The Ultimate Packing List for Your Next Hiking Trip
While I have been on some hiking trips before, I am certainly no hiking expert. So, I got the expertise from my great friend and roommate Michelle on what to pack whether you’re going on an overnight or day hike.
Before we start it’s important to remember the Leave No Trace principle. If you are going hiking it’s important to recognize the respect and care that you should treat the environment with wherever you are. If you go hiking you should have the least impact on the environment as possible. If you would like more information on the Leave No Trace principle follow this link.
Here are some packing lists:
- Large hiking Backpack (with straps for waist and a buckle across chest) make sure it is sized properly for you!
- Dress in layers! You can always take layers off if you are too hot but it’s much harder to add layers! Try to wear fabrics that are breathable and will dry quickly or keep you warm if you get wet.
- Extra clothes: once you arrive at your camping spot/cabin try to get out of your sweaty clothes as soon as possible to avoid getting sick if the temperature drops.
- Always bring a toque even in the summer, if the cabin or tent is cold at night the best thing to do is to cover your head to keep you warm!
- Wear proper socks! Hiking socks are ideal and if those are not an option do not wear ankle socks.
- Proper footwear! Anything that keeps your ankles stable is best!
- Bring lots of snacks! (more than you think you need, just in case)
- Bring a good meal (the best is potatoes, sausage, veggies and spices wrapped in tin foil that you can cook in the fire!)
- Lots of Water!
- Minor first aid equipment.
- Always tell someone where you are going and how long you are expected to be gone!
- Extra shoes: you will not want to wear your hiking boots the entire time, so pack a pair of flip flops/crocs/slippers to easily slide on!
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: If you are hiking with a group it is always nice to plan a group meal and everybody brings a component for it! Breakfast: farmer sausage (is often pre-cooked), eggs (cracked and put in water bottle for easy packing), yellow/red peppers, cheese, tortillas, etc.
- ALWAYS bring a chocolate bar along - there is nothing better than hiking for hours, being totally exhausted, and then having a chocolate bar to share with everyone on the hike! It's the best reward ever!
- Hot chocolate mix and instant coffee.
- Dishes: plate (or just a bowl works too), bowl, utensils, cup.
- A good sleeping bag! A thermarest that doesn't leak air! Nothing worse than sleeping on rocks or lumpy ground all night and then having to pack up and hike out in the morning after a bad sleep!
- Hat, bandanna, sunglasses, sunscreen - so you can protect yourself from the sun or the rain!
- BUGSPRAY!!! Especially if you live/hike in regions with lots of moisture because that means LOTS of mosquitos! OR a mosquito net head/body cover - wards off horse flies as well.
- Camera! It’s great to have photos from the hike. But don't spend all your time taking photos, you want to be able to enjoy the experience too!
- Garbage bag to cover backpack if raining (unless your backpack comes with a rain cover) but also bring it so you can pack your trash out!
- Day hiking backpack/ or cinch bag-depending how long the hike is
- Lots of water
- Lunch and plenty of snacks
- Hat, sunscreen, bug spray
- Rain jacket/windbreaker (if you are heading into alpine the wind can be terribly cold even on a super warm and sunny day!)
- Extra t-shirt and socks in case you get super wet!
- Good sturdy shoes
- Chocolate bar (same reason as before!)
There you have it! If you’re considering going on a hike this summer, whether it’s for a day or overnight, be sure to check over Michelle's handy list to make sure you have everything that’s important!