Which Wallet Is Best to Use While Hiking?

by Ryan Popoff December 27, 2017

We all know the importance of exercise, but if you're like me, it becomes harder the older you get. I can't just go outside and play a game of ball with my friends like I could when I was a teenager. I've written before about the benefits of hiking. It's self-paced, which means that it's easy to get into, and where I live trails are plentiful and beautiful. Geocaching makes hiking into an adventure--a treasure hunt of sorts--and gives an end-goal on days my attention might otherwise fail me.

Of course, needs while hiking are different than day-to-day needs. I like having a wallet on me while I hike. Though I never intend to get lost, it's nice to know that if I do I have my ID, a credit card, and some emergency cash on hand. That being said, part of hiking is embracing minimalism. It's hard to feel you're one with nature with a bulging wallet sticking out of your back pocket, and no one wants to worry about their wallet falling out when climbing a rough trail. So what is the best wallet to use while hiking? Below, I'll go over three type of wallets that could be taken hiking and the pros and cons of each.


Front Pocket Wallet

The Front Pocket Wallet

The front pocket wallet is designed to be slim enough to fit in your front pocket rather than your back. The benefits of this while hiking are many. A minimalist wallet is comfortable while hiking, and because it's in your front pocket, there is less of a risk that you will unknowingly drop it on the trail.

Front pocket wallets also have their contents easily accessible, which means that you don't always have to pull them out to get what you need. When you have a walking stick in one hand and a water bottle in the other, accessibility is a valuable commodity.

5 Card Wallet

The Four-or-Five Card Wallet

If you're planning to hike long distances or on unfamiliar trails, you may need more than a couple of cards with you. However,  you're still unlikely to need the full assortment of business cards, gym memberships, and library cards that are stuffed into your day-to-day traditional wallet. In this case, a wallet designed to carry four or five cards and a bit of cash may be the perfect option for you.

These wallets are designed so that one card--typically your photo ID or debit card--is readily accessible on the outside of the wallet while the rest of your cards and any cash you may need is safely ensconced inside the wallet. This provides a good balance of accessibility and security as you're hiking.

Business Card Holder

The Business Card Holder

The business card holder, though designed specifically to hold business cards in each of its two pockets, could be perfect if your goal is only to carry a photo ID and a credit card in case of emergency. Its bi-fold design means that the cards would be tucked inside the wallet and you wouldn't have to worry that they might fall out while you're hiking the trails, and it maintains a minimalist design. Having one card in each pocket wouldn't stretch the material, so it could still be used for business cards afterwards. If you do business during the week and hike on weekends, a business card holder may be the perfect investment for you as it could be used for dual purposes.

Clearly there are a number of options available when choosing a wallet to take hiking with you. In my experience, the front pocket wallet best meets my needs while hiking, but your individual needs may vary. The four-or-five card wallet may be better for longer hikes, and the business card holder's dual-purpose design may make it a good investment, especially if you worry about your cards sliding out of the front pocket wallet.

Ryan Popoff
Ryan Popoff


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