9 Day Hike Essentials For Beginners
So, after so many considerations, you finally decided to give hiking a try. Perhaps your friends persuaded you to join them? Or you joined a group hiking trip from a tour operator? You’re next question, probably, is, “what do I need to bring on a day hike?”
Since it is your first hike, it is very important that you pack light. Unnecessary weight can take a toll on your body after an hour or two. It can cause you the following:
- You easily get tired
- Sweat a lot
- Shoulder pains
- Lower back pains
Day hike essentials for beginners
We always get a lot of questions about what to bring on a day hike. We always recommend that you only bring the things you need. These things depend from one person to another, but here’s what we always recommend you to bring on a day hike.
- Day pack with rain cover Obviously, you need a bag to put all your other things but it doesn’t have to a big one. It’s only a day hike so a 25-liter bag will do the job. Don’t forget the rain cover. If yours doesn’t have one, buy from your favorite local outdoor shop. It’s cheap. It protects your bag from rain and dirt.
- Extra set of clothes While hiking, you’ll sweat a lot and get dirty. You don’t want to smell in the car or in the bus on your way back to your home, do you? So an extra set of change clothes is necessary.
- a shirt
- a short
- an underwear
- a pair of socks
- a towel
Put them in an organizer or a plastic bag. Actually, you don’t need to bring them in your hike. If you have a car, leave them there.
- Medicine Kit We can’t stress this enough. You have to be prepared all the time. You don’t know when an accident will occur. A good medicine kit should at least have the items to treat wounds. Wounds, if not treated properly and immediately, can get infected and can make it more serious. It should also contain medicines for headache, diarrhea, and insect repellent.
- Trail food You should know first from the organizer how many hours is the duration of the hike. While hiking, you’ll burn the food you ate at breakfast really fast and so you’ll get hungry really fast as well. We recommend high-calorie trail mix or chocolate bars.
For a day hike, we recommend at least 2 liters of hydration. Water will do for most hikers but we recommend at least a bottle of your favorite sports drink. Put your water in a hydration pack or a reusable water bottle you can find in your kitchen. This way, you don’t have to bring a trash.
It’s also your job to know if there is a source of water in your destination. Some of the hiking destinations near Manila have several stores along the trails so water source is not really a big problem.
- Rain protection
It’s important that you monitor the weather in the area where you’re hiking at least a couple of days prior to your hike. You can use internet tools like AccuWeather. If you are really sure that it’s not going to rain, you don’t need to bring this. However, it’s highly recommended that you bring one whether it’s going to rain or not because weather in high altitudes tend to change more often. A poncho is cheaper than a water proof jacket and it’s not as bulky.
No. We don’t recommend umbrellas because of safety issues. Wind in high altitude places is strong and can abruptly change directions.
- Plastic bags A plastic bag from the last week’s groceries will do. Use it to:
- put your garbage
- put your wet clothes
- water proof your gadgets
- add a layer of protection in case it rains
Actually, it doesn’t have to be a plastic bag. Zip lock will also do the job.
- Mobile phone It’s important that you have a way to communicate with your group or relatives in case there is an emergency. And of course, use it to take that perfect selfie shots at the summit. Mobile phones’ cameras have improved a lot over the years.
- Hiking Shoes
A lot of beginner hikers are afraid to go down steep terrain because they think that they might fall or slide. This is when we recommend a good pair of hiking shoes. It can provide better traction thus increasing your confidence.
We’ve encountered a lot of hikers in the trails, including our own guests, asked us what’s the secret in going down steep terrain very quickly? If there is really a secret, we believe it’s on your shoes. Nothing beats a good pair of hiking shoes. It doesn’t only give you confidence but also protects your feet from injuries. Remember that you are hiking a mountain not going to the mall.
Remember: Always pack light
We’ve seen people bring things they don’t need in the mountain and ended up a straggler, causing unnecessary delays in the group. There’s nothing wrong being slow but unnecessary delays can potentially cause a failure in the itinerary. We believe that you don’t want to be that guy. So, remember, always pack light, it’s only a day hike and you’re going home later. Leave those unnecessary things in the car. Please, leave your make up kit at home. You don’t need to retouch during a hike. If bringing extra things is really unavoidable, ask your friends if you can share your load with them.
We hope that our Day Hike Essentials for Beginners guide will help you on your first day hike. Do you think we are missing something out? Please let us know in the comments section.