How to pack for a hiking trip

senior man and woman taking a walk in the fall foliage

In many parts of North America, autumn is peak hiking season. There is copious beautiful foliage to spot, it's not too chilly to camp outdoors at night, and the days start cooler, but tend to warm up pleasantly. Most parts of the country do not experience the same blistering summer temperatures, and those traveling to desert-like U.S. states may find the heat more bearable in the fall. However, this poses the question: How does a person pack for a hiking trip? What to bring? What to leave? What will be superfluous? Conde Nast Traveler gathered some advice from hiking experts to streamline the hiking packing experience into something manageable and not intimidating.  

Choose your apparel wisely
First and foremost, make sure hiking boots are worn in and comfortable. If you just purchased new footwear before your trip, wear them as much as possible with the kind of socks you will bring on the trail, the news provider suggests. This is the best way to avoid discomfort and blisters, which feel all the more tiresome in the middle of nowhere.

Remember to cover up with a scarf, bandana, or other piece of cloth that can cover the neck, the nose and the mouth. Conde Nast Traveler took this piece of advice from Will Elliott of Paragon Guides in Vail, Colorado, who adds that the same item can keep off the sun and insulate against sudden rainstorms.

Packing and provisions
Those taking longer treks in other countries, perhaps as part of their European travel experience, will have to be aware of weight; the worst thing is to have a pack that is too heavy. At the same time, hikers have to bring adequate nutrition. As bland as protein bars can be, they are excellent items to slip into a pack for they take up little room, are filling and provide plenty of energy, and can be eaten just about any time of the day. Nuts are another option, or small packets of almond butter or peanut butter that can be eaten without mess and then stowed until a trash receptacle is discovered. A bonus: nuts and nut butters won't melt if the weather turns warm and sunny.

Conde Nast again turned to Elliott for advice on organizing a multi-day hike backpack: packing everything in the order of your day will ensure that you're not left digging at the bottom of your bag for your toothbrush. He puts heavier items - sleeping bag, food for dinner, tent - on the lowest layer, and leaves lighter items like water, sunscreen and snacks for daytime near the top. And finally, because there aren't exactly any porta-potties out in the wilderness, so be sure to pack a roll of toilet paper or biodegradable tissues and a trowel tool for when the inevitable strikes.

Contact your travel insurance provider for further assistance.

The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.