Day Hiking Tips: Top 10 Essentials for Hiking

Packing for a day hike and not sure what to take? Here is a list of our top 10 essentials for hiking. Note this this is not a definitive list and that it will always vary depending on the season and level of hike. This is a great guideline if you’re not sure where to start!

10 Essentials for Hiking

 1. Navigation

Always have a way to figure out where you are if you accidentally veer off your trail. Navigation essentials can include:

  • A physical map of the area
  • A downloaded offline map or detailed screenshots on your phone
    • Tip: If you’re hiking with a few people, make sure that everyone downloads a map!
  • A compass
    • Tip: Grab a compass on a multi-tool such as our multi-function paracord survival bracelet.

 2. Food

The amount of food will depend on the length of your hike, but it's always a good idea to pack something for an energy boost. Also, a snack always makes for a great reward while you admire the views that you worked so hard to get to! Food essentials can include:

  • Snacks
    • Tip: Nuts, jerky, granola bars and hardboiled eggs make for great snacks at the halfway point
  • Lunch/meal

  3. Hydration

For a day-hike, always have a minimum of 2L of water with you. For longer hikes, have a back-up way to safely drink water if you run out. Hydration essentials can include:

  • Water bottle or water bladder
  • Water filter or water tablets
  • Electrolyte tablets

 4. Sun Protection

The level of sun protection needed will depend on the season and weather, but always be sure to check the forecast before setting out! Sun protection essentials can include:

 5. Animal Deterrents

It’s always best to take the preventative route when it comes to encounters with animals in the wild. Animal deterrent essentials can include:

 6. First Aid

Safely treat any cuts or minor injuries with the appropriate supplies. First aid essentials can include:

 7. Emergency & Survival Gear

Be prepared for a rare emergency and have the tools to stay warm if you need to wait for help to arrives. Emergency & survival gear essentials can include:

  • Whistle
  • Firestarter
  • Flashlight
    • Tip: Solar-powered, hand-crank flashlights are the best type to store in case of emergencies. They don’t have batteries that might degrade from lack of use and you’ll never be caught out if you accidentally forget to charge it.
  • Foil blanket
  • Hand warmers

 8. Personal Hygiene

When you gotta go, you gotta go – need we say more? Personal hygiene essentials can include:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
    • Tip: Going out in nature isn’t as as straightforward as you might think. Learn about the least impactful ways to do your business in nature HERE.

 9. Tools

Have the tools to fix anything on the go including damage to your gear that might prevent it from working properly. Tool essentials can include:

 10. Apparel

Besides the weather-appropriate clothes you decide to wear on the hike, it can be handy to have extra or additional clothing items if any conditions change while you’re out. Apparel essentials can include:

As always, wherever you choose to explore, don't forget to tell somewhere where you're going and respect all current travel restrictions. While you're out, do your part to leave no trace and keep earth wild. #packitinpackitout