I’ve always THAT person that never had emergency hiking gear. I always thought that getting lost or needing emergency equipment only happened to OTHER people.
The more I solo hiked, the more concern my mom showed, so I finally decided to invest in the emergency gear “just to have it”.
It wasn’t until that dreadful day when I decided to take ALL my emergency gear OUT of my pack before doing a trail, then proceeded to get VERY lost and terrified, that I realized I’ll never, ever, hike unprepared again.
Click here to read about my eye-opening experience: Hoodoos.
Listen to me when I say: IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.
This isn’t just a risk to solo hikers. Imagine hiking with your family and finding yourself stranded? Whether you are hiking alone, in a group, or anything in between, this article applies to you.
DO NOT RISK IT. ALWAYS HIKE PREPARED.
Here’s a list of emergency hiking gear that I recommend. Keep in mind that every one of these items is on Amazon and is very inexpensive. Even if you choose not to purchase anything right now, please add the items to your cart as a reminder so you can come back to it later.
This post is sponsored by Bactine, but all opinions and images are my own.
The Rambling Raccoon is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Regardless of the affiliate links, I own and pack each one of these items in my personal pack when I hike. I strive for 100% transparency and would never recommend something I haven’t tried myself and use/truly believe in.
I’m sure when most of you think of the concept of “emergency hiking gear” you think of a first aid kit. But here’s a fun little fact you may not know – you don’t have to have your arm cut off to need one.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve found my hiking boots rubbing against my ankles and stopped a huge blister and scar from developing by grabbing Bactine Max and throwing a bandaid on.
I also run into things and scrape myself up daily (because I’m clumsier than the average bear) so I need Bactine both indoors AND outdoors on the regular.
- Speeds wound healing
- Reduces the likelihood of scars
Free of antibiotics, fragrance, paraben, petrolatum, lanoline, and is non-greasy
- The hydrogel formula provides an invisible shield protecting against external contaminants, keeping germs at bay
Click here to purchase Bactine online from Walgreens:
Bonus: you can even buy it online and pick it up in-store!
When it comes to emergency hiking gear, nothing is more important than water. You can go weeks without food and still survive, but you can only survive a few days without water.
- Fresh Water: Reducing the risk of infection by removing E. coli, legionella, and salmonella, this water filter survival is designed to deliver fresh, pure drinking water. It’s also designed to reduce chlorine, harmful particles, and bad odor to improve the taste.
- Filter Purifier: Each water purifier survival Filter Straw is designed with a hollow fiber membrane to effectively remove 99% of harmful bacteria at 0.01-micron filtration.
- Long Lifespan: Even though the Water Filter Backpacking Straw is small in size, it boasts a 1500-liter filter capacity so you can enjoy using it for more than a year! Best of all, the package includes two survival water filters so you always have a spare on hand.
Click here to buy a 2 pack of water filter straws:
If you’re hiking places like I am (the desert) you may not have quick access to a water source at all. This is an extra way to be prepared and a great item to add to your list of emergency hiking gear. Not only is this particular water source U.S. Coast Guard approved, it also has a shelf life of years. Can’t beat that.
Click here to buy a pack of 3-day emergency water:
When it comes to emergency hiking gear, this is an all-in-one bracelet. It costs almost nothing and is perfect to have for everyone in your hiking group/family.
PSA: I have freakishly small wrists for an adult, so I bought the kid’s size and it fits me perfectly. The times I don’t even wear mine, I simply clip it to the outside of my backpack, instead.
- 5-IN-1 SURVIVAL TOOL: a complete paracord survival bracelet that includes: High-Quality Compass. Flint Fire Starter. Fire Scrapper, use it also as Emergency Knife. Emergency Whistle creates noise levels of up to 100db. Comes with a useful leaflet with instructions, survival tips & ideas.
- TESTED FOR EXCELLENCE: Has been tried & tested to a minimum breaking point of 550lbs/250kg. Deploy your 12 FEET OF PARACORD in any situation where an extremely strong rope or cordage is needed. Use it as a trap, make a shelter, or use one of the finer seven inner strands as fire tinder, fishing line, or sewing string.
