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3 Overlooked Items Hikers Should Never Leave Home Without

Are you gearing up to hit the trails? It’s time to make sure you have all the equipment you’ll need to make the time you spend in the mountains as fun as possible.

Backpacks, watches and sunglasses are all important items for hikers, so make sure you have the very best—it’s essential.

Here’s a quick guide for the best of each:

Backpacks

The first factor you’ll need to consider is what type of hiking you’re planning on doing. Are you just hitting the trails for a day or are you taking on something that will take a little more time? Hydration in any environment is crucial, so consider hiking with a hydration pack.

For the best hydration packs, look to Geigerrig. Most of their bladders have built-in filtration systems so you’ll never run out of water. Just fill up one chamber from a stream or pond and the water will go through the filter, making it safe to drink. Geigerrig packs are also big enough for you to take everything you’ll need for an extensive day hike. This pack can also come in handy on hunting trips.

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If you’re looking to go ultra-light, CiloGear is your ticket. They have a selection of larger and smaller packs depending on what you’re looking for and they’re feather light compared to other packs on the market. But remember, with a drop off in weight comes a rise in price. It’s really about what works best for you.

If you’re spending multiple days in the wilderness or taking on a technical hike, like mountaineering, Arc’teryx has a variety of backpacks that will take you there and back again. They will carry everything you’d need for a high-level outdoor adventure.

Sunglasses

Having a quality pair of sunglasses is very important. If you’re dealing with prolonged sunlight exposure, not having or having inferior sunglasses can cause long lasting damage to your eyes. Manufacturers like Oakley have a host of sunglasses for trailblazers, hunters and athletes alike.

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It’s also a good idea to carry some replacement lenses in case of any mishaps while off the beaten path. When trekking through the wilderness, it’s always better to be over prepared than under prepared. Select lenses with 100 percent UV protection and nano coating to keep your eyes protected while repelling dust and water.

Watches

If you’re a hardcore mountaineer, backcountry skier, or hiker, a Suunto Ambit is the highest-ranked watch built specifically for the outdoors. With a GPS built-in and altimeter, Suunto Ambit watches run at a pretty price, but these sport watches are also the best on the market.

A step down from the Suunto Ambit is the Highgear XT7. With an altimeter, barometer and GPS enabled software, this sport watch is a more affordable piece of equipment and is recommended for mountain hiking as well as climbing. The heart rate monitor is a nifty feature, too.

If you’re looking for something affordable, it’s worth looking into the Columbia Switchback. With a digital compass, thermometer, calendar and a host of other features, the Switchback is great for the deep woods hiker.

3 Overlooked Items Hikers Should Never Leave Home Without