You’ve had the date marked in your calendar for weeks now and the excitement of a full day out on the trails is starting to build. The last thing you want is have the day spoiled by leaving something critical at home. Have you got a day hike checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered?

Here at The Adventure Junkies we know how many gear options there are when it comes to hiking. I mean, just look at how many gear reviews we’ve done over the years! To help keep things as simple as possible, we’ve done the hard work and selected the best option for each type of equipment you’ll need on your day hike. Print it out, laminate it, whatever you do, keep it handy and you’ll have the best day hike possible.

 

 

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

HOW TO USE THIS PACKING LIST

Before we jump into the world of packing for day hiking, I want to give you a quick rundown on how to get the most out of this list. Next to each item you will see a few categories, let me explain what they mean.

PURPOSE: What it is used for, a quick insight on why you might need that piece of gear.

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: We know that when you’re just starting out it can be tough to know what you really need and what can be left at home. We did our best to weed out the essentials and have written ‘Yes’ for each item we believe you truly need. Keep in mind, this will vary depending on the type of trip you are planning.

PRICE RANGE: It’s good to get an idea of how much each item will cost so you can budget accordingly.

LOOK FOR: Some quick tips on how to choose your gear.

OUR PICK: Our choice based on the value and quality of the product.

LEARN MORE: An article related to that particular piece of gear.

BEST MODELS: An article about the top gear of the year.

 

 

1. CARRYING GEAR

BACKPACK

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: A large bag carrying everything needed for an extended day hike

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $150 – $400

LOOK FOR: A comfortable fit and quality materials

OUR PICK: Osprey Atmos (50L)

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Backpacks of the Year >>

 

 

 

DAYPACK

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: A lightweight and comfortable bag for all your hiking essentials

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $240

LOOK FOR: Lightweight materials and plenty of pockets

OUR PICK: Osprey Daylite

BEST MODELS: Best Day Hiking Backpacks of the Year >>

 

 

 

PACK COVER

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Keep your gear dry during wet weather

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends if there is a chance of rain

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $50

LOOK FOR: Durable material and sized to fit your pack

OUR PICK: Sugoi Zap Pack Cover

BEST MODELS: Best Backpack Rain Covers >>

 

 

 

DRY BAG

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep your electronics, books or other items dry

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on your needs

PRICE RANGE: $15 – $60

LOOK FOR: Seam seals and roll-top closure

OUR PICK: Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack 20L

 

 

MULTI-DAY
HIKING PACKING LIST

Don't forget important gear at home!


Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.


Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!

* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails.

 

 

 

 

2. CLOTHING GEAR FOR WARM WEATHER

HIKING SHIRT

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Lightweight shirt to protect you from the elements while keeping you cool

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $15 – $100

LOOK FOR: Comfort, fit, and a quick-dry fabric (wool or synthetic)

OUR PICK: Columbia Plus Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Shirts of the Year >>

 

 

 

HIKING PANTS

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Lightweight pants to protect you from the elements while keeping you cool

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $100

LOOK FOR: Comfort, fit, and a quick-dry fabric (wool or synthetic)

OUR PICK: Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pants

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Pants of the Year >>

 

 

 

LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep you warm in cool weather

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $80 – $200

LOOK FOR: Breathable materials and weight appropriate to your use

OUR PICK: Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Hoody

BEST MODELS: Best Softshell Jackets of the Year >>

 

 

 

SUN HAT

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Prevent sunburn on your head and prevent glare

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $50

LOOK FOR: Quick drying, breathable material with a broad brim for maximum sun protection

OUR PICK: Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Hats of the Year >>


 

 

 

 

3. CLOTHING GEAR FOR COLD WEATHER

BASELAYER PANTS

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon | Backcountry

PURPOSE: Keep your lower body warm and dry

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $100

LOOK FOR: Comfort, breathability, quick-dry material

OUR PICK: Craft Men’s Active Extreme

BEST MODELS: Best Long Johns of the Year >>

 

 

 

BASELAYER SHIRT

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Keep your upper body warm and dry

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $30 – $120

LOOK FOR: Warmth, breathability and quick-dry fabric

OUR PICK: Tasc Performance Men’s Level B

BEST MODELS: Best Base Layers of the Year >>

 

