Getting out for a day in nature is always good for the body and mind. Being able to fully enjoy that experience means being prepared for anything. Sure, you may only be headed on a 3-hour hike you have done hundreds of times, however, nature is unpredictable so being as prepared as possible will make your adventure safe and memorable!
Here is our list of what you should wear on your body and what should be in your pack. It may seem like a lot but most items are small and like a dear friend once told me, "better to be looking at it, than looking for it." Sage advice that I carry to this day. The list also doesn't include candy... but trail candy is the best candy.
On your body (Top —> Bottom) :
- A hat (preferably one that covers the back of your neck and most of your face)
- A light shirt (Button up or wool are great for regulating temperature)
- A light synthetic jacket (something that can be stored in your backpack in case temperatures drop)
- A rain jacket (even if the forecast is for blue skies all day, bring a rain jacket just in case)
- Comfortable underwear that you would workout in
- Hiking shorts or pants (or for ultimate style points, convertible pants)
- Hiking socks (wool or blend materials are great)
- Sturdy hiking boots or shoes (for most day hikes, a good pair of hiking shoes will do the trick)
- For a day hike, a backpack around 20-30L should be perfect. Any bigger and you’ll just be bringing extra weight that will zap your legs on the uphills.
- Bringing a backpack on short hikes is great even just to hold a little extra water and some snacks
- Bear Spray (worn on the outside of the pack or belt for easy access)
- Water (1-2 litres per person is highly recommended, more if you know you will be exerting yourself)
- Food (either small snacks for a short hike, or full lunches) Just remember to hold onto your garbage until you can find a proper garbage can!
- First Aid Kit
- Any personal medication that you may need (epi-pens, inhalers etc.)
- Navigation (map/cellphone/GPS, have a plan)
- Sunscreen! (For the face/body/lips)
- Bug spray
- A neck tube
- A multi-tool
- Hiking poles (will reduce up to 25% of the impact force on your knees)
- A thin pair of gloves
- A headlamp/flashlight
- A small roll of toilet paper and some hand sanitizer (nature has been known to call in nature)
- A helmet (if scrambling, or in an area with a high risk of rockfall)
- A camera (you’ll want to remember the views!)
- A travel towel (there may be some alpine lakes worth popping into!)
- Spare socks (puddles happen)
- A hammock (when you find that perfect spot and want to relax for a while)
- A book (a nice partner to the hammock)
This gear lists is all encompassing and may include items that are not needed for the level of hike you are trying to accomplish. We just wanted to include everything so that you can make educated decisions when planning, dressing and packing for your adventure. Weight is also a factor, carrying 40lbs of gear for a 2 hour hike a great workout but may take away from the joy of being in the great outdoors. This list is also only made for a warmer weather hike, not for winter hiking.
Use our list as a guide, if you have any questions about your adventure don’t hesitate to reach out and one of our guides will happily answer and your questions.