A Check-List for Day Hikers

A Check-List for Day Hikers

These are the ten most important things to bring on a day hike. Following this list will keep you safe and happy on any adventure. ​



Your compass and map are the most vital pieces of equipment to getting around, assuming you don't want to use your mobile phone. In that case, the All Trails app is an excellent hi-tech solution for the modern hiker. Be sure to pack a power bank to supplement your battery power. Of course, you might want to escape technology.

Even so, we still suggest you bring a phone with you in any situation, even if you don't want to turn it on unless there's an emergency. ​


Without the perils of nature, what's the point in hiking at all? That's also why a good headlamp is an asset for climbers and hikers who don't want to be caught in a sudden swell of mist or cloud cover. Or suppose you get delayed during an unexpected detour. The more remote your destination, the more crucial it becomes to pack a high-lumen headlamp. ​

Sun Protection​

A sun-hat and a pair of sunglasses are both reasonably obvious summer necessities but don't forget to pack them. You don't want to look ten years older than you are, due to sun exposure.

First Aid Kit​

​Just about any outdoor or convenience store will sell you an excellent comprehensive first aid kit. Make sure you know how to use bandages and make a sling in case of an emergency. To this, we'll add waterproof matches and a knife, as well as a space blanket. These will all come in handy if you get caught in the wilderness for an unexpectedly long time.​

Hydration and Energy Snacks​​

Pack plenty of hydration, extra snacks, and something to add electrolytes back into your body. We like using a refillable bladder-bag that can fit snugly into your backpack and comes with a tube for easy drinking. You may want to throw in an "emergency back up" water bottle into your bag, just in case. Energy bars are more comfortable to digest than sandwiches for lunch, and they won't make you sluggish. There are lots of options from tabs to powders that add electrolytes into your water, as well as a tasty flavor.

The Right Clothing​

Science has a solution for keeping hikers and athletes dry and cool. Wicking fabric is that solution, and it's an absolute necessity in any hiker's wardrobe. Be sure the shirt you're wearing is made from wicking fabric before you head out. ​

A Buff UV headband will ensure the sweat stays out of your face while doubling as a napkin during lunchtime.​​

Also, look for the most durable quick-dry shorts to help you weather many hikes to come. ​

It's also best not to skimp on the most essential item: a good pair of hiking boots. Your feet will thank you later. ​

Some Things to Leave in Your Car​

Your feet will also thank you if you have a pair of sandals waiting for them back in the car. A coffee thermos filled before you leave for your hike, or a stop at a local coffee shop after the hike, goes down like a real treat on the road home.

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