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 a Merrell specific shoe take a look at my Merrell Hiking Shoes for Women post.

#1

Merrell - Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Durable, supportive and comfortable.  Look HERE for a comprehensive Merrell shoe review.

5 of 5 Stars
#2

Salomon - X Ultra 3 Low GTX

Waterproof, lightweight, 

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

Women's Best Hiking Socks

These are my favorite three trail shoes.

#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

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Women's Retreats

Choose your destination below to get started!


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

Camping Gear Checklist

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


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