WHAT HIKE ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR A DAY FULL OF ADVENTURE
After years of hiking and packing these hike essentials, it’s finally time to share that list – especially since having the right gear can really transform the experience! Let’s get excited about that next adventure.
Also, over the years I’ve come to notice that every single time I go hiking and leave something at home, until having a list to refer to.
So, I’ve made this hike essentials list to be a sort of checklist for you as well – YES PLEASE!
Overall, I typically also leave my bag packed and ready to go for the next hike that way I’m frantically packing and don’t forget anything
Before heading out I just simply refill my water and snacks each time, I know the rest is usually stocked and ready to go.
First and foremost, in order to take any of our hike essentials with us, we of course have to have a hiking backpack with us.
But not just any pack, the REI Flash 22 pack is ultralight, spacious, comfortable for light loads, and can easily compact for backpacking and travel as well.
Best of all, the back panel pad can be removed for use as a sit pad, as well as a waist strap & sternum strap for added comfort!
♻ Now made with all bluesign®-approved materials – which certifies that textile products are safe for the environment, workers, and customers.
PS: A good rule of thumb is to have a 22-25 liter pack for day trips & adventures.
Don’t get just any pack, get this top-rated REI Flash 22 Pack, you won’t regret it!
#2. WATER BOTTLE OR WATER RESERVOIR +WATER
After going through multiple water bladders, I finally found one I like – it’s this one!
Some benefits of this Gregory 3D Hydro Trek Hydration Reservoir – 3 Liters is that it’s BPA free, doesn’t leak, and it has multiple modes for all activities.
Luckily, the Gregory 3D Hydro Trek Hydration Reservoir – 3 Liters comfortably, so this Reservoir just compliments that pack wonderfully!
#3. FIRST AID KIT
Surely, this Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight is one of the best first aid kits I’ve had.
Not only is it stocked full of almost all the basics, but it comes in a heavy-duty rip stop bag for most adventures and ensures contents are kept clean and dry
Pared down to a weight-saving bare minimum, this Adventure Medical Ultralight/Watertight .7 medical kit contains the hike essential safety supplies.
#4. HIKING SHOES
I know this one may seem like a “Yeah, of course” moment, but I’ve seen so many people hiking in running shoes. Each type of shoe has a different purpose.
Typically, road running shoes have no grip and the base is typically made from a thick foam and not from a rubber grip.
As for running shoes, they are not made for hiking and because they typically have a very little amount of rubber, they can also be dangerous to hike in.
So, making sure to have proper hiking shoes is incredibly important.
Luckily, these Salomon shoes are by far the best i’ve found, the thick rubber grip on the bottom is amazing, the quick lace (no tie) shoe laces are convenient and they comfortably hug my feet allowing no room for the shoe to twist while walking,
PS: They do have wide available as well.
Or get from REI Here!
#5. HEAD LAMP
After having these head lamps for years, I can truly say that this two pack is an absolutely amazing deal!
Not only do you get one, but you get two of these rechargeable, 1000 lumens (lumens measures brightness), and adjustable headlamps.
Oftentimes, we can lose track of daylight, or maybe an emergency happens, a magical cave appears, or something gets dropped between some dark rocks, a head lamp is always a great hike essential!
#6. GPS GARMIN WATCH
Most smartwatches these days have such basic functions for close to the same price. This watch can be completely customized with chosen watch faces, notification settings, and downloadable maps
Garmin watches set the bar a bit higher with the built-in GPS. The GPS is great for anyone who loves being active.
Garmin can guide trips or even training sessions. Making any outing seamless.
#7. KNEE BRACES
A knee brace unloads stress from the knees and pushes the pressure to the thigh, creating better mobility in the knee joint while reducing stiffness.
Have you ever seen people with tape on their knees? Whelp, this is the more sustainable and easier option!
PS: Copper is also anti-inflammatory!
I absolutely love these! I use them on any hike longer than 2 miles and on every backpacking trip.
They also pair well with the pain relief slaves I have posted in the shop here too, just place it under the knee brace.
#8. PASSES & PERMITS
First and foremost, the American The Beautiful Pass is absolutely essential for anyone regularly enjoying the outdoors.
