The Beginner’s Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer

Four people hiking in scenic hills.

Take on the trails and get roaming this summer—sustainably. Regardless of whether you are a novice hiker or a veteran on the trails, having the best hiking gear will help you get through your journey. From hiking shoes to on-the-go snacks, these sustainable hiking essentials are kind to the planet.

Get the Best Hiking Gear: 10 Sustainable Products

You can’t take on the trails without a comfortable pair of hiking shoes, a few tasty snacks, and a durable water bottle (no plastic here, please). Get ready for some adventure, served on the rocks. Here’s our beginner’s guide to the best hiking gear for summer.

Best hiking gear, sustainable hiking gear, vegan hiking gear
The Forsake Thatcher Low is completely waterproof and suitable for pavement and trail alike. | Forsake

Forsake Thatcher Low

You’ll want to walk a mile in these sustainable trail shoes. Available in colors aqua and stone, the Thatcher Low is well-suited for all of your outdoor, hiking adventures. The low-top, waterproof shoes feature the company’s signature Peak-to-Pavement outsole, which provides traction strong enough for the trail. 

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
Hoka uses 90 percent sustainable materials. | Hoka

Hoka One Women’s Arkali

The Arkali shoes by Hoka One feature hiking boot engineering, climbing shoe technology, and running shoe innovation to keep the wearer ready for any type of terrain. 

And the company is big on being gentle on the planet. It joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2016; the sustainable initiative features more than 9,500 companies that must submit an annual statement of progress. Hoka One also established its own sustainability goals in regards to reducing waste, water usage, energy consumption, and chemical waste. The company also uses 90 percent sustainable materials.

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
The Ethnotek Travel Daypack is vegan, water resistant, and made with recycled bottles. | Ethnotek.

Ethnotek Travel Daypack

Compact. Water resistant. Vegan. Need we say more? This backpack by Ethnotek combines sustainability and functionality. It’s made with 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and contains fabric and organic textiles obtained from partnering artisans in Accra, Ghana.

It features double side straps for fastening loose items, an external water bottle holder, and contoured shoulder straps to help minimize strain on the neck and shoulders. Ethnotek is also transparent about who makes its products: it features a section detailing who made each item..

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
Bamboo makes these stripey socks from Cariloha both sustainable and moisture wicking. | Cariloha

Cariloha Bamboo Striped Ankle Socks 

What’s a proper hiking boot without a comfy pair of socks? Cariloha’s ankle socks are made with 62 percent viscose from bamboo and 28 percent organic cotton. The bamboo socks feature arch support and are naturally odor-resistant and moisture-wicking. That’s right, your feet won’t get hot and sweaty on the trails.

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
Tentree plants ten trees for every product sold, including this 100 percent cotton bucket hat. | Tentree

Tentree Bucket Hat

Keep the sun off of your face. Made with 100 percent organic cotton, Tentree’s bucket hat is as sustainable as it is stylish. And your purchase will help reforestation efforts. The Earth-friendly apparel brand plants ten trees for every product sold. To date, Tentree has planted more than 57,600,000 trees. The brand also uses sustainable materials, including wood pulp fiber, recycled polyester, and hemp. 

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
All the materials that go into this Patagonia fanny pack are recycled, including the body, lining, and webbing. | Patagonia

Patagonia Black Hole Waist Pack

Keep your keys, snacks, and phone at your hips. If you’re traveling light, you can forgo the backpack for Patagonia’s utility waist pack. Available in four colors—black, navy, blue, and pumice—it’s made with 100 percent recycled body fabric, lining and webbing. 

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
The Kor water bottle with built-in straw and filter means fresh water wherever your feet take you. | Kor

Kor Water Built-In Straw Water Bottle With Filter

Filtered water, on-the-go. Founded in 2008, the company is on a mission to make single-use plastic a thing of the past. Kor Water’s water bottle features a coconut filter made from 100 percent pure coconut shell. The BPA- and toxin-free bottle makes having clean water anywhere a breeze. 

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
Vega make a wide variety of protein bars, powders, and supplements. all of which are vegan. | Vega

Vega Sport Protein Bar

No best hiking gear guide is complete without snacks. This plant-based protein brand carries more than just powders. Fuel your hike with the brand’s protein snack bar. Featuring 10 grams of protein and 4 to 5 grams of fiber, the chocolate peanut butter bar will keep your stomach happy on the toughest of trails. 

And Vega is committed to eco-friendly business practices. The company’s cocoa is certified sustainable. It also sources certified sustainable palm kernel oil, an ingredient used in the brand’s bar coating. Vega also uses 96 percent post-consumer recycled plastic in its packaging, which helps to divert more than 3,000 tons of waste from waste streams.

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
Barnana produces several vegan snack options and uses upcycled ingredients. | Barnana

Barnana Original Banana Bites

A sustainable snack made from upcycled fruit? Now that’s bananas. Barnana carries a variety of plantain chips, grain-free tortilla chips, banana bites, and other healthy snacks—many of which are vegan. Barnana’s banana bites are made from organic bananas it saves from going to waste. The bites are dehydrated and then coated with various ingredients for a scrumptious snack with every bite. The original bites feature only two ingredients: organic bananas and organic banana powder. (*Adds to cart.*)

The Beginner's Guide to the Best Hiking Gear for Summer
Sun & Swell cashews are raw, ethically sourced, and come in compostable packaging. | Sun & Swell

Sun & Swell Organic Raw Cashew Pieces

Cashews, anyone? Sun & Swell’s 100 percent organic raw coconut pieces are trail-approved. Stash them in your daypack for a nutritious snack on the go. The company ethically sources the cashews from Brazil, before packaging them in 100 percent compostable wrapping. (You can munch on this snack guilt-free because it only takes 90 days for the bag to decompose.) We’ll take two, please!

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