Some people have been asking me what equipment I use so I decided to make a little post about it! Now, disclaimer, I like to pack a lot of things so that I have everything I need in case the weather turns, I’m out late, something happens, and I bring/eat a lot more food than most people. Many people might find this excessive, but here’s what I typically bring on a regular day hike with me:


I wear:

  • depending on how I feel and the weather forecast, I’ll wear shorts, leggings, or these breathable water resistant pants (no they aren’t paying me to put this here, I just really love them and thought they were a good deal, I’ve worn them on their own in +20C and with long underwear in -20C and think they are really great)
  • moisture wicking shirt
  • wool hiking socks
  • day pack: 20L to 30L depending on the day, with Camelbak pouch and slot for tube, I like to have a few small pockets to stuff things like hats  in while I’m walking and to store headlamp and kleenex for it to be easily accessible

I bring:

  • waterproof and windproof jacket
  • depending on the weather forecast, I’ll bring a light down sweater/soft shell jacket or a moisture-wicking long sleeve shirt
  • Goretex rain pants & gaiters, if there’s rain forecasted

General Equipment

  • hiking boots with high ankle collar and Vibram sole (I used to have the running shoe type boot and I found my ankles were sore after hikes)
  • collapsible hiking poles, my knees have been giving me trouble so these are especially good for the descent
  • kleenex & wet wipes
  • camera (I bring one that I can grab easily/leave out of my pack so that I can take pictures of everything, I find the bigger one – like my dad uses – weighs down my neck too much and leaving it in my bag means that I’ll take less pictures)
  • baseball cap, sunglasses & sunscreen, for sunny days
  • Swiss Army knife


  • 3.5L Camelbak
  • lunch (4-6 sandwiches…my dad eats 1-2…I eat the rest…)
  • Clif bars
  • if it’s going to be a long/hot day, I often bring an extra 1L of orange juice or iced tea as a treat
  • victory chocolate (duh)

Safety Equipment

  • headlamp with extra batteries
  • 2-person emergency blanket
  • small first aid kit (including leukotape/compression wrap)
  • compass
  • map & guidebook
  • emergency matches & candle

6 thoughts on “Summer Day Hike Gear

  1. Can I suggest that, rather than extra batteries for your headlamp, you bring a second headlamp. The LED headlamps are so light that most of the weight is is the batteries. I think you are better off having the complete redundancy of the second headlamp. You don’t have to worry about loss, failure, or changing batteries in the dark.

  2. Along with victory chocolate, I leave a change of clothes in my car. Makes a long ride home from the trailhead more pleasant, especially if stopping for dinner and a victory beer on the way.

  3. I bring a spare pair of socks. It’s such a nice feeling to put on a fresh pair at the top of the mountain. I think it goes a long way to preventing blisters and tired feet. Also if you get your boots completely wet it’s tough to dry them out.

    • That’s a really good call! My dad always brings an extra pair but I have to admit I have not been good about that. So important to keep your feet warm and comfortable, especially on colder days when it could be dangerous!

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