The key to enjoying hiking, whether a short one-day hike or a long hike of two or more days with a group, is adequate planning. The more time you devote to planning the route to take and preparing for what you might need on the hike, even if it will be just a day-long excursion, the greater is the likelihood that you will have a great time hiking. One of the things that should not be missed in the plan is your hiking gear.
Hiking packs for a day hike do not have to be huge. What you need is a hiking pack, such as one of the Coleman Exponent Backpacks/Daypacks, which is just big enough for you to stuff in a day’s worth of hiking supplies. It is essential that you choose sturdy hiking backpacks which are easy to put on and comfortable on the back.
Hiking gear that you must also bring for a day hike may include pocketknife, flashlight, walking stick, and the first-aid kit. A good-quality pocketknife is an essential item. You will find so many uses for a pocketknife, from cutting open a sturdy bag to cutting branches or laces.
Although it is only a day hike, you should bring along a flashlight to help you find your way back in case dark sets in before you reach your car. A lightweight flashlight such as the Coleman 1AAA aluminum flashlight would be enough to provide you the light to read your map or hike by.
You will also find some uses for a walking stick. It can prevent you from falling, provide support whenever you need to cross a stream, absorb jarring shocks and thus protect your knee and ankle from injuries, measure water depth, and a lot more. When not in use, some walking sticks can be attached to your hiking pack.
You may think that a first-aid kit is no longer necessary for a day hike, but it can be very useful for minor injuries like burns, rashes, cuts, and splinters. You can put your kit together. Bandages, gauze, antihistamine to treat allergic reactions, tweezers, Band-Aids, and aspirin must be included in your kit.
In addition to your hiking gear, you must not forget the other essential items in your day hike. The most important thing to bring when you go hiking is plenty of water. Those who wish to have cold water when hiking on a hot day can freeze some bottles of water overnight. While you are walking in the hot sun, the ice will melt giving you cool water to drink.
For a day hike which will take you at least four hours, eating healthy, energy-giving foods during your rest help to replace the calories you burn. Apples, cheese, raisins and peanuts, and energy bars are all great snack bites for hiking. Should you forget to bring food, you will feel lethargic and exhausted before reaching your destination.
Other items that should be found inside your hiking pack before you set out are sunscreen, insect repellent in lotion or spray-on form, clean and dry socks, bandanna, and extra clothing.