Top 12 must-have gear items for Safe and Comfortable Hiking

Autumn is an awesome time of the year for going on a few hikes, as it’s not too hot and in most areas of SA, the rain will have subsided.

Even if you’re a seasoned hiker, it’s always a good idea to review some of the do’s and don’ts before heading out.

Some Do’s

  • Plan your Trip.
  • Tell someone close to you where you’re going.
  • Check the conditions on the day (not a week beforehand, as a lot can change – especially if you’re headed to the Drakensberg).
  • Wear the right boots.
  • Dress in layers so you can take clothes off when you get too hot and put them back on if the weather cools down.
  • Pack enough water but don’t overdo it – remember, liquids get heavy after a while, so pack only as much as you think you’ll need.
  • Pack some snacks to munch along the way.
  • Get some training in beforehand.
  • Pace yourself on the day and get into an easy rhythm.
  • Take a raincoat that can be packed compactly to conserve space.

Some Don’ts

  • Don’t hike alone – and make sure you’re not left behind after rest stops.
  • Never wander off the trail.
  • Don’t play loud music, or wear headphones while walking.
  • Let the people you’re with know if you are suffering from any medical condition.
  • Plan your route so you don’t end up hiking in the dark.
  • If you have to answer a call from nature, steer clear of the trail and keep at least 200m from any streams or water sources.
  • Don’t eat wild plants or fruits that you encounter along the way.
  • Be respectful of any wildlife in the area.
  • No littering – take everything that you wish to discard back with you.
  • Refrain from trying to take photographs while walking – stop, aim and take the shot before moving on.

Respect the hikers’ rules

  • if you’re going downhill, you must always yield to hikers coming uphill towards you.
  • If you’re in a small group, give way to larger groups.
  • Passing rules: keep to the left, pass on the right.
  • Give the person in front of you verbal warning that you would like to pass them before overtaking them.


An excellent source of equipment for hiking is the one-stop outdoor adventure, security, self-defence and clothing store, Boys Toys. If you sign up for their newsletter, they will share their Special Offers for the month and they have an online store, so you can browse through their catalogues and order online.

Here are some suggestions for the avid hiker:

Nordiske Small Assault Bag Coyote

  • Highly Versatile
  • Bladder Compatible
  • Water Resistant Lining
  • Various Internal Pockets
  • Shoulder and Waist Straps
  • All-round MOLLE System
  • D-buckle Retainer
  • 600D PVC
  • Durable
  • YKK Zippers
  • Duraflex Buckles



Nordiske Bladder Inner 2.5l Olive

  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane
  • 2.5L
  • Antimicrobial
  • Compatible in any bladder pouch/pocket



Merrell Erie Mid LTR WP Ladies

A heritage-inspired hiker, built for modern adventures. The clean leather upper is durable and protective, and the soft foam midsole cradles the foot for long days on your feet.

  • Waterproof membrane seals out water and lets moisture escape
  • Waterproof full grain leather upper
  • Metal hook traditional lace closure
  • Bellows tongue keeps out debris
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Kinetic Fit™ BASE removable contoured insole for flexible support
  • Moulded nylon arch shank
  • Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
  • Lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort



Merrell Forestbound Mid Mens Hiking Boots

Go forth and conquer in the Merrell Forestbound mid waterproof hiking boot, this protective pack-ready leather mid waterproof hiker is built with cushion for comfort during your longest hikes.

  • Waterproof PU coated leather and mesh upper
  • Protective die cut rubber rand and toe cap
  • M Select™ FRESH antimicrobial agents reduces shoe odour
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Kinetic Fit™ BASE insole is contoured like your foot and provides flexible
  • Waterproof membrane seals out water and lets moisture escape
  • Waterproof coated leather and mesh upper
  • Metal hook traditional lace closure
  • Bellows tongue keeps out debris
  • Protective toe cap
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Kinetic Fit™ BASE removable contoured insole for flexible support
  • moulded nylon arch shank
  • Lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort



SAWYER SP128 Mini Water Filter Kit

Weighing only 60g, the Sawyer MINI is rated to 0.1 micron absolute, and filters up to 300 000 litres, 30 times more than comparable filters.

Ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and international travel and emergency preparedness, the MINI removes all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, leptospirosis, and E.coli; and protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

It attaches to a drinking pouch, standard disposable bottles (28 mm thread), and hydration packs, or you can use the straw to drink directly from your water source.

  • Exceeds EPA standards.
  • No cartridges to replace.

