What to Bring on a Day Hike

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Below is our Day Hiking Checklist. This covers some of the essentials you’ll want to bring with you. When going on these excursions you’ll want to pack light. After all, you don’t need to bring some of the extra equipment like tents or cookware that’s needed for overnight trips.


List of Items to Bring on a Day Hike

Hiking Equipment


  • Small Backpack – you don’t want something overly small nor a large backpack. Something enough to fit all your things yet light enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re backpacking. A daypack would be a good idea and should have enough space for everything to fit into.
  • Water – bring enough water with you. This is very important. How much water you bring will depend on how much water you often consume, how hot the weather is, how long you’ll be gone and at what pace you’ll be moving. The warmer the weather, the faster you move and the longer the trip, the more water you should pack. You don’t need to bring a cooler like you would camping, just a sufficient water bottle.
  • Food – many day hikers will be leaving in the morning and coming back late in the afternoon or evening. If the time period spans over lunch or even dinner, bring enough sustenance so you get proper nutrition along the way. Sandwiches are excellent since they are small and easy to carry. You can also bring protein bars, fruits and dried food for snacks.
  • Phone – if you’ll be traveling where there is a mobile phone signal, make sure you have a fully charged cellphone with you. This will let you call anyone in case anything happens along the way. It allows you to call for help or assistance at any time. This provides you with a safety measure during your trip.
  • First Aid Kit – this is not limited to hiking. You’ll want to have a first aid kid for almost any outdoor traveling activity. Some outdoor shops carry pre-prepared first aid kits that you can buy if you don’t want to build yourself. Some things that you’ll want to have in this kit are any medication your use plus antihistamines for sudden allergies. Also have band aids for cuts as well as bandages for blisters or treating wounds.
  • Map – this can come in different forms. You can use GPS, a map and compass. What’s important is you know where you’re going and you have something to reference to at anytime.
  • Pocket Knife or Multi-tool – this may come in handy if you need to cut, open or repair something.
  • Sun Protection – these will include your hat, sunglasses, long sleeve shirt, pants and sunscreen.
  • Lighting equipment – if you will be traveling after dusk, make sure to bring with your some form of illumination. A lantern would give you a lot of light but can be bulky. A flashlight on the other hand is much smaller though it isn’t able to provide as much illumination.
  • Jacket – bringing an extra jacket along gives you the ability to shelter yourself from the rain should it suddenly pour. When selecting a jacket, go for something that is lightweight and water resistant. This will make it easier to carry and easily dry after getting wet.
  • Bug spray/Insect repellent – if you’ll be walking through dark or away from the urban environments, then bringing an insect repellent would be a good idea. This makes hiking a lot more convenient.
  • Walking or Trekking Poles – should you be hiking in inclined surfaces or going through hills, walking poles or trekking poles offer excellent support that makes it easier to go through this type of terrain.
  • Camera – what’s travel without recording your adventures. Bringing a camera along lets you document the sights and places you’ve crossed as well as any people you met along the way. It is a great way of remembering your journey years after.


Other Things to Bring for Day Hikers

Of course, don’t forget to wear the proper clothes along with the list of what to bring on a day hike. This is just as important as the items you’ll have in your daypack. You may also want to pack extra shirts or pants in case you need to change along the way.


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