So, most entrance fees start at $30 per entrance, but this pass covers all entrances annually, for only $80! WOW!
Seriously, I wish I had known about it sooner.
This pass is honored at sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers
Just know that each area has it’s own passes per the location, meaning some hikes may also need you to have a State Pass too.
Each area can be owned by a completely different company is worth looking into, but if it’s a National Park, this is a great pass for that!
#8. MUSCLE PAIN RELIEF SALVE
Of course muscle soreness, sprains, bruises, or bumps can really dampen a day, but having some healing salve to reduce the pain and swelling is an absolute game-changer.
Sometimes hikes are not so easy on the knees and back with having steep steps, so having this Arnica Muscle Pain Relief Salve is truly a hike essential.
This really takes the edge off and reduces the pain and is a great replacement compares to traditionally store-bought toxic icy hot.
PS: This also doubles as chapstick! They are very close ingredients.
#9. Portable Battery/Charger
Over the years, there have been many times I’ve not paid attention to my battery power or having the GPS running will completely drain my battery, and having a portable backup battery is of course a hike essential!
This portable charger is composed of recycled aluminum and bioplastics, how kool is that?!
It also has the ability to charge multiple devices at the same time.
♻ Nimble is a very sustainable company; Certified B Corp, donates 1% for the planet & sustainable non-profits, and is carbon neutral.
Electrolytes are minerals found in your blood that help regulate and control the balance of fluids in the body and help with the absorption of water. Staying on top of electrolytes can prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Laird Superfood Hydrate is a clean and natural form of electrolytes that I often turn to on a daily basis when in hot or dry climates. Its ingredients are freeze-dried coconut water and minerals from marine algae. It tastes similar to coconut water, YUM! This hydration powder has been my favorite so far.
#11. SUNGLASSES & Case
#22. Hiking Poles/ Trekking Poles
Although this one isn’t really a hike essential for me, so many other people do enjoy these to give themselves extra stability.
One of the best benefits of these trekking poles is that they take the weight off the knees and back, plus allow us to have a couple of “extra legs” when needed.
I’ve personally noticed they come in handy for super steep hikes and when trekking through water and their incredibly lightweight for eny trek!
Plus, the carbon fiber material so much stronger than the typical aluminum ones, personally if I’m resting body weight on these, I need them to hold up!
Prevention is always the way to go!Raw Elements sunscreen is lightweight and safe with TSA, so it’s backpacking, hiking, and travel friendly too; making it the perfect hike essential!
The consistency is a thick white paste and is best applied with a light lotion underneath it to help the sunscreen spread.
Raw Elements is toxin-free, all-natural, and comes in a metal container, making it more eco-friendly. (I was actually recommended this product by the flight attendants on Hawaiian Airlines to protect their coral reefs!)
Thankfully, almost any hat that provides some kind of shade is best.
I personally use a foldable lightweight hat like this REI Co-op Screeline Cap.
A foldable hat is extremely easy for travel, fitting into funky pockets, it has a loop for sunglasses, and adjustable strap for the perfect fit too!
#17. AIR HORN/Bear Horn
Although what may work for some predators don’t work for others, It’s worth having multiple forms of protection.
As far as bears – mace and the air horn are said to work, but with larger cats I’ve read that the air horn can be more affective since they move so incredibly fast.
So, again, it’s worth having both!
#19. BUG SPRAY
After trying a wide array of products, I’ve personally found this natural bug spray to work the best.
To get started, this bug spray is nontoxic, conveniently in a spray bottle, and in eco-friendly packaging.
Compared to, most bug sprays that come with DEET, in aerosol cans, plastic bottles, and all options are incredibly toxic or harmful for the environment.
If that one’s out of stock, another great bug spray is this one here!
#20. UV SHIRT
This UV shirt is absolutely a hike essential in preventing sunburns and heat exhaustion.
Not only is this Patagonia Capilene Cool Day Hoodie great for hiking, but it’s also great for kayaking, backpacking, or even just spending the day out in the sun. Not to mention, it’s super comfy!
Patagonia: Donates 1% to the planet, produced under safe, fair, legal, and humane working conditions.
Plus 50-80% of products are made from recycled polyester with material traceability under a
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