What to Bring in Your Daypack


Have you ever felt underprepared with what you packed for your daypack? We have at times – so we wanted to make a quick checklist to remind you of items to pack with you on every hike. Mountain weather is moody and can change quickly, and it’s better to be over prepared than underprepared. Here’s a list of some items we take with us on every hike (or at least try to remember!). You will be glad you packed them.

Map. of where you’re going (if one exists for where you’re going) and/or GPS.

Bear spray. If you’re in bear, cougar, or wolf country, this would be a smart decision to take with you. We carry ours on our backpack’s hip belt.

Emergency kit. Be prepared for emergency situations. Take a minute to read our article on what to include in your emergency kit.

Enough layers. for the day’s conditions. Be sure to check the weather the day of your hike in case anything changes. We always bring a couple of extra layers. Preferably not cotton!

Extra pair of socks. Good thing to keep an extra pair in case your boots end up getting soaked or just to feel fresh.

Rain jacket. Sometimes rain can come unexpectedly.

Headlamp. You never know what’s going to happen or if you decide to stay at a viewpoint for a little longer than anticipated. There’s no problem coming out in the dark, but having a headlamp will make it easier!

Plenty of food. We have gone on a few hikes where we either went further than expected or simply just did not pack enough food. Avoid hanger, bring enough snacks!

Plenty of water. I think most new hikers don’t realize how much water you need during a hike. We always bring at least 2 liters when on 5+ mile hikes. This depends on the temperatures as well. It’s better to overpack water, you can always dump it out when you realize you have more than necessary.

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