If you plan on going hiking for the day, it is important that you carry the right gear, accessories, and clothing with you to maintain proper safety. What follows is a day hike checklist that provides you the essential elements of your adventure.


Basic and Essential Checklist for Day HikingYour day hiking essentials will need to include the following for all weather and terrain conditions.

–    Insulation (Summer): Shirt, Pants, Hat, & Jacket or Blanket
–    Insulation (Winter): Jacket, Pants, Vest, Gloves, Hat, & Long Underwear
–    Fire: Lighter or Matches, Fire Starter, Waterproof Container
–    First Aid Kit
–    Food: One Day Extra Supply of Food
–    Lighting: Larger Flashlight, Small or Keychain Flashlight, & Extra Batteries
–    Navigational Aids: Compass, Protected Map, & GPS (optional)
–    Shelter: Tent, Tarp, or Reflective Blanket
–    Sun Protection: Sunglasses, Sunscreen, & Lip Balm
–    Tools: Multi-Tool Kit, Knife, Kits for Mattress and Stove, & Duct Tape
–    Water: Water Bottles & Water Filter

All of these are essential for your hiking adventure, even if you only plan to be gone for a few hours. By carrying this equipment, you can be prepared for the unexpected. Many people who go hiking for a day or the weekend will have packed their backpacks with these items already and add what other items they need for the trip just to save time.

Important Items

The following list consists of items that are important, but not necessarily essential to your day hike checklist. Most people will take some, but not all of these items with them on their trip.

  • Binoculars
  • Cups
  • Daypack
  • Energy Beverages
  • Extra Clothes
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Insect Repellent
  • Lunch
  • Poles for Trekking
  • Sanitation Trowel
  • Snacks
  • Toilet Paper
  • Small Towel
  • Trash Bag
  • Whistle or Noisemaker

If you are only going for a few hours along familiar trails, then most of these items will not be all that important. However, there is a selected number that you might want to have handy anyway, such as the whistle to get people’s attention or the insect repellent for summer trips.

Electronic Devices

Most of the following items will help you record your adventure which makes it even more fun. However, there are a few that may help save your life in case of an emergency.

  • Camera
  • Helmet Camera
  • Multi-Function Watch
  • Personal Locator Beacon
  • Satellite or Cell Phone
  • Two-Way Radio

This day hiking gear list is important in case you need to call for help. Most cell phones are useless out in the wilderness, so a satellite phone is better.

Hiking During Warm Weather

You’ll still want to protect yourself from the two elements that offer the biggest challenges, sunlight, and insects.

  • Hat with Brim
  • Insulated Fleece Jacket
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Mosquito Net Clothing
  • Quick Drying Pants or Shorts
  • Wicking T-shirt and Underwear

The main danger apart from the sun and insects is overheating, so bring along plenty of water.

Hiking During Cold Weather

  • Protection from the cold is your primary goal.
  • Insulated Boots
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Rain Jacket & Pants
  • Warm Jacket
  • Wicking Shirt & Underwear

With these items, you’ll be fully prepared for your next adventure out in the wilderness.


My name is John Winger, I was born and raised in Virginia. I spent a good part of my early adult life in the US military, namely the Army and served in Iraq. I saw my fair share of combat missions and thanks to that experience I have a better understanding and appreciate for what my country means to me and the world.

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