 

 

SOFTSHELL PANTS

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep your lower body warm

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $40 – $200

LOOK FOR: Comfort, warmth and breathability

OUR PICK: Outdoor Research Men’s Cirque

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Pants of the Year >>

 

 

 

FLEECE JACKET

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep your upper body warm

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $50 – $200

LOOK FOR: Comfort, warmth and breathability

OUR PICK: The North Face Men’s Denali 2

BEST MODELS: Best Fleece Jackets of the Year >>

 

 

 

GLOVES

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep your hands warm

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $150

LOOK FOR: Goof fit, warmth and dexterity

OUR PICK: Outdoor Research Men’s Alti

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Gloves of the Year >>

 

 

 

BEANIE

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Prevent heat loss and keep you warm

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $75

LOOK FOR: Comfort, breathability and warmth

OUR PICK: Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Hats of the Year >>

 

 

 

DOWN JACKET

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep your upper body warm

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $80 – $400

LOOK FOR: Comfort, fit, warmth, and weight of down

OUR PICK: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

BEST MODELS: Best Down Jackets of the Year >>

 


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4. CLOTHING GEAR FOR WET WEATHER

WATERPROOF PANTS

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep your lower body dry and protected from the wind

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $40 – $300

LOOK FOR: Good fit, breathable, sealed seams, and ability to be put on over boots

OUR PICK: Patagonia Torrentshell

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Rain Pants of the Year >>

 

 

 

WATERPROOF JACKET

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep your upper body dry and protected from the wind

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $50 – $400

LOOK FOR: Good fit, breathable, sealed seams and a hood

OUR PICK: Marmot Men’s Minimalist

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Rain Jackets of the Year >>


 

 

 

 

5. FOOTWEAR

BOOTS

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon | REI

PURPOSE: Protect your feet and provide stability

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on the type of hiking

PRICE RANGE: $75 – $300

LOOK FOR: Sturdy, comfortable boots that fit well and aren’t too heavy

OUR PICK: Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boots

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Boots of the Year >>

 

 

 

APPROACH SHOES

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Protect your feet while providing excellent flexibility

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on the type of hiking

PRICE RANGE: $50 – $300

LOOK FOR: Comfortable fit

OUR PICK: Scarpa Men’s Crux

BEST MODELS: Best Approach Shoes of the Year >>

 

 

 

SANDALS

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon | REI

PURPOSE: Cool, lightweight footwear that still protects against the elements

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on the type of hiking

PRICE RANGE: $40 – $200

LOOK FOR: Comfortable fit, sturdy construction, toe protection

OUR PICK: KEEN Men’s Arroyo II

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Sandals of the Year >>

 

 

 

SOCKS

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Keep your feet warm, cushioned and dry

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes, if not wearing sandals

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $30

LOOK FOR: Cushioning, appropriate cut for your shoes

OUR PICK: Darn Tough Vermont Men’s 1/4 Merino Wool Cushion

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Socks of the Year >>

 

 

 

GAITERS

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Protect your lower legs from vegetation and snake bite

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $40 – $150

LOOK FOR: Comfortable fit, secure fastening and tough, waterproof material

OUR PICK: Outdoor Research Crocodile

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Gaiters of the Year >>


 

 

 

 

6. SAFETY AND FIRST AID

FIRST AID KIT

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Immediate treatment for minor injuries

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $30

LOOK FOR: A kit containing essential items that isn’t too bulky

OUR PICK: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight Medical Kit .9

LEARN MORE: How to Make a First Aid Kit for Hiking

 

 

 

LIGHTER OR MATCHES

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Light a fire or stove

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $5 – $10

LOOK FOR: Compact, waterproof

OUR PICK: Zippo Emergency Fire Starter

 

 

 

HEADLAMP

 

 

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Provide illumination at night or in dim conditions

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $50

LOOK FOR: Good fit, excellent battery life and a high lumen light

OUR PICK: Black Diamond ReVolt

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking HeadLamps of the Year >>

 

 

 

MULTITOOL

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: A handy tool for cutting, snipping or actions

