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12 things you should never go hiking without

Gear you can trust from your backyard hill to the Appalachian Trail.

Hiking doesn’t have to mean scaling the side of mountains. It doesn’t even mean traveling great distances. Hiking can be as simple as a short jaunt through your local state park on mostly paved and well-trodden paths. And year after year, more people are participating in hikes and exploring the great outdoors. The most recent data from The Outdoor Industry Association, shows that 44.9 million Americans hiked in 2017, compared to 34.38 million in 2013. If you’re thinking of joining those numbers, the proper gear will let you focus on the scenery around you instead of achy feet or irritated skin.

We’re big fans of REI because of its satisfaction-guaranteed policy that allows you to return any gear, excluding outdoor electronics, within a year of purchase either for a replacement or a refund. If you’re a new or casual hiker, there’s a chance you may change your mind about products after your first hike or two—this keeps you from fretting about purchases you’re not totally sure about. Plus, the retailer is offering up to 40 percent off select brands through Labor Day, so you’ll score deals on your new favorite gear.

See the full list by Jessica Kasparian on Reviewed's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Reviewed

Media Mentions from Reviewed

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MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team