A person sits atop a mountain peak

Waymarked Wonderings: Hiking Essentials Checklist

“A narrow path alongside the busy world, but as separate from it as if it were in another dimension.” - Raynor Winn, The Salt Path.

Dragging your finger along dotted green lines, country lanes and faded tracks, the ol’ trusty OS still going strong as it’s splayed out across the kitchen table. Avoiding busy roads, dodging toast crumbs and coffee stains as you begin to connect the dots and form the beginnings of a plan with a steamin’ brew in hand.

As the dawn light trickles in through a gap in the curtain, let’s tie laces, don caps, fold up the map and head for the door. We’re all for analogue escapes, packing light and tracing a loose route with ample time to stop and smell the roses.

A camping mug on top of a map
Dodging toast crumbs and coffee stains

This might be a full-day romp that’s been pencilled in for a while or an unplanned post-keyboard tappin’ mission in search of sunsets. A reset in the spirit of good times and memories made, scrunchin’ up caution and hurling it to the wind… Or something like that.

If motivation is a little harder to come by or your diary’s lookin’ pretty inked up, we want to help out. Expect tips and tricks from Passenger crew members, trail ramblings from fellow roamers, and a rough checklist to keep handy.

Two people exploring the lakeside
Photos by @amslebrun
A person hopping between rocks by the lakeside

“The outdoors are my safe place, somewhere I can truly be myself and find balance amidst the chaos and busyness of everyday life. There is no doubt that being outside with my camera, hiking and road tripping with my girlfriend and our animals are some of the things that keep me sane and healthy.” - Amelia Le Brun

Whether a walk in the woods, coastal jaunt, or mountain ascent, the basic essentials remain pretty much the same. But it’s well worth watching the weather and reading up on local trails before heading out. Here’s a list to get started with:

  • BackpackNot too big, not too small, but just right for the job.

  • Phone: With full charge, just to be safe.

  • Portable charger: In case your phone is a tad unreliable.

  • Map and compass: A little old school but well worth it. 

  • Trail guidebook or printed maps: To keep on keepin’ on. 

  • Headtorch: For early risers and late finishers.

  • Waterproof pack coverTo keep those sandwiches dry. 

  • Camera: For slowing down and snappin’ a few pics.

  • Field guide: To read up on local species. 

  • Notebook and pen: The best ideas come to you on the trail.

  • A good book: Under a big sky with space to think.

  • Water bottle: Keep hydrated folks.

A smiling person showing a sketchbook
Photo by @katcraats

“This spot is called Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park! Day 1 of our hike was up Panorama Ridge (which is a 30km loop), and Day 2 was up the Black Tusk (which was a 15km detour)! The hike was awesome, beautiful weather (earned some sunburns and gnarly blisters along the way), great crew, unreal views.” - Kat Craats

For something a little more techy and long-term, read our Backpacking Essentials Checklist and Beginners Guide To Backpacking.

What To Wear Hiking

With a hefty step count on the mind, we’d recommend a solid pair of boots that are well worn in. We’re talkin’ good grip, arch support, and a side-serving of comfy socks to keep the vibes up. Slipping a few blister plasters in the side pocket of your pack is also not a bad shout.

Two people exploring the lakeside
Photos by @lewis_beards
Two people hiking up a green valley

When it comes to layers, we always prefer light and breathable. This means you can do a quick change if things heat up (or cool down), without the added stress on your shoulders. A lot of the team here have opted for our Mantra Recycled Leggings in recent weeks, with the guys transitioning from the Drift Trouser over to the Traveller or Drift All-Purpose Shorts.

  • Hiking boots: Or shoes if that’s your thing. 

  • Good socksComfy, warm, and moisture-wicking.

  • Base-layerIt could be a simple tee or quick-drying top.

  • FleeceWeather dependent, but we do love ‘em here at Passenger.

  • Lightweight smockTo keep the wind at bay.

  • Beanie or cap:  We’re partial to taking both and switchin’ things up en route.

Leaving Only Footprints

A hard ‘n’ fast rule for all hot steppers, amblers and weekend roamers. We need to take good care of our walking trails and coast paths, slithers of well-worn track that slice through wild landscapes and epic vistas. They’re not to be taken for granted.

A man stands on a ridge overlooking the sea
Photos by @deeehabs

“One was shot on my camera from a little solo adventure I went out the other week. There is a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean that I went to for sunrise, I made some coffee at the top and soaked in the early morning light.” - Darius

A waterfall casting a rainbow
A man stands amongst the pines

Breathe it in, shoulders back and follow the path. Escape is just a footstep away. #MyEscapism


How do I pick the pack for my hike?

Get a feel for the route, the weather, and the amount of food and water you need to bring. A good amount of padding and adjustable shoulder straps are well worth it for a full-day hike. Here’s our wide selection of backpacks to take a look at.

What clothing should I wear for a hike?

Layering is key. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulating mid-layer, and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. Don't forget a hat and gloves if it's chilly, and always pack a spare pair of socks.

What clothing should I wear for a hike?

Layering is key. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulating mid, and finish with a water-resistant and windproof outer layer. Don't forget a beanie if it's chilly, and always pack a spare pair of socks.

What kind of shoes are good for hiking?

A sturdy pair of worn-in hiking boots or shoes, with solid grip and ankle support. Comfort is the main priority, and you can’t go wrong with packing a few extra blister plasters.

How much water should I take on a day hike?

2 litres per person is about right, but it’s always worth taking a little more.

How can I minimise my impact on the environment while hiking?

Follow the Leave No Trace principles: Take a rubbish bag for your bits and anything else you see on the trail, stay on the path, and avoid picking plants or disturbing wildlife.

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