Day Hiking: What to Take
- Benj Vardigan
- Posted March 11, 2013
Going on a day hike is a great low-maintenance way to get out of the city, but it still requires some thoughtful preparation. Below is a checklist of all the gear you'll need. When you're deciding what to take, consider the particulars of your trip -- season, weather, location, individual needs -- and customize this list accordingly.
Just print out this list and check items off as you pack them. If you want a more specialized list, you can copy and paste this article into a Word document on your own computer and add your personal essentials.
- Daypack (with good padding on the back panel and shoulder straps)
- Drinking water (about 20 ounces for every hour you'll hike, depending on how much you sweat), and some extra in case you get lost
- Wilderness first-aid kit
- Map of the area
- Waterproof matches
- Insect repellent
- Whistle (to call for help in an emergency)
- Small plastic bag for trash
- Cell phone and GPS
Clothing and Outerwear
- Sun hat or baseball cap
- Quick-drying swimsuit (if you'll be near a lake or swimming hole)
- Breathable, lightweight jacket
- Rain gear
- Hiking socks
- Extra socks
- Hiking boots or shoes suited to the terrain
- Energy bars
- Gorp (short for "good old raisins and peanuts") or trail mix (nuts, seeds, or dried fruit), enough to last a day or two in case of emergency
- Raw veggies or fruit
- Toilet paper
- Handkerchief or bandanna
- Lip balm (with sun protection)
- Hiking staff
- Gaiters (to keep loose stones or snow out of your boots)
- Camera and film
- Flashlight with fresh batteries (if you think you might be out after dark)
- Reading glasses
- Moleskin (for blisters)
- Field guide (to vegetation, wildlife, terrain, etc.)
American Hiking Society, "Hike Smart: Playing it Safe on the Trail." http://www.americanhiking.org/news/pdfs/safety.pdf
Berger, Karen. "Hiking and Backpacking: A Complete Guide," W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1995.
The Lightweight Backpacker. "The 14 Essentials!" 1996. http://www.backpacking.net/ten-essl.html
Mayo Clinic. Water: How much should you drink every day? April 2008. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283
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