Make the most of your time outside with our list of the best hiking gear, which includes everything from essentials to the finest portable GPS for hiking.
The hiking season for most people begins in the spring and lasts until late fall, but there are some wonderful walks to be experienced all year. The correct gear can assist you in navigating terrain, staying hydrated, and enjoying the experience. After all, life is about the adventure!
For you to make the most of the outdoors this year, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite hiking devices and accessories. Looking for more technology? Take a look at our comprehensive selection of fascinating gadgets.
23 of the best hiking gadgets and hiking accessories to buy in 2022
Handheld GPS: The Garmin eTrex 32x
Handheld GPS systems are used among geologists and engineers, and the Garmin eTrex 32x is one of the best. Before you go, programme your GPS unit with your waypoints, which could include the car park, a café along the trail, the summit of the mountain, or the centre of a local hamlet. The Garmin eTrex 32x will then use satellites to inform you which way to go and how far you have to go once you’re out and about.
You don’t require a mobile connection because it uses satellites, which is excellent if you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s also tough and waterproof, so you can throw it in your pocket or purse without worrying about it getting damaged.
GPS watch: The Garmin Fenix 7S Solar
The Garmin Fnix 7S Solar is a great hiking companion as well as an attractive piece of wearable technology. It boasts a brilliant 3cm (1.2″) display and a 14-day battery that you can top off with solar power. With its built-in barometer, this handy watch will tell you about the terrain, height, and weather, as well as track your health indicators.
It may also connect to numerous global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) to provide assistance in even the most difficult situations. All of this comes in a military-grade container that has been heat, stress, and water resistant tested. Excellent.
Hiking head torch: PETZL Tikka Headlamp
Make sure you can be seen using a hands-free head lamp if you’ll be out before dawn or after nightfall. Try to choose one with a comfy headband so you won’t even notice it’s on, but it’ll be there when you need it. Many hikers swear by the PETZL Tikka Headlamp because it’s comfortable and allows you to change the light’s angle; mine is still going strong after almost 15 years.
The FitBit Charge 5
The FitBit Charge 5 — an advanced fitness and health tracker with a vivid, OLED colour display – is the most recent FitBit to hit the market (as of March 2022). The FitBit Charge 4 and 5 are both waterproof to 50 metres, have a 7-day battery life, and work with both iOS and Android. Other FitBits are available, but the Charge 4 and 5 are our favourites for hiking since they have integrated GPS and an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor to detect stress levels, all in a pretty robust package.
Tairoad lightweight tripod
If you’re anything like me, going on a trek becomes even more exciting when there’s a waterfall to picture with a long exposure. To keep your camera motionless throughout the exposure, you’ll need a solid tripod. This robust aluminium tripod from Tairoad is a wonderful alternative if you need something lightweight and portable. It comes with a carry cover to keep it from snagging on other items in your suitcase and weighs only 1.2kg.
Apple watch, series 7
An Apple watch could be a good option if you’re a casual hiker. Just keep in mind that the battery life isn’t as long as dedicated GPS units, and it’s not designed for all-weather use, so if you want to use the Apple Watch as a hiking tool, you’ll need to invest in an all-weather strap.
In general, the Apple Watch works well in warm temperatures, but you must be careful not to scratch it. Of course, you’ll also need an iPhone, so an Apple Watch isn’t worth it if you use Android. Heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter (to measure altitude), compass, blood oxygen sensor, and, of course, GPS are some of the most useful hiking apps.
Solar-powered portable charger
You’ll almost certainly require a portable charger if you’re carrying a power-hungry device like the Apple Watch. See our roundup of the finest power packs and portable chargers for more possibilities. This Hiluckey power bank is solar-powered, so you can keep it charged by hanging it outside your knapsack while hiking, but you can also charge it from the wall if you choose. It also comes with a convenient built-in flashlight.
Hydration bladder: Gregory 3D Hydro Reservoir
Stay hydrated while hiking by sipping on the go without having to unload your entire backpack. Hydration bladders sit nicely in the back of your pack, improving stability and comfort on the trail without adding the cylindrical bulk and weight of a water bottle. This Gregory 3D Hydro Reservoir has a handy hook built into the base of the bladder that can be used to hang it out to dry at the end of the day. It also includes a rapid disconnect mechanism, which allows you to refill without unthreading the drinking tube from your shoulder.
Water filter: The LifeStraw
If you’re going on a long hike, the LifeStraw allows you to drink directly from streams and lakes while also filtering up to 4,000 litres of water into safe drinking water. For one individual, that’s enough for about five years. A hollow fibre membrane of the LifeStraw traps pathogens (as well as protozoa and bacteria) inside, allowing only clean water to escape.
Hiking accessories: Berghaus waterproof overtrousers
Berghaus’ lightweight waterproof overtrousers have a zip at the bottom of each leg, allowing you to quickly put them on over heavy, muddy walking boots at the first hint of rain – without getting mud on the inside of the trousers or having to fiddle with taking your boots off.
