How To Pack for a Long Distance Hike: Essential Tips & Tricks

How To Pack for a Long Distance Hike: Essential Tips & Tricks

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If your dream is to take an epic journey through the great outdoors, then you’ve come to the right place. Long-distance hiking is one of the most satisfying and rewarding ways to explore the beauty of nature. Whether it’s a multi-day excursion on a popular trail or months spent on a thru-hike along the Appalachian Trail, there are pieces of gear that you must prepare and carry with you before setting out. In this blog post, we will discuss all of our top tips for how to pack for long-distance hikes to ensure maximum comfort, safety, and enjoyment during your adventure!

Choose the Right Backpack

The first step to planning your long-distance hike is selecting the right backpack for your trek. The bag you choose should be lightweight, comfortable, and spacious enough to fit all the gear you need. Make sure that it has adjustable straps and hip belts so you can adjust the fit as needed while on the trail. It’s also important to make sure that it has enough pockets and compartments to store snacks and other small items easily accessible.

Essential Clothing Items and Footwear to Pack

The next step is to choose the clothing and footwear that will be most appropriate for your hike. Make sure you bring at least one warm layer, such as a down jacket or synthetic insulated jacket, to help keep you warm in cold temperatures. Additionally, pack enough pairs of socks to prevent blisters and discomfort while on the trail. Also, make sure to wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction that are designed for long-distance hikes.

Sleeping Bag, Tent, and Other Camping Equipment

When it comes to camping equipment, it’s important to select gear that is lightweight and durable. Make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the temperatures you’ll be hiking in. Additionally, you should consider packing a tent or tarp if you plan on spending nights outdoors. Other items, such as a stove, cookware set, and first-aid kit, are also essential for long-distance hikes.

Electronics You May Need on the Trail

Long-distance hikes can take you far away from civilization, so it’s important to consider what devices and electronics you’ll need for your trek. A GPS device, smartphone, or compass are all essential pieces of navigation equipment. Additionally, make sure to bring a power bank or solar charger to keep your devices charged while on the trail.

Invest in Travel Insurance

When embarking on a long-distance hike, it’s important to invest in travel insurance to cover any unexpected costs or medical emergencies that may arise during your journey. Travel insurance can provide vital protection from the financial burden of unplanned expenses and medical bills. It can also provide coverage for any stolen gear or equipment, as well as a trip interruption or cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances. It is recommended to look for policies that offer specific coverage for long-distance hiking trips. Look for features such as 24-hour emergency assistance, medical evacuation, and search and rescue benefits if you get lost in the wilderness. Level term life insurance is another good option.

What is level term insurance?

Insurance that provides financial security in the event of an accident while on the trail; it pays out a pre-determined amount upon death and can provide peace of mind while tackling difficult trails.


Long-distance hikes can be physically demanding, but the rewards are worth it! With the right preparation and packing plan in place, you can ensure a comfortable and safe trek. Make sure to select the appropriate gear for your trip, such as a lightweight backpack and sturdy hiking boots. Additionally, invest in travel insurance to provide coverage for any unexpected emergencies or accidents that may occur on the trail. With these essential tips in mind, you’ll be ready to tackle long-distance hikes with confidence!

This post was a collaboration between Hiking with Shawn and Assurance. 

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Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

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