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What to Pack for a Hiking Trip

March 01, 2016 | Shauna Cook

It’s Easter already, and that means that spring is most definitely in the air!  And what better thing to start thinking about while munching on the chocolatey excesses of the season than a hiking vacation in the great outdoors?

Great views, the sun shining on your back, the fresh breeze gentle on your face, and that delicious feeling of glowing tiredness at the end of the day… Hiking trips can be idyllic and calming, nurturing your soul with nature.

However, as with everything, preparation is key.  If conditions change on you then you can potentially end up feeling damp and chilly.  So, for those active travellers among you, here’s the essentials that you should absolutely pack and bring along when you head away from the city for a hiking trip.  Follow this list and you will find yourself perfectly prepared for adverse conditions, ready to stay warm and dry and comfortable no matter what the weather does.

All these items should comfortably fit into a regular day-pack.  We recommend one with a bit of comfortable padding, and a waist-strap to ease your shoulders.  Inside it should be:

  • Sun Protection – a wide-brimmed hat or ball cap, polarised sun glasses, and sunscreen. *Travel Tip* Always check the date on your sunscreen, it really does go out of date and should be replaced each year
  • Rain Protection – a waterproof jacket and pants fit easily into the bottom of your pack and are indispensable should the weather decide to turn.
  • Cold protection – a warm sweater (even if it is sunny in the morning) should always be in your hiking pack. Lightweight fleece is easy to carry, comfortable, and stays warm even if it gets wet.  It’s also worth throwing in a toque and small pair of gloves, just in case.
  • Food – snacks and some lunch. Leftover Easter chocolates and some trail mix never go amiss, and with all that hiking exercise you’ll even be guilt free!
  • Water – your body will use lots more water than normal on a hike, so bringing along at least a litre is important to avoid dehydration.
  • Navigational aid – a map of where you are going, maybe a compass, or a GPS to help you explore.
  • Emergency kit – nothing too crazy here; just a small pocket knife, basic first aid kit, and a headlamp for the off chance that you end up staying out later than expected.

And that’s it!  Throw it all in your day pack and you’re ready to go enjoy the beauty of nature safely and comfortably.