7 Essential Things to Pack for a Day Hike

If you know me by know, you would also know that I love hiking. Every weekend or whenever time permits, I like to take a break from my otherwise busy schedule and head to the mountains for a day’s hike. I am blessed to be staying in a city surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain range. It is extremely convenient for me to leave for the mountains early in the morning and get back at night, the same day.

Climbing a mountain is no easy task, it takes a lot of strength and determination to keep yourself going. For me, determination is achieved by self motivation. But what I have noticed during many of my hikes is that people exhaust their energy by carrying way too much weight on their backs which makes the climb difficult. So this post is for everyone who would like to know the essential things to carry for a day’s hike .

  1. Backpack: Make sure you don’t carry a backpack which has more than 20 liters capacity. This will make you pack less with only the most essential things. I usually carry a 20 liters Quechua backpack. It has great support for the back, almost makes you feel as if you’re not carrying anything at all.
  2. Water: No matter what season you are hiking in, make sure you have atleast 2-3 liters of water with you. Sip water every now-and-then to prevent dehydration. If you aren’t consuming water means you are also prone to headache and will feel tired easily. Also, if you are hiking with a group, it is advisable to carry a little extra as you never know when someone could fall sick and might need your help.
  3. Munchies: Even if you have lunch packed with you or decide to eat out, make sure you always have some eatables (like biscuits, dry fruits) in you bag. If you’re tired while climbing, you can rest and quickly munch on them and get-going!
  4. Cap/Hat: This is probably the first thing I pack in my bag. ALWAYS cover your head from direct sunlight or be ready to experience intense headaches. Not only does it protect your head and face from the harsh sunlight, but also enables proper vision due to the rain (if you are hiking during the monsoon season).
  5. Extra pair of socks: You don’t really know what to expect while climbing a mountain. You may encounter a waterfall, a tiny stream, or even muddy paths. You don’t want to wear the same wet socks throughout the day. Carrying an extra pair of socks is also useful if you have sweaty feet.
  6. Napkin: Be it the rains or the summer heat, a tiny napkin always come handy.
  7. Sunscreen: Probably you would not need this during the monsoons, but it’s a must if you are out on a summer or winter day. Sunscreen doesn’t really help for anti-tan (I would like to believe it as a misconception), but definitely prevents your skin from getting burnt.

There are various other things that go in my bag, but isn’t necessary for everyone to put it on their checklists.  However, if you would like to include them, then here you go: chapstick, wallet, earphones (I barely use it as I do not like to listen to music while hiking, I prefer the sounds of nature), extra hair-ties, comb and sunglasses.

Is there anything else that I should carry? Write to me in the comment section below. I’m always open to suggestions.


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