Day hikes are full of adventure, fresh air, and exercise. However, to make the most out of your trip, you need to be prepared. This includes bringing all the necessary items you might need for hiking. Find below a checklist that covers precisely what you need to put in your hiking bag so you can focus on taking in the beautiful outdoors.
Preparation can go a long way and can be the difference between a difficult experience and a great, memorable one.
One of the essential items when going on a hike is to have a comfortable, easy-to-carry hiking daypack. By having a good daypack you can focus on the journey.
If you intend to hike over multiple days, a larger backpack with multiple compartments and plenty of storage is a must.
First Aid Kit
Wherever you are but especially when hiking on trails, first aid kits can save your life. Whether it’s sharp rocks, a fall, or a bite, a first aid kit is an essential item to include in your back. Make sure before leaving that everything in your kit is upd= to date and the contents aren’t expired or old.
If things go wrong or you get lost, it’s important to have some kind of shelter as temperatures can drop a surprising amount when the sun goes down. A sleeping back is an amazing item to have on a hike as it’ll help keep you warm and you can tie one to the outside of your pack so as to not take up any extra space.
If you are hiking overnight a camping tent is essential. You’ll want a tent for a warm, safe place to sleep and for safe storage of your gear from any wildlife or weather. With the technology nowadays, tents are designed to be lightweight, durable, and compact while still protecting from rain and wind.
Food and Water
It is very important to bring water and some calories dense foods (including energy bars, fruit, and nuts) in your pack when going hiking, even if it’s only for a short time. The high calories foods will help keep you energised and bring plenty of water for hydration especially in a hot or humid climate as heat exhaustion is very real. Water is the most important thing you can bring on a hike and I recommend using a 3L water bottle for easy use.
Some form of navigation is recommended on each hike, the most reliable being a compass or physical map which you can print out online or stop by your park’s HQ.
If you’ll be hiking late or overnight a headlamp will be an important piece of equipment. The advantages of having a headlamp oven using your phone are you are hands-free and don’t have to worry about your phone running out of battery.
A fire starter is a great tool to include in your backpack to be able to make a fire when and if needed while also taking up minimal space.
It’s always smart to include sunscreen in your pack regardless of the weather, along with sunglasses and a hat.
Swiss Army Knife
You may face many obstacles on your journey and having a trusty, versatile tool like a swiss army knife can be very beneficial, from opening a can of beans, fixing a loose screw on your glasses, removing a thorn, and much more.
A gust of wind can rip a small hole in your tent or you may put your backpack down on a nasty thorn. Tenacious tape is a durable, waterproof repair tape used to fix rips, holes, and tears. It’s a lifesaver to have and takes up very little space.
A digital camera is a great addition to your backpack, allowing you to capture photos of the wildlife, landscape, and any special moments you want to be able to go back and relive. I love to bring my Sony a7 iii mirrorless camera with me to capture amazing photos.
While sometimes there might not be much of a signal on the trails, your phone needs to stay charged in case you need to use it for an emergency or to take photos. A USB power bank can give your phone that extra battery when needed or can even be used for your camera.
Having a quick-cooking system makes preparing meals much easier and more convenient. It can boil water in just seconds that can be used to rehydrate dried foods or mixed with instant foods, and best of all it’s super light in weight.