Get Loud

If you end up injured or stranded, a whistle is your lifeline to safety. Sounding a whistle in three loud but short bursts will signal you’re in need of help. Why three? Nearby hikers will distinguish your whistling from the hoots and calls of birds in the area.

#11: Think Fashion as Function

While sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, they can also be blinding. Always bring a pair of sunglasses when you’re hiking as the rays can damage your eyes.

#12: Brighten Up

All forests have dark areas you may want to explore a little further. Plus, time flies when you’re on an epic adventure. Keep your hands free and stay out of the dark by wearing a headlamp.

#13: Go Green

Give back to the earth by picking up trash during your hike. It’s easier thank you think. Simply keep a reusable bag on hand in case you see any litter or have any of your own.


Ready to explore the wilderness in beautiful British Columbia? Check out these hiking experiences that cater to an array of desires and skillsets.