Kit Includes:

1 – Sawyer MINI Water Filter with Tip Cap
2 – Reusable Squeeze Pouches
1 – Drinking Straw
1 – Cleaning Plunger (Syringe)



550 Neon Orange 7strand Paracord 100ft

Paracord is one of the most versatile cords on the planet. It's high-tech materials and construction enables it to be smooth, lightweight, strong, and compact. With an incredible 550 lb tensile strength, paracord can easily perform tasks and jobs that other similar cords cannot.

  • Diameter - 5/32"- 4 mm
  • 7 Strand Core - 8 lines in 1
  • Tensile Strength - 550 lb./249 kg
  • Colour Will Not Run or Bleed
  • UV, Rot, Mildew Resistant
  • Made in the USA



Nordiske First Aid Kit

  • Reliable, practical, durable
  • Multiple inner pockets to keep items organised 
  • Velcro backing to fit onto gear
  • Content: Emergency Blanket, CPR Mouthpiece, Paper Tape, PVC Gloves (Pair), Conforming Bandages (10 x 450cm), Trauma Shears, Gauze Sponges (10 x 10cm)



Rechargeable Induction Headlamp 230 Degree 350L with motion sensor

The USB LED head torch has an intelligent sensor mode that allows you to turn the headlight on or off without pressing a button.

The LED headlamp for jogging or hiking has 5 light modes: COB lamp bright, COB lamp dimmed, torch bright, torch dimmed and flashing mode (activated by long press of the switch).

  • Built-in battery in 1200 mAh lasts a long time, the running headlamp is charged via the included USB charging cable, which can be connected to any current USB socket.
  • With only 2 hours’ charging time, the rechargeable jogging/hiking lamp provides up to 4 - 8 hours of constant light.
  • Super bright headlamp and 230° wide angle lighting
  • The LED head torch can reach up to 350 lumens.
  • The flexible headband can thus create a 230° wide illumination area, on the road or trail, it is completely bright when walking.
  • The USB rechargeable LED headlamp is IPX4 waterproof, it is completely covered with silicone, which protects the light from splashing water from any angle.
  • This 230 LED headlamp is unisex and also suitable for children.



Atka Emergency Whistle

If you can’t be seen – you may be heard!

  • Strong plastic construction with pealess chamber
  • Built-in garment clip and hand lanyard
  • A must have item for all bush walkers, campers and boating enthusiasts
  • Bonus: Nite Ize® two-in-one S-Biner®



Evergreen Super Band

  • The Evergreen Super Band is an insect repelling bracelet that lasts up to 200 hours after the seal is broken.
  • Simply slip onto your wrist or ankle and enjoy a mosquito-free day or night.
  • Recommended for hikers, hunters and those working in the outdoors or travelling to malaria-ridden areas.
  • Non-Toxic, Water Resistant and No Oily Mess



Morakniv Companion Fixed Knife – Military

Companion is used in a huge variety of situations by a range of users: bush crafters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have all discovered the charm of this knife. 

The blade is made of Swedish stainless steel, which makes it easy to maintain and keeps the blade sharper for longer. 
Companion is the perfect knife for an adventure, a real all-round knife. The tang runs three-quarters of the way up the knife, so that you can work with power and precision.

The soft friction grip is made of TPE rubber, making the knife feel secure and steady to work with. The polymer knife sheath includes a practical belt clip so that the knife can be attached to your rucksack or belt – always close at hand.

  • Fixed Blade
  • Sheath with belt clip
  • Blade Material: Swedish Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: TPE rubber
  • Sheath Material: Polymer
  • Weight: 82g (w/o Sheath) ; 116g (w/Sheath)
  • Blade Thickness: 2.0 mm
  • Knife Length: 219 mm
  • Blade Length: 104 mm (4") 
  • Made in Sweden



Magnesium 70mm Flint Fire Starter Kit

  • The flint stone contains magnesium powder.
  • Safe, convenient carrying and durable, it can be used more than 10 000 times.
  • Combustion-supporting material 8 mm in diameter.
  • Starts fire easily and quickly with just some spark.
  • Can be used in most weather or low temperature conditions.
  • Produces a high-heat sparks easily to ignite paper, dry grass or bark.
  • Suitable for military, hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities, and is also good as a survival tool.

Material: flint stone, magnesium stone, iron (scraper)
Flint diameter: 4mm
Flint length: 70mm
Length from head to end: 10cm
Color: Black



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