What to Pack for a Day Hike

Hi guys! Spring is here, so that means it’s time to bust out those hiking boots, tennis shoes, flip flops- whatever you have- and hit the trail! Here in SoCal, the sun is out and those beach trails are calling my name. I have a few day hike essentials I want to tell you about- just a few things to pack for a successful, relaxing hike. From sunscreen to snacks, we’ve gotcha covered. First, what you’ll need is a backpack- nothing big or bulky. Walking into REI, I often look at those crazy big backpacking packs. Don’t worry, you don’t need those. Just any cute, small backpack that can fit a few items. I like backpacks when I’m hiking because my hands are free to grab water or take pictures. My backpack is from Urban Outfitters. My backpack is tried and true. Seriously, I took this thing around Europe for a month and it’s stayed in tact. Highly recommend! Here’s what to pack:


Obviously. This is an essential. For a simple day hike, you only really need one to two large water bottles. Pro tip: if you don’t want to carry lots of water with you, you can buy portable water filters (in the form of tablets or little machines) at REI or any recreational store. This works great if you’re hiking in an area where there’s lots of natural flowing water- like a river, streams, etc. Personally, I’ve never tried this, but I’ve heard they work great. So if you’re brave enough, go for it! Also: the water bottle I’m using you can purchase in our store! ?


Another essential. No matter where you are, whether it’s cloudy or sunny, bring some sunscreen. Our favorite is the cucumber sunscreen from Coola. It smells amazing and is 100% organic. It has such a refreshing scent and it’s sensitive enough to use as a facial sunscreen. ☀️

First Aid Kit

You don’t need anything big or extensive here. I just grabbed this first aid kit from a local market. It’s small enough to fit in my backpack, and has the basics when it comes to first aid: band-aids, antibiotic cream, and gauze. Perfect for any scrapes you may get on the trail. It’s always best to be prepared. ?


By far my favorite hiking prep is loading up on yummy snacks. What you want is something that’s high in protein to give you energy that lasts. Any type of protein bar or granola bar is always necessary. Another good idea is to bring nuts, seeds, dried or freeze-dried fruits and veggies, or even jerky! You don’t want to pack any type of perishable food that could melt or go bad in the sun. My favorite hiking snack are these Clif bars (naturally), these Halfpops popcorn packets, and plantain chips! ?

Camera/Phone & Portable Charger

Now, I’m not saying you should bring your phone just to be on it the entire time, but it’s good to bring it for pictures sake if you’re like me and don’t have a fancy camera. It’s always best to bring it anyways in case of an emergency. And a portable charger is a must-have. Mine is from Bando. ?

Extra Pair of Hiking Socks

I think we can all agree that packing an extra pair of socks is a good idea. You have no ideas how many times I’ve slipped and stepped in a puddle, stream, mud, etc. An extra pair of socks has literally saved my life. I love these thick hiking socks from REI. If you don’t have a pair of nice, thick hiking socks, I would definitely invest in a pair. The reason they work so well is because they create a barrier because of their thickness, so you won’t get blisters from chafing or anything like that. ?

Wet Wipes

These are so necessary, guys! Again, if you slip and get muddy or dusty, these work so well. You don’t need anything fancy, just something to clean your legs or hands in case of an accident. They also work well if you want to wash your hands off before you eat.

And that’s it! Seriously guys, it’s so simple. And of course if you’re going on a more extensive hike, be sure to pack more. I’ve been so inspired to get out there and explore, and I hope you are too! If you embark on any adventures, let us know! #IAmTheAdventurer ??

I'm Sam; blog team lead, PNW native and recent film school graduate. I am a creative- or more specifically, a storyteller- which means lots of late nights thinking deep (or not so deep) thoughts and just trying to learn something new everyday- even if it seems monotonous or dull. I absolutely love old films and stupid puns- basically anything off the humor boards on Pinterest. More than that, I love people and am passionate about storytelling.

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