What to bring on a day hike

 What To Bring On A Day Hike

Defining your hike

Your hike can be quickly defined by the season , distance and degree of difficulty . These three factors will enable you to very quickly decide what you need to bring with you so that your outing becomes enjoyable and safe . By using these parameters it becomes very easy to prepare a backpack for yourself . And rest assured that a pack on your back , is the easiest and most comfortable means to carry any load for any period of time .

Once you have defined the ‘ type ‘ of hike you will be going on, it becomes very easy to gear – up for it .

Long ago

In the old days , people use to walk or hike to their destinations out of necessity . Today , however hiking is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds . Hiking is now less used as a means of transportation and more and more has become an exciting and pleasant way to exercise and to enjoy the outdoors .

Hiking is becoming the gateway to spending more time outdoors , because of its simplicity . It is so easy that everyone is ” bumping up ” their walking – to hiking !

Day trips

Much of the hiking today can be observed in our city parks which are often built along rivers , follow a sea-shore or some other geographical feature . Most of these day trips are fun , social and can be put together with a few friends in quick order . A few phone calls , some friends from work or school , some snacks and done .

Walking along a river or along the sea-shore with friends is always a very pleasant experience and most times even inclement weather can’t spoil the beautiful experience .

A Walk in the Park

Man, Woman, Human, Pair, Love, Together

We all know that a walk in the park or along the beach is not a hike , but it is the beginning of your hiking training . The more walks along the river and along the seashore you take – the closer you will be to setting out on your first real hike .

Now , you will need more than your cell phone and a bottle of water .

What to bring on a hike

Over the years , people travelling from place to place soon realized that a few items and tools carried with them in a bag or basket were always nice to have , very useful and often added to their safety and could even save lives on occasion .

Many ‘lists’ have been created by the beginners and the hard-core . Even the ‘forgetful’ make a list – not to forget their list !

What has survived to this day is the ‘lists’ of ten . This is an easy number to remember , because of our numeral system but also perhaps because we have ten fingers and ten toes .

The old list

  1. map
  2. compass
  3. water/food
  4. clothing/rain gear
  5. knife
  6. shelter
  7. sunglasses
  8. matches
  9. first aid kit
  10. flashlight

Today’s list has replaced most of these items with a ” system ” .

  1. navigation ( includes map , compass , GPS , )   http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/home
  2. fire ( matches/lighter/fire-starter )
  3. illumination ( headlamps/flashlights )
  4. first aid
  5. sun protection ( sunglasses/sunscreen)
  6. insulation ( clothing )
  7. hydration ( water/water filter )
  8. nutrition
  9. emergency shelter ( bivouac/tarp/space blanket)
  10. repair kit and tools

As you can quickly see , using a system is much easier to classify the necessary items required for any task . Again , depending on the season , the distance and the degree of difficulty of your next hike , this list is very complete and one that I have been using for many years .

I welcome any and all of your comments and suggestions to the the above list of essential items that should be carried on ALL your outdoor adventures .


Navigation, Compass, Direction

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