What to Take on a Day Hike ~ Tips for hiking with Family

09/09/2016 4:00 pm · 3 comments

by Sarah A Thrifty Mom

What to Take on a Day Hike

Day hike in the outdoors can be a fun and relaxing activity for your family or friends. But the simple idea of a day hike can actually catch many people off guard if something happens. Don’t get stuck unprepared.

What to take on a day hike, Hiking tips. Summer activies with the family #Hike, #hiking

Going on a hike can be a fun and relaxing time for families and friends. There is nothing quite like heading to the trail and breathing in that fresh air. You should come prepared, though, in order to make sure you have a good of a time as you can! Just because it is just for the day or even an hour or two, many issues can come up causing a kink in the plans.  Here are some tips for taking what you need on a hike.

What to Take on a Hike


Plenty of water for everyone. This may mean that everyone needs to carry their own, but it is vitally important that you stay hydrated when outdoors in the heat doing any exercise. Depending on how far or how long you intend to go, one bottle of water may not be enough. Pack accordingly. Even these little water filter straws can be a life saver in an emergency.

First Aid

A mini-first aid kit. You never know what will happen when you are outdoors. You don’t need to pack a bunch of things in your mini first aid kit, but be sure to pack some tweezers (for splinters), bandages in a couple different sizes, anti-bacterial ointment, an ace bandage, an instant ice pack, bug spray and bug bite treatment.


Sunscreen. This is especially important if you intend to be out for a while or your hike is long. You may sweat and although many sunscreens are now waterproof, you will still need to apply more as the day goes on just to be sure you are well covered. Even in the cooler fall and winter months you can get a sunburn.


High protein and high carb snacks. Things like cliff bars, shelf stable meat, jerky, cheese and crackers and granola bars are great for hikes. They are portable, don’t take up much room and give your body what it needs to keep going.


A map of the area you are hiking. Even if you are very familiar with the trail, it is always a good idea to bring a map. You never know what can happen, so be prepared. And let someone know who isn’t going with you where you will be going, exactly. That way if you or someone you are with gets hurt and a search and rescue team has to come get you, they won’t be spending all of their time searching.


Extra socks for everyone. The weather is an unpredictable force to be reckoned with and especially at higher elevations; a nice sunny day can suddenly become a rainy or even snowy one. Making sure you have dry socks to wear will be important not only for comfort but for safety and will keep the chance of blisters down to a minimum. Even though you are planning a day hike, bring something in case the the weather turns and it gets cold. Stay warm is a key factor to making it a great hike.


Sunglasses and lip balm. Just as important as taking care of your skin in the sun is taking care of your eyes and lips. It will be easier for you to see without glares and it will protect your eyes from harmful UVB rays. Also, it is easy to get dry lips when at higher elevations due to decreased hydration and wind.


A flashlight or headlamp. While you may intend on going out just for the day and heading back before it gets dark, it is easy to get lost in time when hiking as you will probably be having a lot of fun. Take headlamps or flashlights for everyone in your party so getting back at dusk is much easier.


Cold weather clothing options. Even if it is warm now, it could turn cooler as you head higher up and as the day gets later. And if something wee to happen forcing you to be there into the night, warm clothing will be a must. Make sure to bring a jacket, hat and gloves so everyone stays warm and comfortable. Most important, have fun and enjoy making memories.

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