The 10 essential gear for a day hike

Posted by Team Hawi on

The Ten Things you should bring to a day hike
  1. Appropriate footwear. For treks that don't involve heavy loads or technical terrain, use trail shoes. Next best options are sneakers or everyday sport shoes with good grip. For longer hikes, carrying heavier loads or involving volcanic rocks, use waterproof ankle length hiking boots. Remember, the difference between blisters and bliss is taking the time to get a good fit. 
  2. Rain protection. No matter the time of year, no matter how confident you are it will not rain, always carry a rain poncho and ensure your backpack has rain cover.
  3. Sun protection. Depends on how your skin and eyes react to sun exposure. Basic equipment are sunglasses, wide brim hat, (baseball hats will do) sunscreen and lipbalm. 
  4. Sturdy backpack. A good backpack for a day hike is between 30 litres to 40 litres. Check for strong shoulder straps, hip belt with pockets for lipbalm, sternum belt and backmesh to protect against sweating.
  5. Food and snacks. Select easily digestible foods from your everyday choices. For lunch, choose foods that can be eaten cold. For snacks we recommend: Nuts, Seeds, Nut-based bars, Dried or freeze-dried fruits and veggies, Energy bars, Granola or granola bars. Remember to carry wet wipes, serviettes (paper towels).
  6. Hydration. A hydration bladder or hydration reservoir comes highly recommended. If you don't have one yet, no sweat. A water bottle will do just fine. We recommend a bottle with a loop so you can hook it up to the shoulder straps of your backpack. Summits are often cold. Tea or coffee in a flask is perfect for a little psychological boost at the peak.
  7. Appropriate Clothing. Dress comfortably. Dress in layers. Dress in wicking and quick drying items. Polyester, nylon or spandex will do. Stay away from cotton! You can leave a full change of clothes in the car/bus. Your journey back will be alot more comfortable in fresh clothes.
  8. Lighting. It is a day hike, why worry about lighting! Should you be late and it get's dark, it will be a whole lot easier walking out in the dark if you have a headlamp with you. Remember to have extra batteries on you at all times. We don't recommend relying on your phone as sometimes you may forget to fully charge or you could have drained the batteries with photography during the day. So, carry a headlamp.
  9. Knife or multi-purpose tool. These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, fix broken eyeglasses, and perform a whole host of repairs on malfunctioning gear. While at it, throw bandages and elastoplast into the backpack.
  10. Camera. Most folks use their phones to take photos. You can of course get some amazing shots on the trail if photography is your thing so perhaps a camera is required. You don't have to go all the way out to DSLR, you can do with point-and-shoot or bridge cameras. If you are not carrying a headlamp/flashlight be mindful of your battery charge when taking photos as the phone could bail you out if it gets late.

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