With a friend or a loved one, hiking provides a respite from the stresses of city life. It also revs up the body as you push out toxins out and take in nature’s glorious bounty. When thinking of going on a hike, it is only fitting that you prepare essential gear and items other than just clothing and a good pair of boots. To get you started, here’s an excellent day hiking gear list to consider.
Navigation System. Most trails nowadays provide engagement activity prior to sending you off to a day hike– and often, a map comes for free with your entrance fee. While you may have a handy map with landmarks or trail junctions, a compass will help greatly in finding your way around it. Using a compass is no rocket science though. You need to learn basic orienteering skills. Compass is more reliable than GPS or smartphones though as it doesn’t rely on batteries, internet signal, and electricity.
Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Army Aluminum Alloy Compass with Map Measurer Distance Calculator Great for Hiking
Sun & Insect Protection. Toddling a lip balm and sunscreen may help prevent sunburn and chapped lips but it’s also wise to use arm sleeves like the one from ShinyMod. Aside from UV protection, it also provides needed insulation and protection from insects. Feel free also to buy a sunblock with integrated insect repellent like the Bullfrog to ensure well-rounded protection.
Insulation/Emergency Shelter. Though it’s just a day hike, the possibilities are endless in the wild. You can get lost and finding your way in the dark will only worsen the situation. With this, it is wise to always have an Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket stashed in your backpack. This can be used as cover from the cold, wet or dampness of the night or as an emergency shelter. It also serves as a reflector for search teams to easily locate you. Chose a product that can be effortlessly folded and stashed in your backpack.
Illumination. Even though it’s just a day hike, there might be a chance that the dark sits in long before you hit home base. Keep in mind that night is longer during summers hence, it can get dark pretty early. This reminds you to toddle along a headlamp or a flashlight. This solar-powered headlamp from SGODDE is quite handy as it harnesses power while being worn on a day hike.
First Aid. Anything can happen in the wild. You can trip or fall, get stung by a bee, or cut by unassuming thorny plants. A first aid kit like this waterproof pack from Oziral is an excellent choice.
Firestarter. Again, things can happen without warning and you can get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Since it’s more dangerous to find your way around during nightfall, a fire starter can come handy for you to make fire to heat water or food as well as provide warmth. Fire also helps ward off insects and predators away. This Ralix Survival Fire Starter is quite economical as it comes with a compass and a whistle.
Multitool. While there’s no bike or equipment to fix, a multi-tool like this Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife can be quite helpful. It contains various tools for you to use should the situation demands you to cut, dig or patch something.
Food. Always remember to pack extra even when it’s just a day hike. First-timers will be amazed by their sudden burst of appetite when on a hike. If you want to keep going, your body will need food as fuel to energize your steps. Your best bet is to tag along energy bars or pre-made sandwiches. A no-cook high-calorie meal like this one from Greenbelly also makes an excellent choice.
Hydration. Water is life– and you’ll most likely be reminded when on a hike. You can survive days without food but without water? Nah, you’ll be disoriented with just a few hours of thirst. Aside from water stashed in your backpack, it is wise to bring along chlorine dioxide tablets or a Lifestraw to allow you ease of access to safe drinking water whenever wherever.
The Right Hiking Backpack
Choosing the right backpack should also be considered when prepping a day hiking gear list. You need something light yet functional and efficient like the Teton Sports Oasis 1100 to help carry your essentials. Learn also how to arrange hiking items according to the level of needs on the trail. As always, it is essential to weigh your hiking gear options vis-a-vis the kind of terrain you’ll be pursuing on a first-day hike.