What to bring on short or day hikes.

If you’re anything like me, you love spending time outdoors hiking and exploring new trails. However, before you hit the trailhead, there are a few things you need to make sure you have to make your day hike as enjoyable and safe as possible. In this post, I’ll share my top hiking essentials with you so that you can be prepared for anything!

Before you leave, you must know a few things:

  • What will the weather be like?
  • How far do you plan on hiking?

These will help ensure you don’t bring too much but have enough water, food, and the proper gear.

Must-haves to make your day hike safe and awesome:

Hiking boots, sandals or a good pair of shoes.

Depending on where you are hiking, you may need the ankle stability that hiking boots give. We love our Danner Boots, and they are super comfortable and stylish! We always like to go in our hiking sandals if it’s warmer weather. Justin loves his Teva’s, while I love my Chaco’s.

If you cannot purchase either of these, you can wear tennis shoes! Just make sure they have good traction and are comfortable for a few miles.


A good pack will be both comfortable and versatile. This Osprey is similar to what I have for longer hikes. Camelbaks are also a go-to of mine for smaller packs.

I like to make sure they can hold a bladder of water, making drinking while you hike easier.


No matter how long my hike is, I always make sure my bladder is FULL! My day pack carries a 1.5L bladder that I fill before I leave. On HOT days I fill it 1/4-1/2 full of ice. Read more of our Hot Weather Hiking Tips here! And just in case, I always have a Nalgene of water in case of emergencies.

First Aid Kit

Yes, you need more than just bandaids when you go out! This kit is perfect! Always better safe than sorry!

Extra Layers

Depending on your length of hike and weather. You’ll need a warmer layer went the sun dips. I always bring a sweatshirt or a light jacket. Just in case of rain, I slip in a rain jacket.

Day Hiking checklist