What To Bring On A Short Hike?

what to bring on a short hike

Are you wondering what to bring on a short hike? When it comes to hiking, you definitely don’t want to be unprepared. A well-made backpack is a key to carrying everything you need for a long hike. But before you head out, make sure you have a list of items to bring along and know what ingredients will work best for each hike.

What To Bring On A Short Hike?

Make a list of everything you’ll need before you leave so that you don’t get caught off guard. The fact that you may be unaware of the exact equipment that you will want the first few times you go hiking makes this a good practice to acquire. Whether you’re going for a short trip here are several essentials you should never leave home without.


Water should be the first and most important item in your daypack, to begin with. No matter how short a time span you expect to be gone, it’s vital to have water on hand in case you take a wrong turn and end yourself hiking for several hours, which puts you in a potentially dangerous situation. Bring at least one liter of water per person for a three-hour trip and as much as three liters per person if you’re planning to spend the whole day on the trail.

Sturdy Boots or Shoes

If you’re headed out for a long hike, sturdy boots or shoes are an absolute must. Hiking in the wrong kind of shoes can lead to serious blisters that can make your day miserable and require medical attention. Make sure that the soles of the shoes you wear are sturdy enough to protect against rocks and roots on the trail. This is especially important if you plan on taking the hike at night when it will be more difficult to see any problems with your shoes.

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If you have a good pair of sturdy hiking boots or shoes, they can last for years with proper care. Make daily inspections of your footwear to ensure that there are no rips in the material and no stones or other debris lodged in the soles. Check and clean between the treads daily to prevent rocks and dirt from building up under your feet as you hike, which can cause serious discomfort, especially if you’re planning on taking a long trip.


Food is another essential that you should never leave home without when planning a hike, whatever the length of time. You’re likely to get hungry at some point, even if you’re only out there for three hours, though the longer you’re out, the hungrier you’ll get. Make sure to bring along enough food for everyone in your group because nobody will want to turn around and go home early out of hunger. Also, make sure that you pack food carefully so it doesn’t spoil or spill all over your daypack.


A proper daypack is essential to have for any hike. You can buy a daypack that has compartments specifically designed for water bottles and other essentials that you need to access quickly while hiking. This way, you won’t have to take everything out of your bag for one item.


Always pack sunscreen as you never know when the sun is going to come out and it might end up burning your skin. Sunscreen is easy to apply and doesn’t take up much space so there’s no reason not to carry some along with you if you’re planning a day hike. There may be times when you don’t want to stop hiking for too long to apply it so consider bringing along an extra bottle in your daypack.

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A Change Of Clothing

If you don’t plan on bringing extra clothes with you, you’re asking for trouble. You might find yourself hiking in unpleasant weather or your clothes might get wet (such as if it starts to rain). Even if everything goes according to plan, chances are that you’ll be sweaty and uncomfortable at some point during the day. Bringing along a clean change of clothing will make things easier for you, so consider packing a few extra items just in case.

A hiking GPS is a brilliant accessory to have in case you get lost. You don’t want to end up going in circles or going too far in the wrong direction, which could put you in a dangerous situation. The key to not getting lost while hiking is to always bring along some sort of navigation system. If you don’t have a GPS, consider bringing along a map and compass.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is definitely a must if you’re planning on heading out for an extended hike. The risk of getting injured during hikes is pretty high, especially since you will probably be far from civilization, so make sure to pack a first aid kit with bandages, disinfectants, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, and antiseptic cream.

Power Bank

An external battery pack is a fantastic accessory to have on hand for any hiking trip. You might find yourself with an empty cell phone battery before you know it, especially if you plan on using your phone as a GPS. Having an extra power bank won’t hurt and they’re usually very easy to use.

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Flashlight/ Headlamp

Another vital accessory to pack if you’re planning on going out for a hike at night is a flashlight. If you plan on hiking at night (which isn’t advisable), bring along a head-mounted flashlight or another type of lighting device so that your hands are free and you can see where you’re going.

Final Thoughts
what to bring on a short hike

Of course, there are many more things that you should always bring on the trail. Knowing what to bring on hikes is important for any aspect of hiking. You must remember all of your items before leaving home, especially if you’re hiking in an area where weather conditions can change unexpectedly.

If you need planning tips for your next hike, the important thing to remember is that every trail is different. No matter how long or short the hike is, you should always bring all of your gear with you when planning to take a trip into nature. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of making it home safely at the end of the day.

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