Home Culture What to Bring When Hiking: A Guide

What to Bring When Hiking: A Guide

by Chloe Riley
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Summer is here and the sizzling hot temps are in full swing. To help residents enjoy the weather safely and get outside, Hoboken and Jersey City have continued to expand their street closures to provide more space for residents to walk, jog, and bike while maintaining a safe social distance from each other. Alongside these open city spaces, many local restaurants are offering outdoor dining as New Jersey continues to reopen. But if you are looking for an alternative way to enjoy the fresh air and are thinking of checking out one of the many hiking trails nearby, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for a packing list of what to bring when preparing for a day hike near Hoboken + Jersey City {PS: Check out our guide to nearby hiking trails here}. 

hiking hoboken 1

A Backpack

hiking backpack

First and foremost, when prepping for a hike you should bring a backpack {and maybe a friend to carry it}. While we all have grown accustomed to keeping our cellphones in hand, when going for a hike it is best to keep your hands free. A backpack allows the option to catch yourself {or your hiking buddy} with your hands should you lose your footing along the way. 

Read More: Where to Go Hiking Near Hoboken + Jersey City

Hiking Boots or Sneakers

Whether you choose to boulder along the Hudson or take the walking trail, it is best to wear shoes with support. Wear socks that cover the ankles – this will protect from both blisters and bugs. Thinking of investing in hiking boots? Make sure to buy them large enough to fit your foot and wool socks. Also, your feet will thank you later if you break them in before heading out on your hike.

Layered Clothing And A Mask

For day hikes, you don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe {unless, of course, you want to, you do you}. But the best way to avoid getting stuck in a pinch is to pack layers. Hoodies and extra hats are great to protect from the sun and the wind. A poncho is great to use to cover up if it rains. A hand towel is also handy {pun intended} to dry your feet or legs, should you run into any streams, waterfalls, or mud puddles. Finally, it’s a good idea to have your mask with you in case the parking lot or trail is crowded and you cannot safely socially distance by six feet.


water news

Before you leave for your hike, double-check you have your water bottle. While some parks have opened their bathrooms, water fountains are closed and are not safe to drink out of yet. Bringing your own water will ensure you stay hydrated while keeping yourself and others safe in the process.

Food, Snacks, and a Baggie

Even for a short hike, make sure to pack some snacks. Your body is exerting a lot of energy and it is crucial to keep it fueled so you can keep yourself energized and moving. It also gives you an excuse to stop along the way and give yourself a break. Just don’t forget to throw a freezer bag or Tupperware in your backpack to collect your garbage. Always take out what you bring into the trail.

Hand Sanitizer, Handkerchief, or Bandana

With hand sanitizer pretty much glued to all our hips, this one is a no brainer. But it’s also a good idea to throw a handkerchief or bandana into your trusty backpack. Use this as an alternative to sneezing into your hands or touching your face to wipe the sweat.

hiking supplies

Map or Trail Route

Check out a map or tail route ahead of time and download it to your phone. All Trails is a good resource for trail routes and information. Google Maps has also begun to add trails. Just make sure to screenshot or download in case you lose service on your hike. 

See More: All About Organic Basic Food in Hoboken

Sunglasses, Sunscreen, and Lip Balm

It is important to arm yourself with protection against the sun when hiking. In addition to a hat, sunglasses will help prevent skin cancers on the eyelids and premature aging of the delicate skin around your eyes {read wrinkles}. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent.” And your lips can get sunburned too. Pack a lip balm with SPF and make sure to reapply frequently as you are eating, drinking, sweating, and licking your lips throughout the day.

While there are plenty of ways to safely enjoy the outdoors this summer, if you’re heading on a hike, it is best to be prepared.

Have you been on a hiking trail near Jersey City or Hoboken yet? Let us know in the comments!


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