If you’re like me and love the outdoors, want some adventure and exercise, then hiking is probably on your list of favorite outdoor activities.
Whether you’re on a one hour hike along your favorite urban nature trail, or an eight hour hike that takes you to lakes, mountains and epic views this checklist will help you decide what you need to take along on your hiking adventure.
This day hiking checklist is designed to keep it simple and keep you safe, comfortable and prepared.
So, grab your pack and let’s hit the trail!
But, first things first, do your research. Know where you’re going, look at a map and plan your route ahead of time. Know what you’re getting yourself into and make sure that you can realistically handle the trail based on your fitness level, timeframe and gear. Check the weather before you go. And always tell someone when and where you’re going, just in case.
Ok, now time for the fun stuff, what to take!
Backpack – a pack that’s comfortable and can easily fit what you’re taking.
Clothing. Be prepared, even if you think there’s even a chance it might rain, bring a rain jacket. Or if it’s hot, bring moisture wicking clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable.
Footwear. Boots are great if you need support or the trail is very uneven or steep. However, shoes are generally lighter and more breathable. Either way make sure they’re broken and ready for keeping your feet happy on the trail.
Food. High calorie and easy to eat and store snacks work great. Or if you’re more of a gourmand, how about some fresh fruit, delicious cheese and crackers and dark chocolate!
Water. Take more water than you think you’ll need. A good rule of thumb is to bring about a half-liter of water per hour of hiking. So, for a five hour hike take about a half-gallon or 2.5 liters of water.
Map and navigation. Load your trail and route on your phone or GPS before you get to the trailhead, just in case reception is spotty. Or, go old school and bring a paper map and compass along with you.
First-aid. A small first aid kit is a must! You can buy one that’s pre-assembled or grab the following items from your bathroom: bandages, butterfly closure, gauze, medical tape, antibiotic cream/wipes, pain relievers like aspirin, allergy medication, itch relief, knife and a lighter. If you have any personal medications always remember to bring them just in case.
Extras. Here are a few extras that you might take along depending on weather, length of hike and terrain: Headlamp, batteries, safety whistle, trekking poles for stability and long hikes, sunscreen, ball cap, sunglasses, TP, insect repellant and a camera/cell phone.
Whether you’re hiking solo or with friends, always be prepared and have the right gear with you to keep yourself safe, comfortable and having a relaxed and fun time.