If you’re out hiking in the cold, don’t underestimate the amount of heat that a pair of waterproof trousers can help you maintain. A pair of waterproof over pants that can be crumpled up in the bottom of a knapsack might just become your new best friend if you’re determined to make the most of the outdoors whatever the weather. They are available in a variety of leg lengths and cuts for both men and women.
Hiking accessories: All-weather notebook
Use waterproof paper to jot down information about your experiences or observations while on the go. Some waterproof notebooks, such as this one from Rite in the Rain, may even be used underwater, allowing you to write while completely submerged.
Hiking accessories: All-weather pen
Pencils will function in any weather, but if you prefer ink, Uni-Power Ball’s Tank all-weather pen has a pressurised refill that allows you to write in even the worst conditions. It can write in -20°C temperatures, upside down, horizontally, and underwater. The manufacturers even say that it can write in zero gravity, though we haven’t tried it…
The GoPro Hero10 is the company’s most powerful camera to date. It has been upgraded for greater low-light performance and captures 5.3K video and 23MP pictures. HyperSmooth 4.0, GoPro’s most advanced video stabilisation to date, is also included.
The new Quik app, though, is one of the nicest additions. This allows you to instantly wirelessly download your films and photographs to the app and begin editing right away, which is excellent for hikers on the go. The GoPro is an excellent choice if you’re worried about harming your camera or phone while hiking. You can even programme the GoPro to start filming automatically if you want to capture sunrises but can’t seem to get yourself out of your sleeping bag. It can even capture time lapses.
Hiking sticks: TrailBuddy Trekking Poles
When you’re out walking, use hiking sticks to relieve knee pain and exercise your arms. TrailBuddy’s are built of lightweight aircraft-grade aluminium and come in a variety of colours with adjustable pole accessories for varied terrains. They’re also fairly priced. They have over 24,000 good Amazon ratings and are an excellent hiking gift.
Swiss Army Knife
A penknife is the ultimate hiking tool, and something not too big (or hefty) is ideal for practical uses. Consider how many tools you’ll need; this one includes 33, including several screwdrivers, a magnifying lens, a wire cutter and stripper, pliers, and a ruler, as well as the essential bottle opener and corkscrew, as well as all the regular functions.
Hiking accessories: Hand lens
A geological eyepiece or hand lens may be a specialised hiking tool, but if you frequently examine rocks or fossils on your trips, you might want to consider it (also called an eye loupe). You’ll quickly learn to recognise different minerals, and there’s a sense of accomplishment in gazing at your feet and learning about geologic history. Most hand lenses are the same, however this one comes with a handy case and can be worn around your neck on a chain for quick access.
Hiking accessories: Amazon brand waterproof phone case
This Amazon waterproof universal phone case will keep your phone secure and dry. The touch screen will operate through a clear TPU material that has been specially manufactured for this purpose and is waterproof to a depth of 30 metres. So don’t be concerned if you lose your phone in a river or lake while trekking.
Hiking gadgets: The essentials
Map reading compass
Using a compass with a map can help you gain a better grasp of the larger geographical area. It’s also a wonderful hiking equipment to have in your kit, and learning how to take a bearing is a valuable life skill. If you’re not sure which way to take, a compass like this one from Trekrite can help you navigate the map; just make sure your map is laid out flat before you start.
Waterproof map case
In the United Kingdom, there are several stunning paths. If you’re in a larger hamlet or town with popular walking paths, an OS map with all the best beauty sites will almost certainly be available. Given the unpredictability of British weather, you might want to consider using a waterproof map case to keep your maps clean and dry. Sling it over your shoulder to free up your hands, or stuff it in your knapsack to protect your map from water spills. Just make sure to fully seal it before leaving.
It’s the trekking tool you hope you’ll never need, but if you do, you’ll be glad you have it. It could mean the difference between being lost and being discovered, and it’s critical if you’re hurt or lost in the fog or cloud. This Venture Zone safety whistle has a volume of over 100 decibels, floats in water, and has a clip for easy attachment to your gear, but there’s also a handy lanyard hole if you prefer.
Emergency foil blanket
Emergency blankets are so light that you won’t even notice you’re carrying them. They’re about the weight of a pencil. You’ll almost certainly forget it’s there. We hope you never have to use this hiking device, but it could save your life one day, just like the whistle.
Mini First Aid Kit
Okay, so this isn’t really a gadget, but whether you’re a novice hiker or a seasoned veteran, carrying only the necessities is usually a good idea. Even if you’re fine, you never know when someone will need your assistance.
Hiking and camping towels are often made of microfibre and are highly absorbent and quick-drying. This trekking towel from Amazon comes in a handy case with a corner zipper pocket for storing your phone and/or keys, and it’s excellent if you come across a stream and fancy a brief dip. Take it out of the case and use it to line the bottom of your bag if you’re short on space. It’s also available in eight various colours and five different sizes.