What to Pack in a Day Bag for Hiking

What to Pack in a Day Bag for Hiking

April 2021

What to Pack in a Day Bag for Hiking

Like all of DESKRIB packing, I do have a formula for what we bring hiking. While most items stay relatively unchanged, the hike itself (such as distance) and other factors, such as the weather, do dictate some additional items. 

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Day Bag

  • If you are traveling for your hiking adventure, you are going to need to pack an additional bag to your main luggage. Since we already travel with a carry on backpack, it is a bit cumbersome to carry two backpacks so we opt for a completely packable day bag.
  • We love this day bag because it is affordable, packable, light weight, and has spots for water bottles and two zipper compartments – an outer and an inner. While it does not have a support structure built in (it is packable), we do not find this an issue as we are mindful about the weight we add while on trail.
  • I believe our longest venture with these bags was a 13 mile trail in New Zealand but this bag has been all over the world!

Trail Food

  • Whether it is a long or short trail, you have to pack at least a little something to snack on.
  • Trick with trail food is to bring something you are excited to eat – keeps the motivation going especially during long trails to have something yummy to look forward to.
  • Water, water, water! We always make sure both our 40oz hydroflasks are completely full before going on a hike – bring plenty of water, especially if the hike is long or hot.
  • We try to stay away from high sugar as that is more dehydrating and instead focus on protein and fruit, also do not forget some salt to add back in from sweating it out.
    • Snacks – granola bars, trail mix/nuts, banana bread, jerky, fruit, pancakes (so good!)
    • Lunch – sandwiches, wraps, or things that do not require heating, chips, a piece of chocolate for dessert

Misc Items

  • Phone power bank charger – when you are on epic hikes, you end up taking ALOT of photos and in case of emergency, you want to always have back up power especially on longer trails
  • Northface rain jacket – i always pack now, no matter the forecast, since it is so lightweight and packable
  • Microfiber towel – multipurpose such as picnic blanket or if it rains to dry off
  • Hand wipes – have come in handy many, many times as I find myself on hands and knees on tough trails and it is refreshing to be able to clean your hands
  • Bag for trash – make sure you pack out what you pack in!
  • COVID items such as hand sanitizer and an extra mask (in case you lose your mask),
  • Mini flashlight – particularly useful for sunrise or sunset hikes
  • A change of shoes and socks that stay in the car – we have been burned so many times by mud, rain, etc that leave our shoes in pretty rough shape and having a bag to shove them into and a fresh pair of socks and clean shoes is a life saver
  • Portable tripod – to take epic photos like these:

I hope you found this helpful! What are some of your must bring items when going hiking?

Check out all my packing tips and tricks here!

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