When you think about the essential items for trekking, what comes to your mind? Is it the trekking backpacks, food, hydration flasks, or hygiene and toiletries? When it comes to essentials, there is no negotiating. Everything is a must-have.

But first, let’s talk about trekking.

Trekking can be an exciting, rejuvenating, and rewarding experience. It is a form of walking or hiking for leisure, enjoyment, exercise, or travel. Trekking usually involves leaving established paths, to make a destination farther away, where the walker may not have access to vehicles, paved roads, or motorized transport.

When you’re planning to go on a trek, it’s important to plan ahead. Not only do you need to think about what you need to think about how you’re going to get there, where you’re going to stay, and where you’re going to eat but especially what you’re going to pack.

Now let us get back to the essentials. The list of essential items for trekking is a list of things that every trekker must carry, particularly a trekker in winter. These items are not available on the trekking route and are required for the trekker’s safety and longevity.

Before going on a trek, it is essential to know what to bring along with you. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of items that I recommend bringing.

Read about how to plan an Everest Base Camp trek here

Essential Items for Trekking: Clothing and Footwear

Pack all your clothing according to the season. Make sure to wear layers and bring a quality fleece and an outer shell waterproof jacket.

Here is the list of everything you need to pack while going on a trek:

  • Thermal tops and trousers
  • Woolen gloves
  • Caps / Hats
  • Wind / Waterproof jacket
  • Down Jacket
  • T-shirts
  • Socks
  • Trekking boots
  • Camp shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Watch

Additional items:

  • Raincoat
  • Waterproof hiking pants

Essential Items for Trekking: Trekking Gear

Trekking gears, especially backpacks, need to hold at least 20 – 30 liters if you will be packing food, equipment, and clothing for a long trek.

  • Rucksack (30 litres) / Daypack
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp
  • Backpack Raincover

Essential Items for Trekking: Shelter

Carrying your tents and everything that gives you shelter on the trails is another essential item for trekking.

A tent is an essential item because you might have to camp in a location where there are no lodges or shelters. You’ll want something lightweight and easy to set up.

A groundsheet is a must-have if you are going to spend time camping in the wet. If you want to carry a tent you can always get a lightweight one which weighs around 1 kg.

A good sleeping bag will keep you warm and dry during the night as it is commonly made from materials such as down, synthetic, or even silk that give you warmth without bulk.

A sleeping pad is also an excellent investment that will help you stay warm throughout the night while camping. Sleeping pads are usually thin foam pads that can be either inflatable or self-inflating. You can use them in place of a sleeping bag to spread your weight while sleeping and also can be used to relieve pressure points.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad


  • Portable pillow
  • Groundsheet

Essential Items for Trekking: Food and Water

Make sure you have enough food for your trek and get your meals planned out. Bring enough food to last the day. Hikers should eat at least 2,000 calories a day. Make sure to pack canned food and other meal replacement bars to keep your energy levels up.

Sleeping tablets or natural tea are good for relaxation and create a great night’s sleep.

Food that tastes good is good for you, but eat food that is natural as well. What you eat becomes part of your body and helps it function more efficiently.

Essential Items for Trekking: Hygiene and Toiletries

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and you never know when nature will call. When you are out in a while, there will be no toilet paper, so it is good to carry your own along with a lighter.

Don’t forget the basics like:

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Body wash
  • Mouth wash
  • Towel
  • Wet wipes / Napkins / Toilet paper
  • Soap
  • Sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturizer
  • Hairbrush
  • Sanitary pads (for female)
  • Lip balm

Essential Items for Trekking: Electrical Equipment

Your trip might take you to areas where there are no electrical outlets or even shops, so pack enough batteries and solar chargers.

  • Mobile phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Power bank
  • Extra batteries
  • Electric extension cord

Essential Items for Trekking: Medical Emergency Kits

A small first aid kit is vital to have with you on the journey as it helps you handle minor injuries. You can also buy one at a market or drugstore before you head out on your adventure.

  • Diamox Tablets (for altitude sickness)
  • Throat Lozenges
  • Electrolyte powder
  • Band-aids
  • Water purifying tablets


  • Prescribed medications (if any)
  • Anti-fungal cream

Essential Items for Trekking: Navigation

Navigation is essential for a safe, enjoyable journey. You will need good maps and a compass to keep you on the right track and help in emergencies.

A map of the area, a compass, or GPS unit is a handy tool while hiking as it will show your position, find water sources in case of emergencies and help you plot your next destination as well.

  • Compass
  • Map of route/maps
  • Compass with protractor/GPS
  • Guide book for that area of the trek

Tools and Repair Kits

Being prepared for anything is the key to a safer travel experience. Here are the must-haves that will come in useful at some point or the other:

  • A Swiss Army knife
  • Repair kit spare parts (like patches, nuts, and bolts, etc.)
  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Firestarter (matches)
  • Duct-tape

Trekking Extras

You think you don’t need some extras but are helpful to find your way at night, retrieve items dropped, hunt for food, or even call for help in case of emergencies.

  • Paper/pen and pencil
  • Binoculars
  • Whistle
  • Flashlight

Personal Items

The following items are helpful and will save you a lot of trouble:

  • Cash
  • Wallet
  • Credit Cards
  • Any necessary documents and IDs

So here we have it, the list of essential items for trekking that you can keep as a checklist. Hope this article was helpful for you.

Also, read about the 12 best benefits of trekking here.

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