Hiking Pack Essentials

Hiking Pack Essentials

Hiking Pack Essentials

If you’ve been reading my blog for any short amount of time, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I love hiking. If I could choose my ideal way to spend a weekend, it will involve being outdoors, exploring some new trail. Since Austin and I are currently traveling around the country, we constantly are trying new hikes. (Read about our hiking adventures here!) Unknown and unfamiliar trails come with their own challenges though, and I like to make sure that my hiking pack contains all essentials so we can be prepared for whatever we encounter.

Hiking Pack Essentials

You may have heard about the Hikers’ Ten Essentials. They are as follows:

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun Protection
  3. Insulation
  4. Illumination
  5. First-Aid
  6. Fire
  7. Repair
  8. Nutrition
  9. Hydration
  10. Shelter

Hiking Pack Essentials

Now, I don’t bring emergency shelter with me on our short day hikes, and I couldn’t if I wanted to since we aren’t traveling with the necessary equipment. Aside from that, I strive to always carry something from the other nine categories.

Hiking Pack Essentials

To start, when Austin and I began traveling, I knew I would need the perfect adventure backpack. Something that was lightweight and small enough to be a simple daypack, but something that was also spacious and durable enough to use on a trail. Once I discovered the Fjällräven Kånken, I knew I had found the perfect hiking pack. Even though I am aware that this is not a proper backpacking pack, my Kånken has proven itself perfect for day hikes and its versatility makes it ideal for the season of life that we are currently in. (Find the Kånken at Nordstrom and Zappos)

Kånken was launched in 1978 to spare the backs of school children and is made out of durable, lightweight Vinylon F. Fjällräven makes functional, timeless and long-lasting outdoor equipment – all in order to have the lowest negative impact on the environment as possible. Our goal is a healthier outdoor life, now and for future generations.

Fjällräven | Responsibility

Hiking Pack Essentials

For Navigation and Illumination, I always have my phone with me. Before I hike, I turn it onto Airplane Mode to conserve my battery (since I don’t need email or Instagram notifications while I’m out enjoying nature anyway.) I download the trail map to my phone before leaving on a trek in case there aren’t any paper maps available. Or I’ll snap a picture of a map in the parking lot or trailhead that I can refer to later on the hike. Also, the flashlight on my phone has come in handy on several hikes already. A proper GPS, compass, and flashlight are on list of things-to-purchase-once-we-settle-down.

Hiking Pack Essentials

My favorite Sun Protection products are from All Good Products. Their Natural Zinc Sport Sunscreen Lotion is my all-time favorite natural, healthy sunscreen.

We take safety seriously with these new natural sunscreen formulas. In our SPF 33 sunscreen sport we have the safest sun protection ingredient: pure non-nano zinc oxide. Safe for coral reefs, safe for kids and safe for you. Slather it on and don’t worry, you won’t find white residue left behind. Play in the sun, relax and remember safety comes first! All Good Products | Zinc Sunscreen

I also apply their SPF 15 Good Lips Balm before going outdoors and into the sun.

Hiking Pack Essentials

Since I don’t own sunglasses (why do prescription lenses have to be so expensive?) I wear my trusty Camp Hat from United By Blue on sunny adventure days.

Hiking Pack Essentials

Insulation isn’t always needed on summer hikes, but it never hurts to be prepared. As a result, I usually throw a jacket or sweatshirt and a cozy knit hat into my hiking pack in case we encounter unexpected wind, rain, or frigid temperatures. Also, having an extra pair of socks is awesome in case your feet get wet. Make sure that you’re hiking in wool socks – they dry quickly and are cushioned and help prevent blisters. Cotton and synthetic socks will stay wet and cause hot spots on blisters on long hikes. My favorite hiking socks are these Smartwool Hiking Light Crew Socks and these Darn Tough Vermont Hiker 1/4 Cushion Socks.

Hiking Pack Essentials

Hiking Pack Essentials

Having my hiking First Aid kit on hand always gives me peace-of-mind while hiking. I carry the REI Day Hiker First Aid Kit and it contains everything we need. It’s made in the USA and contains adhesive bandages (I’ve added some of my own to the kit,) an assortment of gauze pads, a roll of gauze, a roll of medical tape, antiseptic towelettes, triple-antibiotic ointment, sting-relief wipes, antacid tablets, ibuprofen tablets, acetaminophen tablets, allergy-relief tablets, and moleskin for the prevention and treatment of blisters. Included equipment are a pair of bandage scissors and a splinter-removal tool. In addition to the Day Hiker kit, I always have some bug spray (because I always get bitten), Ursa Major Face Wipes, and All Good Goop Organic Healing Balm.

