Nothing says mini adventure quite like a day hike. Packing up your bag and heading out into the world. It is thrilling!
But every adventure requires some preparation. It is the key to staying safe and having a good time. That is why I have compiled this list of day hiking must-haves.
1. A Backpack
You are going to need to carry some things with you, so a backpack is a must. You will want to keep it relatively small too, otherwise it will wear you out. Some of our recommendations are the RMU 15 L Backpack, or The Peregrine 25 L Vanga Pack if you need slightly more space.
Make sure that it is comfortable and big enough to fit the rest of the essentials that I am about to list below. And maybe a camera too. You wouldn’t want to miss a photo opportunity.
What to look for in a hiking backpack?
If you are going on a longer hike then it is important to emphasize that your backpack fits comfortably, and does not constrict your posture. An ideal backpack will have adjustable, and breathable straps. As well as chest straps to maximize comfort and reduce the risk of injuring your back.
We highly recommend choosing a backpack that can hold a water or hydration bladder. They are very convenient if you are hiking with others in a group. The water Bladder will make it so you do not have to pause to take a drink of water, and avoid getting left behind! Or, more than likely... holding the group back every time you need to re-hydrate. Nobody wants to be the slow poke!
2. All-weather clothing
Don't get caught out. Make sure that you have the right clothing for the weather that you are heading out in, and some spares, in case the weather changes whilst you are out.
When you are in the wilderness it critical to prepare for the unexpected. It is highly recommended to check the weather forecast and anticipate the possibility of any inclement weather.
Should the weather turn for worse, hikers often run the chance of getting caught in a storm, or extreme heat in some cases. Dressing in layers is great idea so you can add or subtract layers based on the conditions as they fluctuate.
We also recommend bringing an emergency shelter or an emergency blanket with you in the event you get too cold, or an injury prevents you from returning, and you are forced to sleep overnight on the trail. This would be the worst case scenario of course.
Layers and a waterproof are my go-to. But think about what you will need, as well as your family. Particularly if you are heading out with kids.
3. Water & food
Staying hydrated and energized are a must. Ensure that you have more than enough food and drink with you for everyone in your party. If it is hot, pack extra water. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a gallon of water per person that is on the hike. Again a great way to transport this amount of water is by using a water bladder that clips into your backpack for easy packing.
A good way to manage this extra weight is to make everyone carry their own supplies. Even my two-year-old must carry her own food and drink when we are out. Don’t worry she loves it!
What kinds of food should I pack for my hike?
- Almonds or trail mix
- Boiled eggs
- Peanut butter and jelly Sandwich
- Granola Bars
- Salami and Cheese
- Soup/ Stew ( In thermos)
- Sunflower seeds
- Freeze dried meals
For some great on the trail meal ideas check out the Mont Y Boca Trail Meals Cookbook.
4. First aid kit
You never know what might happen so you may as well be prepared for it. A simple first aid kit can achieve so much in a tricky situation.
I would recommend a few fancy plasters for the kids too. It is amazing how quickly one of these can put an end to the tears after a little scraped knee.
You’ll never regret a day outdoors
Even when the weather has turned and everyone is moaning at me, I’ve always enjoyed myself in the end. So, pack your bags and head out. Trust me!
- Written By Charlotte J. M.A. (UK)