What equipment is needed for hiking?

The right equipment for hiking: 13 important things that you have to take with you on tour

Content: You can find these tips here

The right equipment for your first (mountain) hike

You need these things for hiking

Outside the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you really wanted to do a little sport too? Then nothing like out and with one Hike in the mountains experience and enjoy nature. It doesn't have to be → Mount Everest right away. It is best to start with a small mountain tour and improve from time to time. So that the fun is not neglected and you always come back safely, we have a few essentials for you Equipment tipsthat you should definitely pay attention to when hiking in the mountains.

On our hikes we keep seeing people who are completely wrongly equipped. Many people are particularly drawn to wanderlust when they are on vacation or traveling. With the right equipment, you are much safer and more comfortable on the go. By the way: Here you can find our guide → “Mountain knowledge for beginners” for safe hiking. Here we also have a few tips for → hiking in winter. Those who start hiking tend to make the same mistakes with their equipment. Once upon a time, it was no different for us than millions of other hikers. We are happy to share our knowledge with you so that you are safe in the mountains.

Jogging shoes vs. hiking shoes

If you only go to the mountains every few years, you often don't have a → walking boots and then reaches for the first available sports shoes for hiking. On a simple family hike such as around the Eibsee in beautiful Bavaria, this is not a problem (with good conditions in summer).

As soon as the paths become a bit more rugged, there are vertical meters in the mountains and maybe also wet and cold Walking shoes essential! Hiking shoes offer a much better grip on all routes and protect the foot and ankle from injuries. On steep mountain trails, hiking boots save a lot of strength thanks to the stiffer sole, despite the higher weight. And with hiking boots you don't have to worry about mud and puddles - your feet stay dry.

For easy hikes in the mountains there is → Lightweight hiking boots *that are becoming increasingly popular. Personally, however, I prefer to wear firmer and heavier shoes - even on easy tours. But that's sack of taste. However, hiking boots are the absolute prerequisite for a relaxed and safe tour. This is especially true for the mountains.

And: → Hiking boots don't have to cost a fortune *. As a rule, you have to invest 150 to 300 euros. In the sale, however, there are often very good offers for around 100 to 200 euros. Even at the discount store, there are now and then hiking boots for well under 100 euros. The shoes can certainly not keep up with the branded products, but are always better than jogging shoes or sneakers.

Socks vs. hiking socks

Good hiking socks are part of every hiking shoe. Hiking socks protect the skin from painful abrasions in the shoe and → blisters. Be sure to get → Hiking socks made of merino wool *. They are not cheap (branded socks from 20 euros and up), but worth every penny.

Walking sticks

Hiking sticks * are of great help when hiking in the mountains. On the ascent you save a lot of strength in your legs and do something for your upper body at the same time. When descending, hiking sticks are a great help to relieve the knees. Beginners in particular will appreciate the sticks. Especially when the path is steep and slippery. When descending you should never put your hands through the loops on the handle! This holds enormous potential for injury in the event of a fall. We rarely use hiking poles - but hiking poles are highly recommended for beginners or on long and difficult tours with a backpack. Incidentally, those who often use hiking sticks should go without them every now and then in order to train their balance.

Designer sunglasses vs. sports sunglasses

Expensive designer glasses have no place on long hikes or difficult mountain tours. Fashionable glasses may look great, but are designed for a leisurely stroll through town. → Sports sunglasses * protect the eyes much better against wind, dust and UV radiation thanks to their shape and sit like a glove, so they don't fall straight into the depths when you look down a chasm.

It is always important to have a good fit. It is of little use if the glasses squeeze after an hour and cause a headache. So you should take your time when choosing. Good sports glasses can be very expensive, but there are also inexpensive models around 20 to 30 euros that serve their purpose. But from my own experience I can say that expensive glasses last a lot longer (if you don't lose them).

Jeans vs. outdoor pants

Again and again I see hikers with jeans in the mountains. It might look chic - I'm not a fan of it. Jeans are heavy, restrict freedom of movement when hiking (on many mountain tours you sometimes have to climb a bit and use your hands to help), hardly keep you warm and do not protect you from the wind. In addition, jeans take forever to dry out if you come into the rain.

