If you’re planning on spending a day out on the trails with friends or family, it’s important to bring all the hiking essentials to keep you comfortable and safe. What you need for your hike differs depending on the distance and time you’ll take. This hiking gear list aims to put forward a solid base for those planning a day hike of around five to ten hours – either a hill or mountain ascent or trek here in the UK.
Remember, this is a basic checklist that can cover you for a range of situations and conditions. Be sure to check weather forecasts, conditions etc. beforehand and consider whether you need to add or remove items to reflect that. Weight is also a major consideration as you’ll be carrying all of this hiking gear for hours at a stretch, though the general rule as always is that it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.
If you’re planning on spending a day out on the trails with friends, family or other hikers, it’s important to bring all the necessities to keep you all comfortable and safe. Depending on the length of your chosen path, you will need more or less hiking equipment with you, but ultimately, you never want to run out a few backpacking essentials!
This checklist will walk you through the basics to wear and to take with you on the trails so that once you’ve started you don’t have any distractions or panics, and can just make the most of the fresh air!
What to Pack For A Day Hike
You won’t be wanting to carry a holdall uphill and similarly, a clutch bag won’t serve much purpose, so take a normal-sized rucksack or backpack depending on how many things you’re wanting to have with you.
Yes, clothes! That’d be a good idea, wouldn’t it? Obviously you will be wearing whatever you want to wear depending on the weather on the day, although you will never regret taking some ‘just in case’ extras.
It is always wise to take a fleece and lightweight waterproof jacket with you in case the temperature drops or wind comes strong. Also, hats, gloves, neck warmers, and sunglasses are always wise choices!
Nobody ever wants to be stuck on a hiking trail with no battery and no clue so wisely avoid disaster and take a portable phone charger with you so you don’t fall completely off the grid, should you need some assistance.
The suggestion might sound laughable when Britain spends most of the year in clouds and/or rain, however even on non-sunny-yet-bright days you can get sunburnt. The likelihood of this increases dramatically when at high altitudes so anyone hiking should lather on some SPF – don’t forget your face! – even on a winter’s day as a precaution.
Nobody likes being pestered by bugs all day long so plan ahead and have some insect repellent spray so that they stay far away from you. Here at Trespass, we even offer insect repellent clothing!
Yes, your phone probably has a torch. Yes, we know, you are most likely planning to hike in the daylight. However, you can never be too safe when out on trails so taking a torch is worthwhile.
Duct tape is, without a doubt, the single most versatile tool known to man. How so? Well, it can be used to patch up tents, bags, jackets, boots and much more. Fun tip: Some hikers also wrap strips of duct tape around their water bottle to reduce its weight! It really does work!
Your favourite blanket from home is probably too bulky to take on a hike ‘just in case’ whereas a foil blanket is super lightweight and small to carry. For some heat and protection in the cold, it’s a must-have!
Best Foods For a Hike Picnic?
Always start with water. You’ll want to be hydrated all day long so take at least 2 litres spread between water bottles, depending on how long you’re going to be out there.
While water will keep you from becoming parched, it’s also important to keep your sugar levels up so having a bottle of energy juice will perk you up when you start running low.
Water? Check. Sugary drink? Check. Tea or coffee? Check.
Even on a summer’s day, hiking can always become chilly as the temperature drops the higher you climb. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to bring a vacuum flask of tea or coffee for a nice hot drink when you take a rest stop. Or you can even take soup!
If you are having soup from the flask then we recommend you take some other foods as well, especially some carbohydrates to provide energy.
With or without the soup, you should pack some sandwiches (they’re a picnic staple for good reason!) and should always make more than you think you’ll need. Preparing a salad will also give you plenty of energy and nutrients, just make sure you have more than lettuce.
Whether it’s chicken, tuna or tofu, make it a big one!
Protein bars are brilliant and easy on-the-go snacks to keep your energy levels up and are usually low calorie nowadays. The healthier option will give you longer lasting energy compared to some chocolate biscuits, although they always sound delicious too.
Never leave your litter behind! Be sensible and take your rubbish with you back down.
Hiking Emergency Must-Haves
The multi-purpose essential for any hiker. Whether you fall and dirty your hands, want to wipe your hands clean before and after eating, or if nature calls, wet wipes will have your back.
You will thank yourself for taking a second pair of walking socks after a long day on your feet when your current ones are dirty and potentially wet. Get cosy and save yourself from catching a cold!
Some first-time hikers and people with past injuries (I.e. knee injuries) often take trekking poles to assist their walking. Hiking can be a little daunting at times when you come to new or difficult terrains as they will help you to keep your balance and grip when unsteady.
An absolute must! Wipes can get dirt off your hands but hand sanitiser is what will actually refresh them and kill bacteria, so you’ll want to have plenty of this handy.
Keep a bag of clean clothes in your car so you can change after the hike if needed. Do not forget shoes as you will not want to have your dirty shoes make a mess of your car!
Water and Snacks
Save some water entirely for the end and your favourite snack as a little reward/energy boost for the journey home.
It might sound like a lot but it’s really not – now go and enjoy your adventure!