What do I need for a day light/day hike?
As I had mentioned earlier hiking is a simple way to ease into getting outside. Today I’m going to cover some of the basics you would need for a day light or day hike.
To review a day light hike is a simple hike, not much elevation gain usually done in a hour or two. Typically you aren’t going far from your home to find this trail. Since your not going to be outside much you don’t need a lot. A day hike is going to last a little bit longer maybe 2-5 hours. Usually your driving outside of town and going to tackle some elevation.
The first thing is going to be quality shoes. I am a firm believer in trail runners. I’ve grown up wearing tennis shoes my whole life and feel comfortable in them. A trail runner is going to have a knobby sole to dig into the rock and roots. Compared to a street shoe that has a smoother sole. If you are someone who feels comfortable in boots then you may want to look into getting a pair of hiking boots. I have a friend who always hikes in boots, she grew up on a farm and always wore cowboy boots so for her hiking boots feel comfy. They really aren’t needed for something at this level but if you are planning on doing more intense hikes it can be a good way to break in some new shoes.
Water is an important thing to have with you no matter how long or how hot it is outside. If you are doing something that is going to take an hour or less then usually one bottle of water should be fine. If it is summer you are going to want more water since you sweat more. For a longer day hike I would recommend a day pack that has a water bladder. These usually carry 3 liters of water. I am bad about drinking enough water so I always pack mine with ice to keep it cool while I’m out hiking. They also have smaller lumbar bags that will carry water bottles. Yes it looks like a giant fanny pack but it sits on your lower back and you can carry a lot of stuff without having to worry about having something sitting next to your back.
Its important to eat before and after the hike, sure you already knew that. What you may forget about is packing a quality snack while hiking. This is more for the day hikes that have you out there for a couple of hours. It doesn’t matter if it is homemade or store bought. I recommend a protein bar, sometimes I will have energy gels. Just don’t forget to pack something to eat while on the trail.
If you are doing a longer hike you need to reward yourself once you get to the top. No I’m not talking about having alcohol. Maybe you want to pack a hammock and just chill on the side of a mountain for a while. Depending on the area you could bring a frisbee to help stretch out your legs. Don’t forget your phone, for pictures and music. You could also bring a book, paper or digital, I don’t judge.
There are some other important things to bring. A small first aid kit is important to have on hand. For my fellow ladies out there a FUD is good to have with you too. It stands for Female Urination Device, basically it helps you pee standing up. For those with small bladders that can feel like a life saver. Depending on the weather you may also want to pack a rain jacket or another layer. Even when I hiked in the desert I would wear a long sleeve shirt over a tank top to cover my arms from being burned and it actually helped me stay cool. I also dress in layers for when its cooler out in case I get hot while hiking and then cool off while resting.
What else to do you bring with you on a day hike? Let me know.
Encourage. Enjoy. Explore.