But when you just want a quick, light and stress free stroll, here’s your go to essentials.

When on a day hike, particularly if it is a well pathed and busy route, and only a few hours, you can get away with a very small pack. But when heading out in the wilderness it is always best practice to pack the essentials.

# Hiking Essentials

  • Backpack
  • Navigation
  • Clothing
  • Emergency shelter
  • Food and water
  • First aid kit
  • Sun Protection
  • Toiletries

On a day hike you are going to need a smaller backpack and less quantities of each item, but its always important to include these for comfort and safety.

# Backpack

On a day hike you can get away with a small backpack, a 10-30 litre will do the job here.

# Navigation

Always a necessity in the outdoors, a compass and map are must haves. Although a battery pack for your mobile phone can double up as a more modern navigation tool. But, always carry the physical fail safes!

# Clothing

When it comes to clothing day hikes aren’t really any different to longer hikes. Always make sure you have seasonally appropriate gear, a waterproof, and a mid-layer in case the temperature drops. Most importantly, make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots or trail shoes.

# Food and Water

Even on a day hike food and water are incredibly important. You should be drinking around a half litre of water per hour of hiking, per person, and some people may require more to feel optimally hydrated.

Food-wise, you’ll always want extra provisions in case of emergency, while some energy, protein or trail bars can be a lovely snack as you ramble. Beef jerky, nuts and fruit are also great, lightweight snacks.

# First Aid Kit

You can put together your own first aid kit, or pick up a pre-packaged kit specifically for hikers such as the Aptonia range or the waterproof Topenzorg BV.

# Sun Protection

When your out in the elements, alongside rain, wind and snow, an often forgotten danger is the sun. Make sure you always carry sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses, particularly when you are heading on elevated hikes.

# Toiletries

When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go, don’t get caught short.

You can be more relaxed on more public and pathed routes, but adherence to the hiking essentials is always helpful to keep you safe and keeping to best practice when in the great outdoors. See our article on Hiking Essentials For Beginners for a more detailed overview of hiking must-haves when tackling longer routes.