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $100

LOOK FOR: Critical functions that matter to you, lightweight

OUR PICK: Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp

BEST MODELS: Best Survival Multi Tools of the Year >>

 

 

 

SUNSCREEN

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $5 – $15

LOOK FOR: High SPF rating, long lasting, and waterproof

OUR PICK: NO-AD Sun Care Sport Sunscreen Lotion

 

 

 

PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACON

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Provide emergency services personnel with your location in the event of an emergency

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on the terrain and remoteness of your hike

PRICE RANGE: $75 – $200

LOOK FOR: High quality materials, waterproof and compatible with local emergency services teams

OUR PICK: SPOT 3 Satellite GPS Messenger

 

 

 

SUNGLASSES

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and physical damage

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $30 – $300

LOOK FOR: Good fit, sufficient physical protection and UV filtering

OUR PICK: Oakley Men’s Flak 2.0 XL

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Sunglasses of the Year >>


 

 

 

 

7. HYDRATION

WATER BOTTLE

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Keep yourself hydrated on the trail

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $5 – $30

LOOK FOR: Strong, lightweight material with a secure opening

OUR PICK: Nalgene Tritan 32oz Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle

 

 

 

HYDRATION BLADDER

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Allow you to stay hydrated while on the move

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $40

LOOK FOR: High quality materials and sized to match your pack size and hydration needs

OUR PICK: CamelBak Crux Reservoir Set 2L

 

 

 

WATER PURIFIER

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Purify water in an emergency

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $15 – $50

LOOK FOR: Compact, effective construction

OUR PICK: LifeStraw

BEST MODELS: Best Water Filters of the Year >>


 

 

 

 

8. NAVIGATION TOOLS

COMPASS

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Assist you in navigating off-trail or in poor conditions

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on your style of hiking

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $30

LOOK FOR: Quality materials and lightweight

OUR PICK: Suunto A-10 A10 Recreational Field Compass

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Compasses of the Year >>

 

 

 

MAP

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Prevent you from becoming lost

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on your style of hiking

PRICE RANGE: $15 – $40

LOOK FOR: Clear markings, right region, water resistant paper

OUR PICK: Depends on the location of your hike

 

 

 

MAP CASE

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Protect your map from the elements

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on whether you take a map or not

PRICE RANGE: $5 – $20

LOOK FOR: Waterproof construction and clear materials

OUR PICK: SealLine Map Case

 

 

 

GPS UNIT

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Confirm your location in remote areas

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $50 – $300

LOOK FOR: Good reputation, waterproof design, accurate indication and good battery life

OUR PICK: Garmin eTrex 30

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking GPS Units of the Year >>

 

 

 

WHISTLE

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Notify others of your location

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $5 – $15

LOOK FOR: Compact size and loud whistle

OUR PICK: HEIMDALL Safety Whistle


 

 

 

 

9. PERSONAL ITEMS AND ACCESSORIES

WATCH

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Provide you with information such as time, altitude and barometric pressure

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $50 – $500

LOOK FOR: Quality, waterproof construction and a good fit

OUR PICK: Garmin fēnix 3 Sapphire

BEST MODELS: Best Hiking Watches of the Year >>

 

 

 

WASTE BAGS

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Storage of waste, for disposal on your return

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $5 – $10

LOOK FOR: Sturdy materials

OUR PICK: Base CampSource Odor-Barrier Bag

 

 

 

CAMERA

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Capture memories of your hike

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $200 – $2000

LOOK FOR: Compact size, high quality and preferably weather resistant

OUR PICK: Sony Alpha a6300

 

 

 

INSECT REPELLENT

Check out the latest price on: 
AmazonREI

PURPOSE: Protect your skin from being bitten or stung by insects

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends on the location of your hike and time of year

PRICE RANGE: $5 – $15

LOOK FOR: Trusted brand, preferably with a high proportion of DEET

OUR PICK: Repel 100 Insect Repellent

 

 

 

BINOCULARS

Check out the latest price on: 
Amazon

PURPOSE: Observe animals, birds or other natural features at a distance

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: No

PRICE RANGE: $30 – $100

LOOK FOR: Good zoom, compact size, weather resistant

OUR PICK: Bushnell 138005

BEST MODELS: Best Compact Binoculars of the Year >>

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