Optional Hiking Gear – 11 Items To Consider Bringing

optional hiking gear

This family chose their gear carefully…

These 11 bits of optional hiking gear are things that I can be useful on hikes.  Here are 11 things that you should consider bringing with you on a hike.

Unlike the 11 essential items to bring on a hike, this list of optional hiking gear is subjective and the importance of these items depends on an individual’s preferences.  Personally, my wife thinks some of the items that I bring along every time are just extra weight.  I want to list them here so that you are aware of them and you can make an informed decision.  One thing to keep in mind though is that you will be carrying all of this stuff and each individual item adds up in weight.

optional hiking gearOptional Hiking Gear – 11 Items You May Want To Bring On A Hike

Lip Balm With SPF Protection – As I said before, the sun is intense in the mountains or also the desert, so it is wise to bring along some kind of lip balm to protect your lips. Some people use chap stick and lip balm more frequently than others. Some people prefer to just put sunblock on their lips to protect them.

Duct Tape – Duct tape is something that can come in handy in tons of different ways, such as taping together your shoes or pants. Or maybe you can use a piece of duct tape to fix your sunglasses that broke. For years I always had some duct tape with me, but I’ve gotten out of the habit lately.

Carabiners – These devices, which were designed for climbing, are now used for all kinds of purposes. They can be used to attach something to your backpack, such as a water bottle, shoes, flip flops, and more. They are small and attach easily to the outside of your pack.

Handkerchief or Bandana – Some people love to use a handkerchief or bandana for all kinds of purposes when hiking. It can be used to put on your head as a headband, or to cover your head like a scarf. Or you can use it to keep your camera clean.

optional hiking gear

If you bring a big camera you have to carry it the entire time.

Camera – When hiking with kids it is always fun to have a camera along to record the fun times and memories. After all that is what hiking with kids is all about – making memories.

Small knife or multi-purpose tool – You just can’t be sure why or how you would need to use a knife or multi-purpose tool when you are hiking, but it can be good to have along just in case. You can use the knife to cut up some fruit to feed your kids. Or you can use the fingernail clippers to cut your long toenails if they are hurting you when you hike.

Headlamp and extra batteries – Some people recommend always bringing along a headlamp when you go hiking just in case you get lost or stay on the trail until dark. In that case it could be super handy, but there are a lot of times when you won’t need it and it would just be extra weight.

Fire Starting Gear – This is a lighter, matches, or something to start a fire. As with some of these other items, this one comes in handy in case you get lost and are stuck out at night and need to start a fire. Or maybe you are hiking somewhere that is cold and you just want to light a fire to warm up it would be useful.

optional hiking gear

Should you bring binoculars?

Binoculars – These can be lots of fun to have if you are hiking and you are lucky enough to see wildlife at a distance. The binoculars will help you see the animals and enjoy them more than if they are simply far away. Kids, young and old, enjoy looking through the binoculars.

Hand Sanitizer – You never know when you may want to use some of this to clean your or your kids’ hands before having a snack. If you just picked up some rocks or played with bugs then it might be nice to get your hands super clean.

Toilet Paper in a waterproof bag or case – This is for, well you know what. If nature calls when you are hiking then it may be nice to have this along. However, you can always use a leaf or nothing. If you do use toilet paper you either need to bury it deep in the ground or take it out in one of your trash bags. DO NOT leave it on the ground somewhere as that is disgusting. Nobody wants to find someone else’s used toilet paper when they go for a hike.

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