Welcome fellow Journeyer! I thought I would tell you what I usually bring when I go hiking.
But first off let me tell you what you need to know the day before a hiking trip.
If you only have a destination without a location you can use Alltrails.com to find hiking trails near your destination. Say that you are coming to Los Angeles but don’t know which hiking trail is near you. Just use the search tool on the website and it will tell you what is near you.
Always check the destination weather before you go hiking. Knowing the weather will help you pack more efficiently. Is it going to be in the 80’s (Fahrenheit?) Then bust out them shorts and light airy clothes. Is it going to be in the 50’s (Fahrenheit?) Then throw on some hiking pants, a knitted sweater, and a windbreaker. Chance of rain? Pack a Foldable Raincoat or a collapsible umbrella.
How long are you going to be hiking? If it’s 3 miles or longer, bring some snacks. Pack a good mix of healthy foods like apples, nuts, fruits, dark chocolate, and almonds.
Does the trail you are going to hike have an entry fee? Most national parks do. The fee can vary depending on if you are driving in, walking in, or the kind of vehicle you are driving. There are some trails that are free to hike but if you want to park near the entrance there can be a parking fee. Research this so you won’t get caught off guard.
Hiking can be all fun and games but remember you are in nature. There won’t be anything conveniently close to you if something happens. Refer to this Safety 101 post by Kayley Cox for everything you need to know about being safe in the mountains.
Now that we have gone over what you need to know here is what you should pack.
Disclaimer: This list is for day hikes that are about 8 miles long. Feel free to take away or add to this list as you are packing.
This is what I usually wear during a Summer/Autumn hike:
(I don’t wear sneakers anymore in the summer because it’s just way too hot and going downhill is not fun.)
Summer Packing List:
Before each hike I download the map for the trail using the alltrails app. This way I can keep track of the route and I won’t get lost. Well…if I do get lost I can find my way back using the map.
Okay, so I wasn’t expecting much from this shirt but there’s a world of difference from hiking with a normal shirt and a sun protection shirt. I live in a desert climate so when you are up on the mountains the sun is HAWT! Not to mention you get cold winds every now and again depending on the time of day. This shirt not only kept me warm but cool also. I highly recommend getting one like it. The only con is that you will have to wash it after every hike.
I tried to get hiking pants but I couldn’t find one so for now I’m using these. They are super comfortable and breathable. I’ve had them for years and it is still very sturdy.
Once again, I’m blown away by another item on this list. I was very skeptical about how much protection a barefoot product will provide while out on the trail but it held up amazingly. While everyone else was sweating in their hiking boots during an 11 mile hike, I was feeling light and airy in my sandals. I’m really glad I found a product that works well. The traction on these are amazing! I was scaling up rocks with no problem or worry that I might slip. Highly recommended! (and yes I did see if I could get by with the cheap option but these are so much more worth it and provide peace of mind and safety. Plus you can’t go wrong with a 5000 mile guarantee.)
I’m a Florida girl through and through. I get cold every time the temp is below 77. So a jacket is a must for me. I do recommend getting a lightweight sports jacket.
Sunglasses & Hat
I have never regretted bringing these. The sun is strong in the desert especially at higher elevations.
Hydrate before you die-drate. I love this bottle because it’s collapsible so when it’s empty I can just store it away in my bum pack.
Don’t forget to pack a snack. I usually have a protein bar in my bag which is great because I don’t have to worry about forgetting food. I will bring an apple if I’m leaving from my house. Bring whatever you’ll enjoy eating while out on the trail. I’ve also tried Epic Bars and packets of almond butter. Whatever I can throw in my bag and forget about. If you do pack something with packaging please carry the trash with you until you get to a designated trash bin. #keepnaturewild
My minimalist wallet that I got recently. I love it so far. It’s very lightweight, carries everything I need, easy access, and great for traveling. It fits perfectly into the pouch that
Phone Cord + Power Bank
I bring these because I don’t want to risk my phone dying while out on the trail since it’s my map and camera. It’s helps out the others whose devices have died.
Here in the desert and the air is always so dry. So when going out to the high desert I make sure to stay moisturized. I find that this brand works the best for me.
For Winter Hikes add (as needed):
- Thermal Set
- Wind breaker
- Hiking Pants
- Hiking Shoes / Running shoes; great traction.
- Thick Socks – when going downhill your toes will be pressed up against the toe of your shoes. The socks act as a padding and will keep your feet extra warm if needed.
- Knit hat
- Pocket warmers
Here are a few things you can bring as well:
- Hydro Bladder – a large silicone bag filled with water.
- Hiking Sticks – to help balance out your weight.
Let me know what you bring along with you on your hiking trips down below in the comment section?