Three friends setting up a picnic

What To Pack For a Day Hike In The Mountains

Charli Moore Sep 26, 2022

The mountains are calling, and you must go. 

But before you do, make sure you have everything you need for your alpine adventure with the help of our handy packing guide.


How To Pack For a Day Hike

Depending on how much kit you need to take, consider sectioning your gear into packing cubes so that you can easily find what you need. Have one cube for snacks and energy gels, another for spare clothing, and one for your first aid and fire-starting kit.

Keep your essential items close at hand in a fanny pack. You’ll need things like water, trail snacks and sunscreen regularly throughout the day so make them easily accessible to avoid unpacking your main bag every time you stop. 

Tip: Choose a recycled waistpack and put your best foot forward for the planet every time you hit the trail.


Plan Your Route and Assess the Conditions

You may have packed everything you need, but before heading out into the mountains it’s essential that you’re properly prepared. Check the weather, plan your route, and tell someone where you’re planning to go and what time you expect to be home. It’s also a good idea to make an alternative plan to get off the trail at short notice if you need to.

Need help planning your route? Read this guide to hiking smart from the National Parks Service.


Hiking Packing List

Here are the essentials you’ll need to pack in your daypack:

  • Water bottle (make sure you carry enough water to keep you hydrated)
  • High-calorie trail snacks and energy gels
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Spare pair of socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sweat-wicking neck buff
  • Headtorch
  • Basic fire-starting kit
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Bag for your rubbish so that you can leave only footprints
  • Phone and power bank


Wear the Right Clothing

Whatever the weather, the right clothing can make or break your experience on the trail. Forget high-fashion and choose practical, durable fabrics that will wick sweat away from your body while keeping you warm and dry. 

Merino base layers are a great option for cooler climates, you can wear more than one underneath your waterproof if the weather takes a turn for the worst. 

Don’t forget to keep your shoulders covered and wear a peaked cap to avoid sunburn in the height of summer. 

Choose your footwear wisely. If you have them, wear hiking boots as they will cushion your feet for the entire length of the trail. 

Wherever you choose to roam, remember that every hiking trail has a lesson in store for those who venture into the great outdoors. And whatever you take away from your trip, make sure you turn up fully prepared for the adventure ahead.


Share your tips for the trail with us using #LifeUnzipped.

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