Click here to buy one for each member of the family (comes in a pack of 2):
5. SELF DEFENSE KEYCHAINS
These can be considered emergency gear in many situations. Bonus points: they’re awesome. They also come in a pack of 5, so you can put them in multiple places. They are great for hiking, home, car, keychain, etc.
Can we also take a second to appreciate this company’s marketing strategy:
Don’t worry, I laughed too.
Click here to buy a 5-pack:
There’s not much more I hate in this world than being cold. My desert blood begins to freeze at temperatures under 70 degrees. That’s why when it comes to emergency hiking gear, I pack emergency blankets, an emergency tent, and an emergency sleeping bag. I want to be sure I don’t leave this world not being able to feel my face.
- FOUR THERMAL EMERGENCY BLANKETS – 4 Extra-large advanced dual-sided aluminized emergency blanket.
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE – Emergency blanket can be kept everywhere – in your car emergency kit, roadside emergency kit, survival kit, first aid kit, bug out bag, zombie survival kit, camping gear.
- EMERGENCY USE – Designed to retain up 90% of your body heat, completely block rain, snow and moisture.
Click here to buy a pack of 4 emergency thermal blankets:
Speaking of not being cold, this tiny and lightweight sleeping bag is a no-brainer for emergency hiking equipment.
- 【MULTIFUNCTIONAL KIT】 7’x3’ Big enough for 2 adults, equipped with 120 decibels survival whistle, metal carabiner and nylon drawstring bag, tackles all outdoor emergency demand in hiking, fishing, climbing, boating, hunting and more. The 550lb Parachute Cord can be used to secure or repair gear, build an emergency shelter, or start a fire.
- 【ALWAYS BE PREPARED】 Super compact for backpacking or camping, 5.7oz lightweight and folds down to 4″×2.8″×2.8″, even can hold in your palm, takes little space in your bug-out bag or your car for the unexpected! Prepare yourself for the emergency situations with minimal burden.
Click here to purchase this emergency sleeping bag:
- 【YOUR IDEAL SURVIVAL SOLUTION】 Bearhard Tracker Series is designed to serve as an emergency tube tent, survival bivy sack, and thermal emergency blanket all-in-one, featured with its premium Mylar material and complete attachments, it gives you the confidence to survive in an emergency or outdoor extreme conditions like hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, wildfire, etc.
- 【ALWAYS BE PREPARED】 Super compact for backpacking or camping, 0.8lb lightweight and folds down to 8″×3″×3″, takes little space in your bug-out bag or the trunk of your car for the unexpected! Prepare yourself for emergency situations.
Click here to buy this tiny, lightweight wonder:
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started to run out of daylight while I’m hiking. That sun creeps down faster than you expect sometimes, especially in the colder months. Never find yourself in the dark unexpectedly without this emergency hiking gear: A HEADLAMP.
- 【Super Bright & 8 Working Modes】The headlamp consists of 8 LED bulbs and is powered by 1500mAh rechargeable batteries which can provide a stronger bright. 4 color modes: high, low, all, and SOS strobe and the other 4 auxiliary light mode low, red light, and SOS strobe.
- 【IPX4 Water-Resistant & Long lifetime】 The LED headlamp is IPX4 waterproof that can provide it with water-resistance. The LED bulbs have a long service life, you should never need to change them.
Click here to buy this sick contraption:
Okay, if you literally only choose one item off this list, this should be it.
(Also, please don’t pick one item. Unless getting lost outdoors and almost freezing to death is your thang)
When I had my terrifying hiking experience, my phone was dead.
Had it not died, even if I didn’t have service, I would’ve had easy access to the heatmaps I had downloaded from the AllTrails app, which would’ve easily guided me back out from where I was.
I also could have used the emergency features on the iPhone to call for help.
Emergency hiking gear must-have: PACK A PORTABLE CHARGER.
Click here to buy this portable charger that packs a real punch:
And last, but certainly not least, remember this:
Just because you’re hiking prepared doesn’t mean you can’t look freaking awesome doing it.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on emergency gear!
Happy (safe) trailblazing!