What to Bring on a Day Hike
We love day hikes and luckily for us, there are so many places to take them around the pacific northwest. I almost need to them to feed my soul and de-stress. There’s just something about nature that is so healing in mind, body and soul.
You wouldn’t think so, because you aren’t planning to stay anywhere for a long time, but taking a day hike does take some preparation and safety precautions, though and there are some things you should bring on a day hike that we have learned through trial and error.
What to Bring on a Day Hike
Sunscreen– Being very fair, I wear sunscreen all summer long, but make sure I apply it liberally when I know I will be spending all days outdoors. It is not only for the protection from skin cancer, but from a very painful evening upon returning home. I bring extra along for reapplying to my face since I sweat. Bringing a hat is also a good idea.
Bug spray-Nothing can ruin a good hike like bugs. I can’t tell you how many times we have had to find this out the hard way. Apply some before you go and apply more as the day goes on. I have found that those special bracelets do not work, especially in highly infested areas with mosquitoes.
High protein and high carb snacks– Hiking is a lot of work. Your body will need fuel and protein for giving you energy as well as keeping you from feeling hungry all day. I like to bring energy bars like cliff bars as well as something like an apple along. We also eat a high protein and carb supplying breakfast.
A mini first aid kit-You never know when you will fall, trip, stub a toe or end up with blisters. Taking a first aid kit with you is always a good idea, especially if you are taking kids along.
An Extra Charging cell for phones- I have one of those cell phone battery banks that you charge first and take with you so you can charge your phone later and it has been great when my battery runs low from taking pictures. A cell phone could be a life saver if you need to call for rescue so you should make sure it is always charged.
Extra water- One thing I have definitely learned is to bring more water than you think you will need or want. On even a somewhat cool day, hiking can drain you of water and on hot days, to avoid heat stroke, its a must.
A map of the area– You never know when you will run into no service on your phone in some wooded areas, so having a physical map of the area is crucial, especially in more remote areas.
Pair of dry socks- The weather forecast may say sunny conditions, but you never know when it can change, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. An extra pair of dry socks in a must for changing weather conditions.
Walking stick-A walking stick or walking poles are something I have found to be very useful for crossing marshy areas as well as steep ones. Not only do they help you keep your balance, but they save some of your energy as well.
Binoculars- There have been so many times we have come across wildlife in the distance and unable to see it well because we failed to bring binoculars. They don’t even need to be super fancy or expensive, either.