7 Essentials for every type of hike

So you have decided that you want to get outside and enjoy nature, but you aren’t quite sure how to prepare. I get asked this question quite often, and I want to provide you with some suggestions so you can feel better equipped to relax on your adventure!

Each section builds upon the next one, meaning that as the hikes get more involved, I’ve added more equipment to each list! If you scroll to the bottom you will see the ENTIRE list of all your packing needs based on a personal basis. Always remember that learning how to camp/hike properly and efficiently takes time. Everyone likes to camp or hike a little differently  but these items will get you well on your way! 

* Please note that I make a very small fee from reccommending these products so if you do choose to buy one, please make sure to do so through the link provided. I want to continue to provide the utmost quality reccommendations for your outdoor experiences! 

For the city or quarter-day hike (2-4 hours) 

  1. Water—Even if it’s just a two-hour hike, take at least 16 oz. of water.

  2. Sun protection—I can’t emphasize this one enough. Even on cloudy days, the sun shines down hard, and without protection, you may be burned before you know it. 3.

  3. Hat

  4. Camera

  5. Sunglasses

  6. Snacks—almonds, dried chips, peanut butter, etc.

  7. Small Towel or Hankerchief

For the day hike (5-10 hours) 

In addition to the above items, check out what you might need for a longer day hike: 

  1. At least 32 oz. of water per person—I suggest getting a camel back.

  2. Right shoes—Look at the terrain of your hike to see what shoes you’ll need. If you are reading this and live in Austin, Tx I highly reccommend these.

  3. Change of clothes—You may just want to jump into a river or head towards that rainy weather.

  4. Insulating cover for important possessions—If you have a phone, camera or other important possessions, bring a cover that locks or zips well.

  5. Navigation—map, compass, GPS, etc.

  6. First-aid kit—Especially when your hikes start to get longer, this is a MUST.

For the overnight or weekend hike:

For an overnight trip or a multi-day trip, you must include the following: 

  1. Hydration—1 gallon of water per person, per day, ESPECIALLY IN DRY CLIMATE

  2. Fire—Bring matches or a lighter, and I highly recommend waterproof matches or a waterproof container.

  3. An extra day’s worth of meals

  4. Illumination—Headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries

  5. Shelter—Tent, tarp or blanket

  6. Multi-tool—Invest in a higher quality all-purpose knife, screw, fork, etc for any overnight trip.

  7. First-aid—Said it again so you don’t forget :)

Beyond the 10 Essentials: 

The below linked items are a reflection of what I have used through tried and true experience! Please feel free to comment with any questions or concerns about specifics and I will get back to you as soon as possible! While the items listed below may not be essential for a safe hike, they are things you should consider bringing for your adventure, especially if it’s overnight! Remember, you won’t need ALL of these, but take this list each time you plan your next trip so you don’t miss anything! 

• Backpack

• Pack cover


Footprint (if desired for tent)

Sleeping bag

Stuff sack or compression sack

Sleeping pad

Whistle (plus signaling mirror)

• Trekking poles


• Stove


• Cookset (with pot grabber)

Dishes or bowls, utensils, and cups, including measuring cups

• Bear canister (or hang bags for food)

Nylon cord (50' for hanging food)

Backup water treatment

Collapsible sink or container

• Packable lantern

• Hiking boots

• Outdoor journal

• Insect repellant

• Quick dry towel

• Toilet paper

• Eye shade

• Ear plugs 

• Permits


Here are some ideas about what clothes to pack for different types of weather.


For warmer weather: 

Clothes that dry, such as quick drying pants

Sun-shielding hat

Bandana or buff


For cooler weather:

Moisture wicking long-sleeve t-shirts and long underwear

Hat or bandana



Fleece jacket 

Thermal socks 


Are there any essentials that you like to bring on your hikes?

Don't forget to check out the upcoming hiking retreats we have! 

Upcoming Hiking Retreats