If you’re relatively new to hiking, then you’ll no doubt be looking to do a day hike or two. With that in mind, there are a few things you’ll need to bring with you to ensure you have a comfortable hike.
First of all, a small backpack is essential. You could probably get away with a non-hiking backpack, however, most day packs have several pockets to hold all your gear. as well as a few other features that make it more efficient than your regular backpack.
My daypack is a Denali Hydro Ridge Hydration pack which has two storage compartments as well as side mesh pockets. The hydration bladder that comes with it isn’t the best, so if you already have one then use that instead.
Food & Water
A pretty obvious one. Regardless of how long you are heading out for, in my opinion, you should always take at least 2 litres of water with you and plenty of food. Bottles of water are more than suitable, however, if you’re really keen on hiking more regularly you might evolve into hydration bladders or something similar.
I take a 3 litre Source Hydration bladder with me wherever I go. It’s efficient and I can take 3 litres of water with me even if I know I probably may not drink it all. It’s my belief that you can never have too much water with you.
Some sort of first aid kit should be the first item you put in your backpack before you head out. In fact, it should always be in your backpack. You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy a pre-made kit.
Put together what you feel is necessary and over time what you include will evolve.
Some of the items I include in mine are:
- Band-Aids or blister pads
- Elastoplast tape
- Wet Wipes
- Hydrolyte sachets
- Antiseptic cream
This will all depend on the weather that awaits you. If I know it’s going to be cool where I’m going, then I’ll always pack a fleece jumper. Obviously, if you know it could potentially rain then a rain jacket will be required. There is nothing worse than getting out there, have the weather turn on you and not have the right gear with you.
This is particularly important if you don’t know the area that well. You may not need to bring a compass with you, but at the very least you should bring a map of the where you are going.
You might also want to let someone know where you’re going on your day hike and give them a copy of the map as well.
Other Bits & Pieces
- Hiking poles are handy for hills as well as testing the depth of any rivers or streams you might come across.
- Portable battery for when you need to charge your phone or camera.
- A good pair of socks; preferably merino. Refrain from wearing cotton as it holds onto moisture and can create blisters.
Is there something I’ve missed here for a day hike gear list? Or perhaps there is something you like to bring with you on your day hikes? Either way, let me know in the comments section below.