Day Hiking Gear Checklist

Wondering what you should bring on a day-hike?

Want to check your gear bag against a day hike packing list?

I was tired of being ill-prepared and created a day hiking checklist to use every time I head out for the day. I needed a hiking hear list I could rely on.

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

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Here is my go-to list for day-hikes. Click any of them to jump to specific recommendations. This is a hiking checklist for just about any adventure.

Day Hiking Checklist

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.


This hiking gear checklist is intended to give you a place to start with your day hike packing list goals.


Women's Best Hiking Shoes and Boots

Absolutely, hands down, the most important part of your hiking gear list are hiking shoes for women. These are what carry you and your gear.  Make sure you get the right shoe for your adventure!

#1

Merrell - Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

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Durable, supportive and comfortable.  

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Salomon - X Ultra 3 Low GTX

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Waterproof, lightweight, and amazing.  

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Oboz - Bridger Mid BDry 

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

4.5 of 5 Stars

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

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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

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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 

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I love these for long days, water crossings (they are nice and warm when wet) and multi-day trips. These are always on my hiking gear list.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Sun Protection for Hiking

Here are a few ways to protect your face from the sun. I hope this hiking gear checklist is helpful.

#1

Outdoor Research Oasis Sombrero Hat

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Comes in great colors and offers shade all around.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Columbia Global Adventure Packable Hat II

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

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

goodr OG Sunglasses

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Great fit.  Awesome color choices! Unbeatable price! Who doesn't need at least 1 pair of shades on their hiking gear list.

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! Hiking clothes for women are fun and colorful, so you can always make a statement.

#1

Cotopaxi Teca Windbreaker Half-Zip Jacket

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A great company with a better mission and incredible colors. 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

REI Co-op Swiftland Trail Run Jacket

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Great lightweight jacket and on SALE right now! Likely, the best rain jacket for hiking.

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Patagonia Houdini Jacket

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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. Come on ladies, there are few bad reasons for more hiking clothes for women.

#1

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

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

 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Patagonia Micro D Snap-T Fleece Pullover

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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

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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 

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This bladder goes on every adventure with me.  After 3 years, it is still going strong. It is a warrior of the hiking gear list.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

HydraPak Shape-Shift Hydration Reservoir

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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

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

 

4 of 5 Stars

Daypacks for Day hiking checklist

This are great packs to use for a day hike.  The best daypack for hiking and your hiking pack list.

#1

Osprey Skimmer 20 Hydration Pack

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Great access hole, comfortable and versatile.

 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Gregory Maya 16 Pack

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

4.5 of 5 Stars
#3

Gregory Swift 25 Hydration Pack

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Lots of room for all your essentials.

 

4.5 of 5 Stars

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles, or walking sticks for hiking, offer a way to help your knees last a lot longer and downhills more bearable. 

#1

Black Diamond
Trail Back Trekking Poles

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On Sale at a great price! These walking sticks for hiking are lightweight and durable.

 

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Leki Legacy Lite Cor-Tec Trekking Poles


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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

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Find great trekking poles, or walking sticks for hiking, 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

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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

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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)

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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.  I prefer to use one of the best headlamp for hiking, the option in the number one spot below.

#1

Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp

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This is the best headlamp for hiking, it 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

5 of 5 Stars
#2

SOL Survival Blanket

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

4.5 of 5 Stars
#2

SOL Escape Lite Bivy

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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. This is a must have on any outdoor adventurer's hiking checklist.

#1

Leatherman Signal Multi-Tool with Standard Sheath

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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

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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

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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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