Top 7 Things to Bring on a Day Hike



If you’re tired of being cooped up at home or spending too much time at work, going on a day hike can be a quick way to get a breath of fresh air. With social distancing being highly encouraged in most areas, hiking in wide-open spaces can be the perfect solution to rejuvenating your mind, soul, and body. So look up and purchase the best travel kit online, bring out your hiking boots, and get ready to mingle with Mother Nature. 

Choose What You Carry With Care 
“Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.” This is a popular quote, reportedly said by the famous American outdoorsman and author Earl Shaffer. It’s a quote that should be taken to heart by hikers, especially beginners. You may not need to bring a whole caravan of hiking gear, but a day hike would still require several things. Even if it’s only for a day, it doesn’t mean that you do not bring essential items with you. If chosen with care, a few things can go a long way in making your hike a successful one. Ensuring that these hiking basics are in your arsenal will contribute to an easier and more comfortable hiking experience. From necessities such as food and water to skincare products that can help protect you from bugs or the harmful rays of the sun, we have compiled a concise list of items that you should bring on a day hike: 

1. Food 
Since it’s a day hike, you can pack perishable food like sandwiches or a packed lunch. Just make sure that you store these in an airtight container. Having ice packs in an insulated food bag will also be useful. Ready-to-eat food is also a good idea, since you won’t have to bring cooking tools and utensils. You can consider other food items like nuts, nut-based bars or peanut butter packs, seeds, trail mix, dried fruits or vegetables, shelf-stable dried jerky, nutrition bars, granola or granola bars, and other healthy snacks. Just remember that the more you bring, the heavier your backpack will be, so pack judiciously. 

2. Water 
Water would be the best drink that you can bring, as it can hydrate you without giving you any digestive or energy issues. While milk and fresh fruit juice can be healthy, it is best to steer clear of these beverages before and during a hike as they can cause an upset stomach. Also, avoid carbonated drinks as they can only give you a temporary sugar rush that will spike your blood sugar, then cause you to crash. Besides, sugary drinks can dehydrate the body more. Plan to bring at least two liters of water per person on a day hike. However, consider your age, body type, sweat rate, as well as the intensity and length of the hike and weather conditions and adjust accordingly. Also, opt to use reusable water bottles or containers to avoid single-use plastic. 

3. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear 
Always check the weather before leaving the house so you can also plan what to wear. Since you can’t always predict the weather, it is advised that you layer your clothes. This way, you can take off a piece of clothing if it’s too warm or put one on if it gets cooler. Pack a rain jacket as well, just to be ready. Since you’ll be walking for most of the day, wearing the right shoes is of utmost importance. Make sure these are suited to the terrain you plan to hike on. Choose shoes that fit you well, so these remain comfortable even after hours of walking. There are several types in the market to choose from. You can go for hiking shoes if you want protection and fair value or hiking boots if you want maximum protection and durability. Trail runners are lightweight and very comfortable and preferred by hikers who want comfort and performance. Waterproof hybrid shoes are best worn for winter or hiking in cold weather. 

4. Travel Bag 
Make sure that you choose a sturdy backpack that can carry your day hike essentials. You can buy travel backpacks online specially designed for your comfort with their practical compartments and pockets. There are sustainable backpacks that come in various styles and materials that can ably carry your things effortlessly. It would also be nice to bring a travel kit with you. You can just stash it inside your backpack with all your essentials such as sunblock, insect spray, travel-sized soap, wipes, tissues, face mask, and alcohol spray or sanitizer gel. It also makes it easier to reach for your essentials since they’re already organized in one kit. Speaking of bags, don’t forget to pack trash bags, too, to make sure that you don’t litter. Bring your trash back with you as you go home or find a garbage bin nearby. 

5. First Aid Kit 
Make sure you pack a first aid kit, as this is one critical item you must have to be ready for any accidents or untoward incidents. It should include supplies that will treat illness or injury. You can quickly get one from a pharmacy or assemble one before leaving. It is also vital that you learn about administering basic first aid at least, because you never know when you’ll need to use these skills. 

6. Map and Compass 
Even if you have a phone or GPS device, it is still best to have a paper map and a compass. You never know when technology could fail you or when signals go berserk. Learn how to read a map and a compass before you go. Some multi-tools also have a compass, so it’s great if you can bring one. Not only can this device help cut or open things, but there are also a variety of other situations where you can use it. 

7. Shelter 
Even the best-laid plans can go awry, so it’s best to pack a lightweight space blanket. There are inexpensive ones out there that can protect you from the elements if you get injured or stranded. 

Heavenly Hikes 
They say that the best view comes after the hardest climb. Whether you climb mountains or just the small hill behind your yard, it’s the journey that counts. Make that daytime adventure even more fun by ensuring that you have the essentials mentioned above. From heavy-duty travel bags and kits to hardworking boots, your readiness can spell a world of difference to your little adventure.

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