Packing for a day hike

What should you pack for a hike that will not last more than a day?

Tim Wells


Photo by Jake Melara on Unsplash

Day hikes are one of my favorite outdoor activities to do. It’s a definite mental health break for me as well as being a good exercise, plus there are many health benefits to be had from spending time walking in woodlands (or anywhere really).

But what should you take with you on a daytime hike? Like most things, this is subjective but I am going to go through what I generally take with me.

Food and water

This probably goes without saying, but for any hike you should take water with you. A decent size water bottle full of clean water is essential. Food depends somewhat on the size of the hike, but I tend to make sure I have a couple of snacks (trail mix, muesli bars). I’ll also typically take a reasonable lunch meal like a big sandwich or similar. Something with some protein and plenty of carbs.

First aid

I tend to make sure I have a small personal first aid kit with the basic stuff in it in my pack. Because of where I am I also tend to take a snake bandage with me. The smaller personal first aid kits don’t come with a tourniquet but I tend to also have one of those.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Thankfully I’ve never had to use the snake bandage or tourniquet and I hope I don’t have to. I’d also seriously suggest doing a first aid course if you haven’t done one because having the knowledge of what to do is even more important than having the gear.

Mobile Phone / GPS

Again, it goes without saying that having a method of communication is a good thing, but mobile phones also tend to provide GPS capability, especially when you setup offline maps on the device to be able to view maps of the area without needing to have a data connection.

Power bank

Having a power bank or even a solar charger for some form of backup power for your phone can be important, especially in the unlikely chance you might get lost. Having some extra power to charge devices doesn’t…



Tim Wells

Self taught software developer and photographer.