10 Day Hiking Essentials To Pack In Your Bag

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Day hiking for each week is interesting that is good for exercising. Doing this way will also make you able to explore your hood. If you are notorious to leave things behind and losing them out in the middle of nowhere, the best thing to do is to put a together a checklist for your day hike. We guess that you can suck it up or just to prepare everything.
Keep in mind that if you have no ideas about what you should bring on a day hike, you should think about how far you are going to hike, how the remote location is, and how the weather forecast is. Generally, the longer or the more remote the hike is, the more inclement the weather is, of course, the more clothing, gear, water, and food you are going to want. We hope that in this post you can find something helpful for your next day hikes.
These Items Should Be On The Checklist

These Items Should Be On The Checklist

  • Hiking backpack
  • Food
  • Water
  • Weather appropriate clothing such as moisture-wicking and layers
  • Hiking shoes or boots
  • Navigation tools like a compass and a map
  • Knife or multitool
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen and face sunscreen if you have sensitive skin
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hat to keep the sun off your face
  • Dry tees
  • Hiking convertible pants


  • Camera
  • Rain jacket depends on the location you are hiking
  • Trekking Poles
  • Extra socks on a full-day hike
  • Flask

How To Use Day Hiking Checklist

How To Use Day Hiking Checklist

Use this handy day hiking checklist while you are packing. Make sure that you do not even forget anything important to complete your hike. Here are some notes on how to use the day hiking checklist.

  • The Ten Essentials – All items that are the part of Ten Essentials has a mark, the asterisk (*). Besides, you can tailor the exact items to your trip based on the considerations like difficulty, weather, duration, and distance from help.
  • This checklist is comprehensive and specially designed to enjoy day hiking in the backcountry with the self-sufficient is your main concern. It also includes many more items than hiking for short treks or close to the developed areas like the city parks.

Hiking Gear

Hiking Gear

The primary piece of gear for your day hiking is a backpack. It should be able to hold about 11 to 20 liters for short and simple hikes. Nevertheless, you need something bigger than that if you backpack to a more remote area with more food, clothing, gear, and water are required. Choose the right daypack that is suitable for your adventure. It means daypack for hiking is different from daypack for climbing. The optional hiking gear is trekking poles.

Clothing & Footwear

How to choose the right clothing and footwear for your day hiking?
Choose the best option by checking the forecast and make sure that the clothing and the footwear can deal with the conditions. You should also have a good preparation for the weather changes, unplanned camp, and pack extra clothes beyond those required for your trip. It is also essential to consider how much protection of your clothing to deal with the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Talking about footwear, we recommend you to choose the right footwear based on the terrain. Wearing trail runners or hiking shoes are enough if you have gentle hikes on the smooth trails. On the other hands, if you trek on the rocky and rugged trails, you should wear boots since it is able to provide more support.
Other items that we include in clothing and footwear are below:

  • Moisture wicking underwear
  • Moisture-wicking T-shirt
  • Quick-drying pants or shorts
  • Lightweight fleece or jacket
  • Long-sleeve shirt for sun and bugs
  • Boots or shoes that can deal with the terrain
  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Extra clothes* (beyond the minimum expectation)

Extra items when you go for day hiking in the rainy or cold weather:

  • Long underwear
  • Rainwear like jackets and pants
  • Warm insulated jacket or vest
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Fleece pants

Optional Items:

  • Bandana or buff
  • Gaiters for snowy, rainy, or muddy conditions

Food & Water

Snacks like jerky, energy bars, and nuts are the perfect food to enjoy easily on the trail. Some people even bring a sandwich for their lunch too. Talking about water, start with two liters per person for a single day. It is fine if you want to adjust the amount of food and water depends on the length and the intensity of the hike, your age, the weather conditions, the sweat rate, and your body type. It is also worth to learn about choosing energy food and how much to drink.

  • Water bottles and reservoir*
  • Water filter or purifier*
  • Trail snacks
  • Extra day’s supply of food*
  • Lunch


It is one of the Ten Essentials. The type of the trail and your personal preference will determine which items to bring

  • Map*
  • Compass*


  • GPS*
  • Altimeter watch*
  • Satellite messenger or personal locator beacon*
  • Route description or guidebook

Emergency and First Aid

  • Emergency shelter*
  • Lighter or matches and firestarter*
  • First aid kit or first aid supplies*
  • Whistle
  • Two itineraries: 1 left with friend +1 under the cat seat

Health and Hygiene

  • Prescription medication
  • Menstrual products
  • Hand sanitizer

Sun Protection

  • Sunscreen*
  • Sunglasses*
  • Sun hat*
  • SPF-rated lip balm*


  • Insect repellent*
  • Toilet paper
  • Urinary products
  • Sanitation trowel if there are no toilets
  • Alcohol or antiseptic wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Blister treatments

Tool and Repair Items

  • Knife or multi-food*
  • Small gear repair kit* (zip ties, duct tape, and others)

Day Hiking Extras

  • Two-way radios
  • Binoculars
  • Outdoor journal with pen
  • Camera
  • Interpretive field guide
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries*

Personal Items

  • Cellphone
  • ID
  • Credit card or cash

Any items with * means that it is the part of Ten Essential Systems.
So, what do you think? If your day hiking this week is going to be your first experience, we hope that you can pick the best gear and essentials to complete your day. You are going to enjoy the nature, in the backcountry and you are about a little bit far away from your home. Take your time and all is well. Happy backpacking. Enjoy your day!
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