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Basic Gear to Bring on an Overnight Hike [PICS]

Don’t forget to pack these essentials for your next overnight hike and nothing will stop you from stopping for the night.

You need to bring certain gear with your for an overnight stay in the wilderness, so consider these essentials.


portrait of asian hiker with waterproof gear and backpack in the rain while trekking on an adventure expedition in the mountains during bad weather, cold and miserable

The best kind of clothing to bring on an overnight hike is layers. That way you can take clothes off or put more on depending on the weather and how you feel. Avoid cotton material because it has poor insulation when wet. Instead, wear clothing that is made of synthetic material or wool.

Your first layer should be a wicking layer to pull any moisture away from your body and keep you warm when wet.

Your second layer should be an insulating later such as a fleece.
Your third layer should be breathable waterproof pants and a jacket.

Other clothing pieces you should bring are hats (sun and knit), gloves, synthetic material t-shirts and lights shorts, and socks. Hiking-specific socks offer comfort and breathability and a thin sock lining will help prevent blisters.

Sleeping Essentials


When choosing a tent, consider when you will be camping, where you will be camping, the weather you expect to encounter, and how many people you are going with.

A three-season tent works for most campers and is good for mild weather conditions during summer and early fall months. They are easy to set up and if camping with others, the parts can be divvied up between everyone’s packs.

Sleeping Bag/Pad


All sleeping bags are rated with a degree representing the lowest temperature in which the bag will keep you comfortable. Even during summer months, nights can get cold and sometimes close to freezing so a three-season sleeping bag between 0 and 15 degrees is appropriate for most camping adventures.

A sleeping pad will help insulate your sleeping bag and cushion you from the hard ground. Many campers are satisfied with a self-inflating pad.


A good rule of thumb to follow is to drink a liter of water and carry a liter of water. Water is one of the heaviest things you will carry so you do not want to carry more than you need. You should always bring with you a filter or chemical water treatments so you can fill up at streams. Boiling water will also make it safe to drink.

When you are packing food for your overnight hike, consider the weight to calorie ratio. Bring lightweight foods that will fill you up such as dehydrated beans, hummus mix, rice, and noodles. Avoid bulky packaging that you will just have to carry out when you are done with it.

Cooking Gear

The basic overnight hike kitchen can consist of a lightweight backpacking stove and fuel, a pot and grip, a large spoon, bowls and spoons. You do not need much more than that to camp overnight.

As for stoves, there are two kinds. A white gas stove consists of a metal fuel bottle you can refill with camping gasoline. A canister stove consists of fuel in a sealed cylinder you throw out when it’s empty. Both are lightweight an easy to use, but the canister stove has more waste.

You may need to consider more and better equipment if going for a hike lasting longer than overnight, but these are the basics of what you need for one night on the trail.

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Basic Gear to Bring on an Overnight Hike [PICS]