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Day Hike Essentials Packing List

We try to go on day hikes once a week. It’s our preferred way of exercising, and it also helps us explore our hood. We put together a day hike checklist since I am notorious for leaving things behind and losing it out in the middle of nowhere. I guess you can suck it up and consider it character building or just be prepared. Hopefully, you will also find this list helpful for any of your future day hikes.

Day Hike Checklist | What's In My Bag: Our Day Hiking Essentials.Pin
Rei flash 18 | What's In My Bag: Our Day Hiking Essentials.Pin

Top 10 Day Hiking Essentials

  1. Lightweight Day Hike Backpack (We usually share the REI flash 18 pack)
  2. Sunscreen (We use this) and face sunscreen (I use this) if you have sensitive skin like me.
  3. One Liter of Water (We each take these or share this filled at 2L if we need to be on a faster pace hike.)
  4. Snacks (These are our current fave and it’s a toss up between almond & apricot or almond & coconut.)
  5. Toilet paper bc sometimes you gotta go when you gotta go. (Also this is optional but comes in handy for females)
  6. Hand sanitizer (same reason as the TP). Is it weird that I like these baby ones? It doesn’t dry up your hands!
  7. Hat to keep the sun off your face (I take this with me 50% of the time but I know I should take better care of my skin.)
  8. Hiking Shoes (After trying on dozens of pairs, I found these, and Jacob has had these for a while. No complaints.)
  9. Quick Dry Tees (I recently started buying these in every color since they fit nicely. Usually quick dry tees have weird fits.)
  10. Hiking Convertible Pants (We have several from here. I know they aren’t the cutest, but screw it, they do the job.)


  • Camera (We usually take our 5d Mark III and 35/1.4L, but sometimes it’s good to just be present & enjoy the hike.)
  • Compass & Map for when you get lost or maybe “an inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered” – Chesterton.
  • Extra Layers (We both love and own a variety of these patagonia capilene layers.)
  • Rain jackets depending on where you are hiking. (We have these: women’s & men’s, but haven’t been used much in Nevada).
  • Trekking poles if there’s a ton of elevation change (I use these since I am petite). They really save your knees.
  • Extra socks if you are on a full-day hike. Changing socks mid-way can make a huge difference. (We use smartwool.)
  • Emergency kit we usually never take one with us and we’ve never needed to, but it’s good to be safe.
  • Flask to enjoy a drink with a view.

Check out some awesome day hikes we’ve been on:

Other Resources:

Now that you’ve seen what’s in my bag, what’s in your bag?

xoxo estherJacob