I started with a full-day hiking trip recently and plan on doing them just about every weekend with small hiking in between. I love the mountains because it’s the place I can get perspective, find clarity, and even tap into my own inner wisdom for information. It’s also just a great way to connect with nature and get some exercise while exploring beautiful trails. However, it’s important to be prepared before you head out to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Here are some essential items to bring on a full-day hiking trip:
Water – Staying hydrated is crucial when hiking, especially on a full-day trip. It’s recommended to bring at least 2 liters of water per person, and even more if you’re hiking in a hot or dry climate. On my 14-mile hike, I had 5 bottles of 16 oz of water with me. I drank a bottle roughly every 2.5 hours.
Snacks – Bringing snacks such as trail mix, energy bars, and fruit can help provide the necessary energy to keep you going throughout the day. Don’t forget to pack some extra snacks in case your hike takes longer than expected. I had granola bars, carrots, hummus, sun-dried tomato wrap, salami, and Swiss cheese, and for me, that was plenty for the 8 hours of hiking.
First-Aid – Kit A basic first-aid kit should be included in your hiking gear to handle any minor injuries or accidents that may occur. It should include items such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. I didn’t need it but I had it with me!
Navigation – Carrying a map and compass or using a GPS device can help ensure that you stay on the right trail and don’t get lost. It’s also a good idea to download maps and trail information before your hike in case you don’t have cell phone service on the trail. Alltrails was and is a great choice as I was able to download the map and not get lost which could have happened at various points.
Sun Protection – This goes without saying, protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is important when spending an extended period of time outdoors. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect your skin and eyes.
Layers of Clothing – Wearing layers of clothing can help regulate your body temperature and protect you from the elements. Be sure to bring a waterproof jacket or poncho in case of rain, and extra layers if you’re hiking in a colder climate. I had a windbreaker, a hoody, and sweatpants – forgot the shorts but I thought long pants were the better choice and due to the rock climbing and brushes I came across it was a wise choice.
Emergency Supplies – In case of an emergency, it’s important to have supplies such as a whistle, flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. I don’t go hiking without my partner knowing where I go and I also had a battery pack to recharge my phone if needed.
A full-day hiking trip can be a wonderful way to explore nature, get some exercise, and create unforgettable memories. However, it’s important to be prepared by bringing essential items such as water, snacks, a first-aid kit, navigation tools, sun protection, layers of clothing, and emergency supplies. With these items in your hiking gear, you’ll be ready for whatever adventure the trail brings!