This post includes some of my favorite gear for day hiking. When buying new gear, I look for quality and comfort. I usually start with brands that I have experience with and have proven reliable in the past. So below are items that I use while day hiking, which usually range from 4 to 10 miles roundtrip. I also listed a few items that are good to have on hikes.
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I have been searching for a new backpack, as the one I have been using did not fit me properly and bruised my lower back. After some research, I decided to try out the Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women’s Hiking Backpack and it is fantastic! I went with the Small/Medium size and the straps allow me plenty of room to adjust to fit me just right. This backpack is a great size for a day hike, I can fit my water, food, rain jacket, and first aid kit in with no issues. It also has a hip belt with zippered pockets, which are great for storing small items like lip balm and easy access snacks. I also like that they designed the back panel to allow airflow, which keeps my back cooler.
I also tried out the Osprey Packs Tempest 9 Women’s Hiking Backpack. This one has the same features as the 20L pack, but it is much smaller than what I want for day hikes. It will be good on short hikes or if you pack light.
For years I have been using the same pair of Merrell hiking shoes. They have been comfortable and show little signs of wear, but I’ve been wanting to upgrade to hiking boots that have thicker soles and can provide more stability for rugged terrain. Since my Merrell brand shoes have proven to be very reliable, I purchased a pair of Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boots. After several miles, these boots are my favorite. I chose a half size up from my normal shoe size, so that I would have about a thumb’s width from my toes to the tip of the shoe. This also gives more room for thicker socks during cold weather. Merrell also has a waterproof version, which can be found here. I purchased the ventilated boots for the breathability, as feet may get warmer and sweat in waterproof boots. If you plan on hiking through wet terrain more often, then the waterproof boots may be a better option.
I usually keep a rain jacket in my backpack while on a hike just in case there is rain I didn’t see on the radar. Lately, I’ve been using this Columbia Women’s Arcadia II Waterproof Rain Jacket. I like this one because it packs down into its own pocket, so it’s a great fit for a day hike pack and it keeps you dry.
First Aid Kit
I keep a first aid kit like this one here in my hiking backpack. It is a small kit (the one I linked has 100 pieces), but it holds a lot of items that are great for treating minor wounds while on the trail. This kit comes in a compact, snap lid box which does not take up a lot of space in a backpack. It is also great for camping or keeping in your car.
A few more favorites that I wear or keep with me on the trail:
- All-Weather Magnesium Firestarter Kit
- Plastic bags (to put valuables into in case it starts to rain)
- Insect Repellent (mosquitoes love me)
- Binoculars (I wish had had these during my trip to Alaska, they are great!)
- Hiking pants like these
- Water Bottle
What do you make sure to have with you when hiking? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,