Looking for new hiking essentials to pack for your next adventure? – Let´s have a look inside my hiking backpack.

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Best Hiking Gear for Adventure Lovers

Hiking in Spain

How I got into hiking

To begin with, hiking was never a part of my childhood, and at least half of my 10+ expat years in Spain were hiking-free.

However, the strict lockdown of 2019 has changed everything. The severe restrictions in Spain made us all search for different travel ideas, to go beyond landmarks or restaurants (which were all closed). So, together with my husband and kids, we began exploring Top Spanish National Parks, and this is how the hiking culture slowly started to absorb us all.

With every new trip, we liked walks in nature more and more. It all got us to the point of a current family tradition – hiking every Saturday (well, almost every…). Unplug somewhere altogether as a family, what could possibly feel better?!

I try to embrace hiking with my kids because it´s the best way to disconnect and recharge: time spent outdoors is a sort of free therapy. Plus, the little ones learn that you do not always need to pay lots of money to keep visiting new places and fueling your wanderlust – nature is out there, available to anyone.

So, today hiking is already an essential part of my healthy lifestyle.

Even a walk to the nearest park could feel like the adventure of a lifetime. The Retiro Park in Christmas Madrid with its foggy vibes, Alameda de Cervantes Park in Soria with its endless greenery, and Jardines de Turia in Valencia with its unique design – all these places were not even in the plans for any of the Spanish city breaks. So, even within the big cities, you can always find cute corners of greenery and have contact with nature.

All the hikes of Valencia or Castellon were discovered only within an hour of driving from our home. Not to mention places like Jardin D´Albarda in Denia, where a spontaneous stop on the road to Formentera, simply ended up on my list of the most beautiful Spanish gardens.

So, keep your eyes open, search for new places to explore, pack the right hiking essentials, and you are all set for a new adventure.

Inspiring books on hiking

If you are a beginner-level hiker and need an extra dose of inspiration, you might find handy these books: 100 Hikes of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Scenic Trails, Wanderlust: A Hiker’s Companion, Lonely Planet Epic Hikes of the World, The Hiking Logbook, Pocket-sized Experience Hiking Book, Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival, and The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way.

Hiking in castellon valencia spain
Hiking in Castellon, Spain – Senda Botanica de Calduch

Where to shop for hiking gear

My favorite place to shop premium, stylish sportswear in Europe is The Sports Edit, although many of the brands I suggest in this post are also available on Amazon.

My hiking adventures

You can follow my hiking adventures on Tiktok @lifestyle_roads and IG Highlights Hiking.

My popular blog posts on hiking include 10+ Most Epic Hikes in Spain Everyone Should Try, The Coolest Hikes in Valencia, and 10+ Epic Hikes in Castellon You Can´t Miss.

My dream hikes in Spain

Even though I keep discovering unique Spanish hikes every year, there are still quite a few of them left on my Spain Bucking list. So, you can totally expect to read about these on the blog in the near future:

My current hiking essentials

Let´s talk about my hiking gear – here is a quick list of my hiking essentials.

hiking essentials guide for beginners
Some of my favorite hiking essentials

Water bottle

Staying hydrated is one of my top healthy habits. To embrace it on any occasion I own a cute collection of bottles to fit any bag and travel plan. My current favorite is this flat water bottle: this shape is ideal for tossing in any purse, bag, or briefcase, plus I just love how it looks.

Whenever I need to pack extra light I pick a collapsible water bottle. These hardly take up any space, so it´s usually one of my must-have travel essentials for packing light. I like STOJO Collapsible Travel Cup, STOJO Collapsible Water Bottle, and also have Nomader BPA Free Collapsible Sports Water Bottle.

In winter, I love drinking warm lemon water and herbal teas while on the go. So, Klean Kanteen Reflect works perfectly – it stays warm longer than any normal water bottle. For road trips (when I usually have more space for extras) I enjoy taking with me a Tea Tumbler with Infuser. Also, I’ve been recently thinking of getting a new Crystal Water bottle to be able to experiment with my drinks even more.

I’ve heard that many avid hikers use Water Bladder, but I feel like it won’t be comfortable for me, so still not convinced to get one. Portable filters might also be handy on the go, like Straw Water Filter or Katadyn BeFree, especially if you are not sure about water quality while refilling your bottle.

Comfortable clothing

Wearing comfortable clothing always elevates my hiking experience. My favorites are Alo Yoga Women’s High Waist Cargo Legging and Darn Tough Socks.

For trips to the Pyrenees, I love having with me a Thermal Underwear Set, Benton Springs Full Zip, BUFF EcoStretch Neck Gaiter, and Switchback Lined Long Jacket. I rarely wear waterproof pants here, in Spain, but for hiking in Iceland and Ireland it was a must-have (as well as a packable raincoat).

Since lately we are hiking a lot with kids on short and easy trails – you will often see me wearing simple sports shoes. But for more challenging trails I like Salomon Waterproof Hiking Boots, and thinking of getting new ones from KEEN. My husband also has Salomon Hiking Boots, and he also loves hiking sandals from Merell.

