Heading out for a day hike is a delightful way to explore nature with friends and family, or even by yourself. Whether you want to go deep into the mountains or stay closer to home, the places to go are numerous; many state and national parks offer broad networks for trails, as does national forest land.
To determine what you need to bring on a day hike, think about how far you plan to hike, how remote the location is and what the weather forecast has in store. In general, the longer and/or more remote the hike is and the more inclement the weather, the more clothing, gear, food and water you’re going to want. If you’re just getting into day hiking, be sure to read our Hiking for Beginnersarticle before you head out.
What to Bring Day Hiking
These items should be on your hiking checklist:
Weather-appropriate clothing (think moisture-wicking and layers)
Hiking boots or shoes
Plenty of food
Plenty of water
Navigation tools such as a map and compass
Knife or multi-tool
The rest of the Essentials as appropriate for your hike