What to Pack for Hiking: Day Trip Edition

Get your hiking boots out! Hiking boomed in 2020, and it’s expected to keep climbing in the years to come. If you’re interested in a new way to experience nature, connect with friends, and get some exercise, then hiking is the right choice. 

Before you hit the trails, you’ll need to know what to pack for hiking. It can be overwhelming to make a list, especially as a beginner. Luckily this guide is here to help.

Ready to learn more about which hiking gear is essential for a day trip? Let’s get started. 


If it’s your first hike, don’t worry too much about buying a fancy backpack. You can use a school or gym backpack, anything that can hold the essentials.

As you continue to progress into longer hikes, then you’ll want to start looking for a pack with a hip belt and padded straps. You want to find an option that distributes the weight and easily stores all of your additional gear. 

Check out Rep The Wild for more information on buying hiking backpacks.


One of the best parts of outdoor adventures is the snacks. Find food that is packable, non-perishable, and full of nutrients. As you tackle the hiking trails, you’ll want to consume around 200 calories per hour, so you don’t lose energy.

The best options are dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter sandwiches, and granola bars. 


Perhaps the most essential item in your pack is a bottle of water. If you’re a beginner, carry at least two liters of water for a four-mile hike. The general rule is to pack one liter of water for every hour of hiking.



Even if you think you’re familiar with an area, it’s easy to get lost. Before you start hiking, get to know the route beforehand. You can download maps of the area, so you’ll know where you are even if there’s no cellphone service. 


Be sure to wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothes for your first hike. Running shorts or yoga pants and an athletic t-shirt or tank top are perfect in the summer. 

You want to start with warm, non-cotton base layers, wool mid-layers, and waterproof outer layers for the winter.

Be sure to pack extra clothing; something to keep warm and waterproof should always be in your pack.

Sun Protection

Before you hit the trails, be sure to put on sunscreen. Reapply throughout the day. If you’re really concerned about the sun, pack a hat and sunglasses.  


A flashlight or headlamp may seem unnecessary for a day hike, but if you end up staying out when the sun goes down, you’ll be glad you brought it. Even if you don’t use it, you might need it eventually. Make sure to charge it or replace the batteries before you head out. 

What to Pack for Hiking

If you’re looking for a new activity, it’s hard to beat hiking. There are countless physical and mental benefits

Before you start searching for national parks nearby, you’ll need to make sure you have everything necessary for your adventure. There are the obvious essentials, like food and water, but there’s other gear you might not have thought of.

Knowing what to pack for hiking prepares you for everything so you can focus on having a good time.

Looking for more articles like this? Be sure to check out the travel section of our blog!


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