If you’ve been following my blog for the past few weeks, I mentioned in my June Favorites post that I would be driving across the country this summer and making several stops along the way. In a few of the stops we planned doing day hikes at various State and National Parks. So today I’m going to be doing another What’s in my Bag post featuring the items I carry in my backpack for those longer hikes- if you’re interested in my beach bag version of this post, you can check that out here. This post has a lot of different items to cover so I’m going to try to be a bit more brief than usual in my descriptions but feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions about any of the products mentioned!
- Watch– The Polar A300 fitness watch is my favorite watch for any sort of work out activity- whether I’m hiking or running or just out for a walk. I pair it with a heart rate sensor and it provides me with feedback like how many calories I’ve burned and percentage of daily activity goal that I have achieved. The watch band is also comfortable enough for me wear for a few hours and easy to wash. The only thing that it is missing for me is the distance traveled but I’ll usually use a website like Mapmyrun.com to figure that out after I’ve finished working out so it isn’t too much of an issue for me.
- Hiking boots and socks– This one seems like a no-brainer but really, a great pair of hiking boots with some nice thick socks makes a huge difference in how much you actually enjoy your day of hiking. Nothing ruins amazing views like aching feet! I picked up this pair at REI and they are so comfortable! The height is perfect so my ankles have a little added protection but not so much so that it inhibits my movement in any way. Just make sure you take your hiking boots out for a couple of walks in the time leading up to your hike to make sure they are properly broken in!
- Jacket– My favorite camping/hiking jacket is The North Face Apex Flex GTX Jacket- mine is in the color TNF Dark Grey Heather. It is totally waterproof but so breathable and does a great job keeping me warm when the weather cools off. I sized up so I would have the option of layering it but so far I haven’t needed to. As with most cool weather gear, the price point is a bit high at $199 but I have gotten so much use out of it and it still looks great so I would say it’s definitely worth the price!
- Water bottle– Hydro Flask is my holy-grail water bottle brand. I’m one of those people who prefers to drink really cold water, so I am constantly on the hunt for insulated bottles that keep ice cubes in my drink for long periods of time but don’t sweat on the outside of the bottle so I can carry them in my bag without worry. This bottle achieves both of these and comes in a few different sizes as well. I definitely recommend this bottle to keep you hydrated!
- Food- I always make sure I have a few protein bars packed in my bag when I know I’ll be out for a few hours, they take up very little room and it’s just never a bad idea to have a little bit of a boost with you for a long day of activity!
- Sunscreen- This is so important guys- your shoulders and face are going to be constantly exposed to the sun while you’re out and you have to protect them! I prefer the sport sunscreen for hiking because I have found that it holds up the best against all of the sweating that goes on through the duration of the day.
- Hand sanitizer and baby wipes- I’m a little bit of a dirtophobe- which I’m pretty sure isn’t an actual word but you get what I mean! I am constantly using hand sanitizer, no matter where I am so being able to keep my hands, etc. clean when I’m out for a day of hiking just always makes my life a little easier and I think that you’ll find you have way more uses for baby wipes than you ever thought you would- those things are handy!
- First aid kit- This can either be something you put together yourself or something that you pick up at a sporting goods store- mine is from Dick’s Sporting Goods- but either way I think that it is super important to have the basics with you! Neosporin, Aspirin, Hydrocortisone, bandages of a few different sizes- you get the drill, anything you think you might need in case you run into any issues during your day.
My backpack is The North Face Women’s Surge Backpack and it is so comfortable for me to wear all day with plenty of padding on the straps and added buckles for added support!
Thanks for reading! What are your hiking essentials?