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Essentials For Your Next Day Hike

Whether you are new to day hiking, gearing up for your first trip in a while, or seeking inspiration for new products, this post is tailored for you. The following list features all the items you won’t want to leave behind on your next day hike, whether it’s a one-mile stroll or a challenging 15-mile trek, whether you’re going solo, embarking on a group adventure, or bringing along kids and dogs.

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Essential Gear

Let’s start with the most crucial item – a high-quality backpack. Unfortunately, my cherished hiking backpack, one of my most prized possessions, is no longer in production (come on, RTIC, please bring it back!).

However, if you plan to hike with kids, we highly recommend the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Child Carrier. Carrying a 40-pound child up a mountain may not be the most comfortable experience for you, but rest assured that your child will have a luxurious ride in this plush chariot.

Stay Hydrated

The next absolute essential for any hike is water. If you’re not carrying an ample supply of water, even on short hikes, we need to have a serious talk. Our favorite water vessels include a spacious Hydration Bladder or Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle. (Disclaimer: We don’t own this exact hydration bladder; we’re currently in the market to replace the RTIC one that came with my backpack – this one is Amazon’s Choice). After an unfortunate mishap that resulted in my treasured HydroFlask taking a fall, Michael upgraded to a Yeti when we visited Yellowstone this summer. We particularly love the “Chug Cap” on the Yeti.

Footwear Matters

If you plan to hike on rocky terrain or inclines, investing in good hiking shoes or boots is imperative. They might be a bit pricey, but they’ll endure for a long time (unless you’re hiking hundreds of miles a year).

Always Be Prepared

Always, always, always carry a rain jacket with you, for everyone in your group. Even if the forecast shows no rain for the next month, you never know when you might find yourself on a trail named “The Mist” and inadvertently get soaked by 50-degree glacial runoff because you forgot your rain jackets. Most rain jackets are lightweight and compact, so you won’t even notice them.

Safety First

First aid should always be a priority for your day hike, even if you believe you won’t need it. First aid doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can purchase comprehensive first aid kits that contain everything you might need. Don’t forget to include bug spray, such as OFF! Deep Woods Dry, and sunscreen like Banana Boat Sport.

Fuel Your Adventure

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to pack some snacks. Below is a list of our favorite trail snacks, most of which are kid-friendly.

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