8 Essentials to Pack for a Day Hike

If your gonna hike outdoors for the day, make sure you pack the essentials! You never want to be unprepared when out in nature. The elements could suddenly shift and you could possibly be in a dangerous situation. So make sure you cover all your bases and include these 8 items in your backpack.

#1 Navigation -Map & Compass

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Although a compass or a map seems like something trivial or out-of-date to use, it’s not! Never rely on your cellphone as your guide because it could easily loose service, give you faulty information, or run out of battery altogether. So make sure to pick up a map and compass at a gas or ranger station.

#2 Sunscreen & Sun Glasses

Now that summer is around the corner sunscreen and sunglasses are a must, especially if your going to be outdoors for hours on end. Don’t worry you can still get that nice golden tan even with sunscreen on. SPF 30 is what I usually use and I reapply every hour. It’s better to protect your skin before than treat it for painful sunburns after.

#3 First Aid Kit

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Falling is one of my specialties, so packing a mini first aid kit comes in handy when I scratch up my knees and arms. Amazon sells these compact first aid kits for around $6 and they include antiseptic wipes, bandaids, and ointment. Including a small role of gauze is also a smart idea as well.

#4 Alert objects- mirror/ whistle/ flash light

So you are out in the wilderness, your phone is dead, the sun is setting and you don’t know where you are… scary situation right? That’s why packing alert objects could potentially save your life. A compact mirror could be used to reflect the sun and get someone else’s attention. It also comes in handy if you need to start a fire as well. Of course the mirror can only be utilized while the sun is out, but a flash light is perfect for when night falls. Yelling for help could burn up a lot of your energy, so invest in a whistle. That way you don’t exert yourself and it will be loud enough for others in the vicinity to hear you.

#5 Food

Sometimes hikers don’t pack snacks because they only plan on being outdoors for an hour or two, but you never want to be caught in a situation where you are low on energy and still have a few more miles to go. When your body becomes fatigued, you don’t pay attention to your surroundings as well, leaving you in a vulnerable position. Pack some protein bars, trail mix, or energy gels, these items should give you the strength you need to carry on.

#6 Waterpexels-photo-160060

Water! Water! Water! The most important item on the list. For long hikes, hydration packs will be your best friend. These packs can hold up to two liters of water and have pockets to store your other belongings as well. Check out my other blog, 3 Best Hydration Packs Under $30, to learn more.

#7 Bug repellent

No matter where you live, if your sweating and outside, bugs usually find there way to you. Especially those darn mosquitoes! Protect yourself from those pesky bug bites and purchase some repellent. Or you could just keep slapping yourself every 10 seconds trying to fight them off… it’s up to you.

#8 Layered clothing


The weather can sometimes shift on a dime, so bring a light jacket or long sleeve shirt and tie it around your waist. It’s not heavy to pack and it also can protect you against the sun and bugs.


I hope you enjoyed this article and I would love to hear any other packing essentials I might have missed. Feel free to leave a comment below, I love engaging with my fellow followers and bloggers!

Happy Adventures,

Linsey Kelly


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