Hats are also a must on the go. I often pick them simply based on color or design, but for Camino de Santiago I will take Waterproof Hiking Safari Cap or Wencal Summer Outdoor Waterproof Cap.

Hiking family spain
Hiking with my parents and kids in Benicassim

Backpack

None of the other hiking essentials are valid unless you have somewhere to store them. There’s no hike without a hiking backpack. While most of my recent hikes are easy walks, I love Eastpak. We often start our hikes in Valencia with a nice mid-morning snack almuerzo in one of the local bars, so I prefer wearing sports clothes vs. professional hiking gear.

But for the Camino de Santiago walk or the Pyrenees I would bring with me either Osprey Talon Backpack or Salomon Unisex Trailblazer. Note, that a professional backpack should have a waist belt (so that you can carry 80% of weight around your waist), compartments to make packing easier, and a water reservoir space is also a nice addition.

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First aid kit & Other beauty travel essentials

Getting a Compact First Aid Kit is a must (especially Moleskin Padding Strips and Liquid Bandage Spray). But I also love having in my backpack a few travel beauty essentials.

My beauty must-haves are:

My hiking essentials travel
Alo Yoga body and pants ( you can get them via The Sports Edit or Amazon)

Snacks

I mostly bring snacks for the kids. But if we plan longer hikes, I love having something for myself as well.

Usually, I get snacks in Spain on Naturitas. For instance, Toasted Nori Snack, Coconut snacks or chips, chocolate toasts, mango slices, or rice cakes. I almost always bring fresh fruits. As you might know from my post about Spanish Sundays, my father-in-law has a countryside house with lots of fruit trees, so we are often stocked with seasonal fruits for free.

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One of the most important parts of contact with nature is leaving no trace. I always bring a trash zip lock back to throw food wrapping out once I get back home. So I always have with me Compostable Trash Bags, or depending on the food Compostable SANDWICH Resealable Zip Bags.

Trekking Poles

Collapsible Trekking Poles is a great investment if you enjoy walks with nature.

It´s one of my husband´s top hiking essentials. As for me, I currently have someone from the kids holding my hand during the hike, so I stopped bringing the poles. But hope to get back to using them once the little ones grow older.

Camera & Tripod

These days a good smartphone often doubles for my Canon EOS 700D, yet most of my beautiful pictures we still taken with the camera.

I also have a Go Pro, which still regret leaving at home back when I tried one of the most adventurous things to do in Spain, a zipline Tirolina Valle de Tena.

For taking pictures of the whole family, I try to bring my tripod. It´s also a handy tool for making videos for social media.

Keep in mind, that if you plan to take pictures/videos with your phone or use navigation, you should really watch out for your battery, since it will drain much quicker than normal. To ensure that you won’t stay without communication, bring with you a power bank, like Mophie or Anker Portable Charger Powerstation.

Also, a Waterproof Cell Phone Case might be helpful to keep using your phone on a rainy day

If you have any other cool hiking essentials – please, let me know in the comments below.

My top hiking essentials

For more Spain travel tips and itineraries check my Pinterest boards Best of Spain and Spain Travel Collection.

at lifestyle crossroads travel blog resources
  • Accommodation: For short stays, I usually book via Agoda, Booking, and Hotellook
  • Tours&excursions: My favorites for guided tours are GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook
  • Museums&attractions: Get mobile tickets for attractions via Tiqets (use ATC5 code for a 5% discount via this link)
  • Semi-private & private tours: LivTours is my favorite place for unique & crafted experiences in Europe
  • For Foodies: Eatwith is a unique platform for finding culinary experiences with locals around the world
  • Audio guides: Book audio excursions & tours in 35+ countries via WeGoTrip
  • Flights: Find the best deals with Skyscanner, WayAway, and Kiwi
  • Driving in a new country? – Check out Tripiamo guides (do not miss Tripiamo Driving in Spain Guide)
  • Train&bus tickets: Currently, I book via Trainline, Busbud, and Omio
  • Car rental: To find the best deals, I use Rental Cars and Discover Cars
  • Top E-Sim: GigSky helps me to avoid roaming fees and provides connectivity everywhere (even on a cruise ship)
  • Internet Security on the road: Connect safely to public Wi-Fi and bypass censorship with NordVPN
  • Transfers: For individual transfer services, I like GetTransfer and Kiwitaxi
  • Suitcases&Luggage: Discover where to store your luggage on the go with Radical Storage
  • Travel Insurance: Find the best trip insurance plans via VisitorsCoverage and EKTA
  • Compensation for delayed/canceled flights: Check out AirHelp and Compensair
  • Valencia Tours: Get an extra 5% off any Valencia&Go tour with the code crossroads5
  • Renting Bikes: To find motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles, I use BikesBooking
  • Package Tours: Head to CheapOairExpedia, and Tourhub
  • For Bloggers: To monetize my blog, I work with Travelpayouts and Stay22