Your hiking checklist will vary depending on the length of your hike, the weather forecast and also how remote the trail is. It can be difficult to know how much or how little to take, particulary if it’s only a day hike.
We’ve climbed the highest mountain in Ireland and one of the highest in Wales, amongst other peaks in Norway and Switzerland. We have found this checklist below to be most consistent in the essentails needed for a 2 hour hike or a 12-hour hike.
Remember this is just a basic checklist so ensure you’re checking the weather and trail conditions to reflect what else you may need to add. Weight is also a factor on a day hike as you don’t want to be lugging it all around – if you can divide the essentials amongst a couple backpacks this would work best.
What to Pack on a Day Hike
1. Hiking boots
Hiking boots have been a game changer for us. We’ve always worn Nike/Adidas runners and they’ve always done the job but proper hiking boots with high support and a solid tred on the bottom we think are essential.
We recommend: The two hiking boots below (click image for link)
Depending on the hike – sometimes we’ll do a backpack between the two of us. But more often than not we will always have a backpack each to divvy the load up.
We recommend: Quechua Walking Country Backpack
It’s also handy to have a waterproof bag for valuables (camera, wallet, phone etc) inside your backpack.
We will always take some form of camera on our hikes. On the more adventurous hikes the GoPro is awesome for capturing the wide angles and it’s easy to carry.
Camera – Sony A6000
GoPro – GoPro HERO7
4. First aid kid
It’s important to ensure you’re prepared for anything that could happen whilst out on the hike. Whether that’s a headache, sprained ankle or just need a blanket to stay warm. A mini first aid kit should have everything you need.
We reccommend:92 Pieces Small First Aid Kit
5. Portable charger
We always carry a portable charger (or two) with us in general when we travel. But definitely make sure you have one when you set out on a lengthy hike – particulary in case of emergencies.
We recommend: Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Charger
6. Waterproof gear
Even if the weather looks clear, always bring a rain jacket as you never know when bad weather will roll in. If you know for sure it’ll be rainy weather, we recommend to pack both waterproof pants and jacket – otherwise we always carry a light-weight rain jacket. Also, bring a warm long sleeve fleece to thrown on when the temperatures drop at the summit.
7. Head torch
Head torches may not always come to use but you may find yourself in a tricky situation and you never know when you may need some light.
We recommend: LED Head Torch
It’s always ideal to have a hard copy map of the area your hiking – just in case you don’t have service or you drop your phone etc.
You will be able to pick this up from any tourist information centre of the closest town your hiking from.
9. Spare pair of clothes
Always take a spare pair of socks as there is nothing worse than standing in a puddle or mud half hour into your 4 hour hike. If the weather is also looking quite on the wet side, ensure to pack spare pants/sweatshirt.
10. Food & water
Even though this is #10 – this is the most important. Take a pre-made sandwhich for lunch, along with fruit and museli bars for snacks. We also like to take an energy drink and easily 5 litres of water.
We hope this packing list has helped you prepare for your next hike!
If you have any queries or questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you ASAP! Or, just simply let us know if this guide came in handy! 🙂