The equipment the leader and others should carry depends on the type and location of the hike. The following items would be suitable for the average wilderness or semi-wilderness hike:

  • Sign up sheet
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Matches or lighter, plus fire starter (a tube of fire starter paste, a candle, or something to help light a fire under wet conditions to warm an injured participant - cotton balls soaked in yellow petroleum jelly and stuffed into 35mm film containers are good for starting a fire in wet conditions)
  • Extra food
  • Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Extra clothing
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Extra water
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency blanket
  • Pen and paper
  • Watch
  • Small tarp
  • Plastic trash bags (for use as an emergency substitute for rain gear).

Optional items include a cell phone, water purification tablets, antihistamines in case of allergic reactions (e.g., to wasp stings), liniment for sprains or muscle pains, GPS equipment, an insulating pad to sit on. Do not rely too much on radios or cell phones as they have a tendency not to work under certain conditions. The above items ought to be carried by all participants for safety and comfort, but are especially important in the case of the leader. The only item unique to the leader is the sign-up sheet. Other safety measures may be appropriate depending on the event.