Hiking Pack Essentials

All Good Goop is amazing for everything. Its organic skincare formula mixes essential oils with medicinal plants to make it strong enough for a climber’s raw knuckles and gentle enough for a baby’s bottom. This healing balm is great for; Cuts, Scrapes, Abrasions, Minor Burns, Sunburns, Insect Bites, Stings, Dry and Irritated Skin, Chapped Lips, Blisters, Cracked or Calloused Hands, Scars… and much more.
All Good Products | Goop

Hiking Pack Essentials

Fire isn’t something I typically need on a hike, but it never hurts to be prepared so I always have matches inside my first aid kit. I have better waterproof matches and fire starting kits, but they are currently in storage and I didn’t bring them along on our nomadic adventures.

The best Repair tools I’ve seen are from the Huckberry and their Everyday Carry Essentials Collection. You can find fantastic knives, flashlights, lanterns, waterproof matches, and pocket tool kits. Their Camp Essentials Collection also has some tools that would be ideal for your hiking pack. Austin has a great knife that we bring with us on our outdoor excursions.

Hiking Pack Essentials

For healthy, hiking pack-ready trail food and Nutrition, I love The Almond & Coconut KIND Bars and Cherry Pie Larabars. For longer hikes, when we need more protein, the Chomps Grass-Fed Beef Sticks are fantastic.

Hiking Pack Essentials

Hydration is of the utmost importance and it’s imperative to make sure that you bring water with you while hiking. My favorite water bottle is my 22-Ounce Glass Bottle from Lifefactory. It goes in the dishwasher, the wide-mount makes it easy to fill, and the handle is easy to carry or to clip onto a bag. (I wrote about this water bottle when I shared what’s in my bag.)

Hiking Pack Essentials

As regards other Miscellany and Odds and Ends, my hiking pack always has a notebook for taking record of observations or stories, a headband, (my favorites are from Sweaty Bands) and a hair tie.

Hiking Pack Essentials

What’s in your hiking pack?
Is there anything that you always bring that I didn’t include?

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  • Reinventing Julie

    Great piece for practicality and safety. My daughter is in Kentucky and has been doing some hiking. I sent this to her.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Julie! I hope the article is helpful for your daughter! I’m currently living in Kentucky too and have been loving hiking in the Red River Gorge – there are some gorgeous hiking trails here if it isn’t too hot like it’s been this week.

  • I hate that I haven’t been hiking, it looks like a fun way to spend the day! These are so helpful!

  • Love your hiking backpack! Totally pinning! Love field notes!

  • Great list! I always end up forgetting a first aid kit :-/

  • This is a great post, I think I’m hiking a 14er in a week so this is helpful 🙂

    Danielle | AccordingtoD.com

  • I need to get more into hiking! Great tips for packing the right stuff, Love the backpack!

  • Madeline Laviolette

    Great post – You can NEVER have enough Darn Tough socks!!! They are my best friend when winter arrives. Everyone says “they’re too expensive” but I’m all about good quality/lifetime warranty. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Great post and tips! We usually don’t go on super long hikes, but these tips will come in handy when we decide to go on those longer ones 🙂

  • This is great advice! Hiking is by far my favorite physical activity, but I haven’t ever gone on a hike that’s been longer than a few miles. We’re hoping to hike the Grand Canyon sometime soon, so I’ll be sure to save this post!

  • This is a great post, super helpful! Hiking is my favorite outdoor activity/exercise. I think my longest so far is 16 miles. I’m hoping to get to a few places in Arizona soon!

  • We’re going hiking tomorrow so this post comes at the exact right time! <3

  • Amanda K

    We go on a lot of hikes in Utah, so this is a great list to remember when we go back there in September.

    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  • I love all your hiking goodies!

  • Just catching up on all your blog posts, don’t mind me! I should pick up some of that All Good Goop, that sounds awesome! Also I should probably be way more prepared when I go hiking haha… comparing my post to yours, my pack needs a lot of work. But usually I am also familiar with the trail and am less than an hour from home, so I don’t get too worried.

  • I like to bring my epipen, just in case something happens and I get stung out there. Other than that, this is a great list. Totally pinning.