1. Map and compass.
It is important to bring a map and compass when you go on a day hike, as they are essential for navigating unfamiliar terrain and figuring out where you are going. A good map will show all the points of interest in the area, such as trails, rivers, lakes, campsites, and other landmarks. A compass will help you orient yourself and figure out which direction you are going.
2. Water and snacks.
Always bring plenty of water, especially if it is a hot day. It is easy to become dehydrated when hiking, so it is important to stay hydrated and replenish your energy with snacks throughout the day. High-energy snacks such as trail mix or nuts can provide enough fuel for a long hike.
3. First aid kits.
It is always recommended to carry a first aid kit on any outdoor activity, since there may be potential risks involved in the terrain or weather conditions. A good first aid kit should include items like bandages, gauze pads, wound cleaning supplies, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
4. Extra layers of clothing.
The weather can change rapidly when you are outdoors, so it is always a good idea to bring extra layers of clothing with you. This includes items like a light jacket, gloves, hat or beanie, and a scarf to keep you warm if the temperature drops unexpectedly.
5. Rain gear/emergency shelter.
Always make sure to bring some form of rain gear with you in case there is a sudden downpour during your hike. This could include things like waterproof jackets and pants, umbrellas, or ponchos. An emergency shelter like a tarp can also be useful for providing temporary protection from the rain or wind.
6. Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
It is important to bring a headlamp or flashlight in case you find yourself hiking in the dark. This can help you find your way back to camp or a spot of safety if needed. Make sure to bring extra batteries just in case.
7. Whistle for emergency signaling.
Bringing a whistle with you on hikes can be useful for signaling for help if needed. A loud whistle sound can be heard from a great distance and will make it easier for rescuers to locate you in an emergency situation.
8. Knife or multi-tool.
Carrying a knife or multi-tool on day hikes is also a good idea. This can come in handy for tasks such as cutting rope, opening packages or slicing food items.
9. Proper footwear that’s broken-in and waterproof.
Make sure to wear the proper type of footwear when you go on your hike. Shoes should be comfortable and broken in so they don't cause any blisters or discomfort while walking. Getting shoes that are waterproof is also a good idea in case you run into wet terrain or streams along the way.
10. Emergency contact information written down.
Always bring emergency contact information with you when going on hikes and write it down just in case anything happens and you need help. Be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.