A good → Outdoor pants * is light, does not restrict freedom of movement, keeps out wind and cold and dries quickly. Good outdoor pants cost around 80 euros in specialist shops. The discounters now and then have cheaper models on offer.

Cotton shirt vs. wool shirt

Even if the name suggests it: cotton has nothing to do with real wool. Similar to jeans, cotton shirts have only disadvantages. They don't protect against cold or heat, they dry slowly and they quickly stink of sweat. With a good → Merino wool shirt * you don't have all of these disadvantages.

Once you've been out and about with a merino wool shirt, you'll never want to wear a cotton shirt while hiking again - that's a promise! By the way, I think shirts made of synthetic material are terrible after just a few hours because of the bestial smell of sweat.

City backpack vs. hiking backpack

You should always have a few essentials with you on a mountain hike. This includes a hiking map, a First aid kit, one Headlamp, suncream, one jacket and of course Food with enough water. If you hike without a backpack, you will hardly have these things with you. But not all rucksacks are the same. A stylish backpack for the city hardly meets the requirements that one has on a hike in the mountains.

A good → hiking backpack * can be adjusted in many ways and has a wide lap belt to direct the weight from the shoulder to the hips. Good back protection with thick padding or a special ventilation construction is also important. Hardly anything is more uncomfortable than feeling the water bottle in your backpack on your back while hiking. A backpack with a volume of 30 to 35 liters is sufficient for a day tour.

Always have a jacket in my backpack

Even if the weather report predicts 30 degrees - on high mountain peaks it can get very cold, especially in the morning and evening hours (half a degree to one degree Celsius as a rule of thumb for every 100 meters of altitude. But there are also much more extreme values). Especially when there is wind. A Thin jacket should always be in the hiking backpack in an emergency. In unsafe weather conditions, a Trekking umbrella or oneRain jacket * and possibly oneRain pants * in the backpack.


Headgear is compulsory when hiking, especially at high altitudes. If you are out and about in the blazing sun without a hat, you risk a life-threatening sunstroke. In winter when it's cold you lose a large part of the heat through your head. ACap* protects in all cases.


AHeadlamp * (with charged batteries) should always be in the hiking backpack. It happens quite often that you unexpectedly end up in the dark because you have miscalculated with the time. This happens to hikers as well as beginners. But: hiking professionals are prepared for it.

First aid kit

A → First aid kit* belongs in every backpack. It can quickly happen that you slip and hit yourself or worse. It's good if you have a small first aid kit with you. By the way, we (unfortunately) already had to use our first aid kit!

Sufficient water

Are there always mountain huts on your planned hiking route where you can stop and eat and drink? Then you don't have to pay tons water drag. But there is no such thing on many hikes. So always pack enough water in your backpack. In summer, when the temperature is high, you need a lot more water than in cool weather. In summer when temperatures are high, you should take at least four liters with you on a long day trip.


A suncream with a high protection factor is a must for every mountain hike. Sometimes you spend hours in the blazing sun. If the wind goes just a little, you hardly notice it. A bad sunburn is certain there. On a mountain tour, the height is added. Even if you only climb a low peak - the UV radiation is much higher here than in the valley. It is particularly blatant with snow, which reflects UV radiation. By the way: clouds are no protection! Up to 90 percent of UV radiation comes through a cloud cover. And: Even sun creams do not offer reliable protection against UV radiation and skin cancer. The only thing that helps here is to protect the skin with long clothes.

One more please

Keep nature clean and take your rubbish back with you. This is especially true for plastic waste such as bags, candy foil and the like, which even in a thousand years will ruin nature and pose a threat to the sensitive animal world. If we discover plastic waste on a hike, we collect it and dispose of it in the valley. By the way: Even cigarette butts have no place in nature! A single butt can contaminate up to 60 liters of water with poisons such as nicotine and arsenic. Your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will thank you!


Subscribe to the newsletter and download the photo e-book

Do it like over 3500 other travelers: Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date.

We'll show you most beautiful places in the world, take you on exciting outdoor adventures and bring your Photo skills on a new level. In addition, you will never miss the latest photo course dates and ours again Competition for all subscribers.

Our thank you

As a thank you we are giving you our photo e-book "This is how you can create the perfect landscape photo". Here you can register for the newsletter free of charge.

Even more adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Co.

Follow our travel blog on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest.