Essentials to Pack for a day Hike
All right today we’re going to talk about what to pack for a day hike. Many hikers I see on the trails carry a bottle of water or less. I admit, I used to be one of those hikers.
Now a days I carry a day pack because I like to be prepared and let’s face it being prepared is WAY more fun than being unprepared. I also like having victory beers at the summit of my hike which makes it essential that I have a pack to carry them in.
If you are new to hiking I’ve put together a checklist of what to pack for a day hike. These are basic items that are always in my bag.
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day hiking essentials checklist
optional day hiking items
Depending on where you are hiking or how far you are will decide if you carry these items or not. For example if you were hiking in Maui where I live I would leave these items in my car as most hikes on Maui are not that long. If I were hiking in Colorado that would be a different story, I would pack these items.
Finding the Best Day Pack
You’ll want a sturdy, light pack that can carry your essentials yet still remain compact. I use the front zip-off daypack from the Osprey Fairview 40 Women’s Travel Backpack. I absolutely LOVE this pack! It’s perfect for camping, hiking, road trips or long term backing trips.
The Osprey Fairview is small enough that it meets most airline carry on requirements, opens from the front and has a zip-off daypack. The day pack is my favorite feature. It is large enough that it fits my laptop, external hard drive, wallet/passport, charging cords, pashmina, socks and even snacks. (My boyfriend carries the camera so that also saves space.).
This makes the actual act of traveling easier. I wear the day pack with all of my important items on my back and I carry the main pack as a duffle bag because the straps can get zipped away.
This pack would be a good investment if you plan on long term travel in the future or go camping often. If not here are a few other day packs that I recommend.
What to Pack for a day Hike
Okay so you found your perfect day pack. Now the hiking essentials you shouldn’t leave home without.
Reef Safe Sunscreen
Snacks, snacks, snacks. I always pack at least 2 CLIF BARS for Joe and I and whatever else I can shove into small spaces of my pack. No one has ever complained and who doesn’t like snacks. If you’re on a longer hiking trip or on a low-carb or keto diet these snacks are great and keep your pack light.
Who doesn’t like to enjoy a summit or finish of an epic hike with a victory beer?!?! I never end a hike without a victory beer. Life’s about compromise after all.