Day Hiking Neccessities
Hiking is a great activity to do by yourself or with a group of friends. No matter the situation, you will want to be prepared for whatever your trail may throw at you. Below is a list of the top essential things you need to keep with you during any long hike!
Navigation is the most essential tool you will need on a day hike. You need to know where you are going, how to get there, and how to get back. The best things you can bring along with you are a map and a compass. The map will show you the way and a compass will help orient the map. Become familiar with all kinds of maps and practice using them. If you get lost on a hike, it will be much easier to find your way home if you know the basics of navigation.
Sunscreen and sun protection are important to have in both the summer and winter. During the summer sunscreen will be most important in keeping your skin protected from the sun. There is nothing worse than being on a long day hike and coming home fried. Sunglasses will be useful in all seasons to help you adequately see the trails and where you are headed.
Proper insulation is important for the winter months, but also is important to have at other times of the year. In the event of an emergency or a spontaneous decision to make the day hike into an overnighter, you will need proper insulation for when the sun goes down.
Having a flashlight and extra batteries is an important item to stash in your pack. If you find yourself still out on a hike after the sun goes down or the hike is taking a little longer than expected, having a flashlight handy will be pertinent in finding your way home.
- First Aid Kit
Hiking out in the wilderness can come with bumps, bruises, and scrapes – so it’s good to be prepared. Make sure to grab yourself a premade first aid kit or assemble one yourself. You’ll be thankful you have it if you or any of your hiking-mates are injured.
- Fire Starters
A fire starter is another great emergency tool to have handy. You never know when you might get stranded or be in need of a hearty fire. Bring along matches or a tool like fire steel that will kick off sparks to start a fire. Make sure you know how to properly start a fire and can do so with ease. In the event of an emergency, it will be good to start a fire with ease rather than learning on the fly.
- Repair Tools
You will want to pack a utility knife and some duct tape. If any of your gear is broken or ripped, these items should be sufficient in creating a quick fix to keep you moving. Your gear can break or your insulated clothing can rip and you will definitely want to be able to repair them.
When you are out on a long hike, your body is going to need fuel to keep you going! Bring along healthy snacks, sandwiches, and energy bars, to keep you moving and enjoying your hike!
Water is going to be essential to your hike. Without water, you will very quickly begin to feel sluggish and dehydrated – especially on a hot day. Bring along as much water as you can stand to carry. In the event you want to save weight, bring along a water filter to purify water from streams and rivers. This will save weight and space in your pack, but also ensures you will be hydrated.
- Emergency Shelter
Emergency shelter is something you should never hike without. This goes for single day hikes as well. You never know what may happen. You could get stranded or have the urge to spend the night out in the wilderness. Either way, you will want at least a well insulated sleeping bag to keep you warm overnight.