Day Hiking Gear Checklist

Wondering what you should bring on a day-hike?

Want to check your gear bag against a list?

I was tired of being ill-prepared and created a day-hiking gear checklist to use every time I head out for the day.

Below I list what I bring for every day-hike and recommend you do to!

Day-hiking Gear and Clothing Recommendations from REI

I love REI's return policy... 1 year guaranteed returns, even if you tried it and didn't like it.  Buy with confidence and get the gear that lets you focus on your adventure and not a work-around for ill-suited gear.


Women's Best Hiking Shoes and Boots

These are my favorite three trail shoes.  If you are looking for more information you may be interested in our article about the Best Women's Hiking Shoes.

#1

Merrell - Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Durable, supportive and comfortable.  

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Salomon - X Ultra 3 Low GTX

Waterproof, lightweight, and amazing.  

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Oboz - Bridger Mid BDry 

I use mine for Mt Whitney and local day-hikes - these cuties are that comfortable!

4.5 of 5 Stars

Didn't see the womens hiking shoe brand you were looking for?  Check out any of these to find your perfect fit:


Women's Best Hiking Socks

These are my favorite three trail socks. I prefer wool socks or a wool synthetic blend.  These will keep your feet warm when wet and they will dry quickly.

#1

Darn Tough Her Spur Light Cushion Boot Socks

Wool socks with a Lifetime Guarantee! I love these for warmer days and any shoes or boots.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Smartwool Hike Light Margarita Crew Socks

These are super comfortable and soft.  These are excellent and often on sale at the REI Outlet.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Darn Tough Gatewood Boot Sock Full Cushion 

I love these for long days, water crossings (they are nice and warm when wet) and multi-day trips.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Camping Gear Checklist

Want to go camping?  Check out this starter list to get going!


Sun Protection for Hiking

Here are a few ways to protect your face from the sun.

#1

Outdoor Research Oasis Sombrero Hat

Comes in great colors and offers shade all around.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Columbia Global Adventure Packable Hat II

Stylish and packable?!? This hat is absolutely perfect for hiking and travel.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

goodr OG Sunglasses

Great fit.  Awesome color choices! Unbeatable price!

4.5 of 5 Stars

Windbreakers

Great for wind and rain protection, but also when layered on top of other payers helps keep you even warmer!

#1

Cotopaxi Teca Windbreaker Half-Zip Jacket

A great company with a better mission and incredible colors. 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

REI Co-op Swiftland Trail Run Jacket

Great lightweight jacket and on SALE right now!

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Patagonia Houdini Jacket

This jacket has all the features: water repellent and extra long in the back makes it a great long-term investment.

4.0 of 5 Stars

Extra Layers for Day-hiking

Extra layers is typically a mid layer jacket and a hat or other head warmer.   Here are my go-to items.

#1

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

I wear mine (or pack it in my purse) everywhere I go!

 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Patagonia Micro D Snap-T Fleece Pullover

Fleece classic - great for around the campfire or as an extra layer for hike.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

prAna Permafrost Hooded Fleece Vest

Not only is it adorable, but it also keeps you super warm without being a jacket. 

4.5 of 5 Stars

Hydration Bladders for Day-hiking

#1

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir 

This bladder goes on every adventure with me.  After 3 years, it is still going strong.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

HydraPak Shape-Shift Hydration Reservoir

I really like the wide open mouth of this model.  Easy to fill and dry.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#2

HydraPak Seeker 2L Collapsible Water Container

This is great way to travel with an additional water reservoir for the day or camp.

 

4 of 5 Stars

Daypacks for Day-hiking

Enter your text here... love you Starfish <3 

#1

Osprey Skimmer 20 Hydration Pack

Great access hole, comfortable and versatile.

 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Gregory Maya 16 Pack

Favorite pack for day-hiking - and it comes with a reservoir.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Gregory Swift 25 Hydration Pack

Lots of room for all your essentials.

 

4.5 of 5 Stars

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles offer a way to help your knees last a lot longer and downhills more bearable.

#1

Black Diamond
Trail Back Trekking Poles

On Sale at a great price!

 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Leki Legacy Lite Cor-Tec Trekking Poles


Leki Legacy Lite Cor-Tec Trekking Poles

Light, low profile SpeedLock Plus locking system works great while on the move.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#2

REI Outlet Trekking Poles offer great prices

Find great trekking poles at the REI Outlet! All Outlet purchases are still covered by REI's excellent return policy.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Nutrition Options for Day-hiking

I like to eat PB&J, bacon, grilled chicken and other 'real' foods, but these are some of the 'just in case' foods I have in my pack at all times... sometimes I bring extra so I can eat these sweet snacks.

#1

PROBAR Meal Bar

I eat this as a breakfast or trail snack and love the way it tastes.  Its also vegan 🙂 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Honey Stinger Energy Waffle

My friend Jaci showed me these 4 years ago, and I have one in my purse at all times now!

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Theo Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (also Almond)

Oh. My. Goodness! I love these after a tough climb or around the campfire.  They also make this treat with almond butter and also a delicious chocolate bar ... yum!

4.5 of 5 Stars

Illumination

You never know when you might get stuck out later than expected and a source of light can be invaluable for safety and comfort.   I recommend having a way to light up the situation, no matter what time you start your hike.

#1

Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp

This headlamp is super bright and useful on trails and has low and red settings for camp and conversations. ($49)

5 of 5 Stars
#2

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 Inflatable Solar Lantern

This lantern is great for day-hikes, backpacking and backyards!  8 hours of charge is 24 hours of light. 

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Black Diamond Astro 175 Headlamp

Great for kids or as a backup headlamp.  At only 175 lumens it will make a dusty trail impossible and might cause more frustration than solutions at camp.  Great for a pinch and good price ($19)

4.5 of 5 Stars

1st Aid Kit

Always come prepared to help, and hope to not be needed.

#1

HART Health Day Hike First Aid Kit

Less than 4 oz and has all the bits you want in a day-hike first aid kit. $13.50

#2

HART Health Multiday First Aid Kit

At 12.7 ounces this 1st Aid kit is equipped to support your first aid needs in a multi-day adventure. $36.50

#2

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Explorer Medical Kit

Made for adventures with up to 4 people and 7 days this kit has it all, even a pocket guide to support your 1st Aid administration.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Emergency Blanket

Weather and events can shift our plans or environment without notice.  An emergency blanket can be used to create a shelter for you and others, keep someone warm or protect from the sun.

#1

SOL Emergency Blanket

$5 gets you the peace of mind to know you are a little more prepared.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

SOL Survival Blanket

Big enough for two adults, which is great for building a larger shelter.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#2

SOL Escape Lite Bivy

5 oz and offers all around reflection of 70% of your body's heat.  Great for the car or backpack.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Multi-tool

You never know when a tool will make your day easier.

#1

Leatherman Signal Multi-Tool with Standard Sheath

I like that this model has two knives and a handy hanging option.  This is definitely a does-it-all tool.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Gerber Truss Multi-Tool

For less than the Letherman Single Multi-tool it offers more versatility by having more tools and gadgets.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Leatherman Heritage Leather Sheath

Every woman needs a beautiful leather tool carrier. This one is gorgeous and wonderful to touch. Comes in various sizes.

4.5 of 5 Stars

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