Items to Consider for a Dayhike

My hiking life consists mainly of "dayhikes". I'm not much of a backpacker or an overnight camper. There are certain things I believe everyone alone should have, for yourself and if fellow hikers need your help. Believe it or not, I think the most important thing to have is a cellphone. I can not tell you how many times one of these have helped a hiker out. The next thing I always carry these days is a handheld GPS unit (my current one is a Garmin 60cx). There is no way I could have explored the areas I've explored without my GPS. I received my first GPS as a gift from a very good friend in 2003. Her gift has been a Godsend to me. Once you master the basics of a GPS unit you will never get lost, that is a guarantee! Now for the other things I use/need -
  • Hiking Boots - A good pair of boots or shoes designed for day hiking
    • Breathable boots when hiking in dry areas
    • Gore-Tex waterproof boots when hiking in wet area
  • Light Weight Socks - Get socks made for day hiking
  • Hiking Pants - Always wear long pants - bugs can be brutal
    • If doing a lot of bushwhacking, consider brier proof pants
  • Breathable T-Shirts - I have found that the new "moisture management T-shirts" are great for "sweat management" 
  • If going to do some wading, consider portable hipwaders or other boots which can be put on over your hiking boots
  • Water/liquids of course - I actually drink 32 ozs of water before I start a long day of hiking. If it is going to be a hot day, I freeze a Gatorade and take that with me for the boost of it!
  • Sunscreen - I use SPF50 to protect me as much as possible
  • Bugspray - I carry towelettes with 29% deet in my pack just in case
  • Walking stick - I use a lightweight wooden stick with a rubber tip - this depends on what you prefer. You also can use it as a weapon if attacked by a wild armadillo ;-}
  • Bandaids and alcohol rubs - just in case of cut or scrap
  • Blister pads - just in case you or anyone gets a mean blister
  • Snack/powerbar - something to give you a boost
  • Camera - To capture that "Kodak" moment
  • Flashlight - Small LED light source just in case
  • Hand Sanitizer - I use towelettes, other people use the stuff in a bottle
  • Camp Stool - This is handy thing to have to take a rest, eat lunch or just sit and enjoy nature (I use a Walkstool Comfort 45)
  • Good hat - I have a few I like, what I wear depends on the weather
  • Whistle - If you need to summon help, this will do the trick (yelling just doesn't work)
  • Plastic Bag - This can be used for your trash or "trail trash" found along the way
  • Advil or pain pill - Never know when one of these might come in handy
  • Fanny Pack or Backpack - To hold all the stuff 
  • Pepperspray - I carry it just in case I should encounter that animal who really doesn't like me or might be have rabies
  • Snake Gaiters - I do a lot of off trail exploring, so I have run into a far amount of snakes (I use TurtleSkin SnakeArmor's snake protection gaiters)
  • Personal Locator Device (PLD) - I have one of these just in case I get out of cellphone range
  • Sweatband - Put it under my hat, seems to just keep me a little dryer
  • Camp Toilet Paper - Never know when this might come in handy
Some things other people need/use -
  • Camelbak Water Bladder - Allows drinking of water any time
  • Hiking poles - Like ski poles, great for taking the strain off the back
  • Compass - If you can read one they are great to have
Some suggestions from readers
  • Umbrella - this can be a great thing to have - I do use one when the sun gets brutal and on those same days, to use in a thunderstorm
I carry a variety of other items, not worth mentioning here. I also like a good, cold Gatorade when I get back to the car. If nothing else, it just tastes good!

1 comment:

Water said...

Your list is excellent. I prep for a hike with a lathering of Bull Frog Mosquito Coast before I hike.

I use one pole as my primary spider web catcher.

In the summer I take an unbrella to shed solar radiation/rain/bugs that rinse out of trees in the rain.