It’s the night before the hike you and some of your buddies have planned and you’re standing there, hands on hips, staring blankly at the day pack you wished you had already filled.
Think of your day pack as a little home. A home to all the belongings that will make your hiking experience one hundred times more enjoyable, even if you took away the magnificent views.
We wanted to make things easy for you so you don’t have to spend the evening scrambling around the house wondering whether to take this or that.
Below is a simple list of day hike essentials for you to pop into your pack.
Much more malleable and lighter than a stainless steel drink bottle, a Camelbak water bladder will sit nicely in your pack. 1-2 Litres of water should be fine.
A few snacks
Fuelling your body along the way is important. We here at Active are big scroggin consumers. If it’s not scroggin, we’re stuffing our packs full of things like cheese and crackers, raspberry choc logs, and homemade muesli slice! Be sure to take nibbles along that you love. After all, if you’re working hard enough you should be burning off the morsels you put in your mouth faster than you can eat them.
Down here in NZ, we’re used to the harsh sun, so this means we are always looking out for our body's biggest organ. Your skin will love you for blocking up when the sun decides to peek through the trees. It’s not a bad idea to pack a hat too.
When you are heading into the backcountry, the weather can always change, even if the forecast is showing only sun. Be sure to ALWAYS pack a spare thermal long sleeve top and a waterproof jacket. Some waterproof trousers can be packed too if you want to be extra sensible.
Better to be safe than sorry. Putting a headlamp at the bottom of your pack won’t do you any harm. You may be out longer than anticipated due to any number of factors, and this lightweight but heavy hitting piece of kit could just make getting home in the dark a lot easier.
You don’t want to regret not being able to capture that epic sunset or rare wildlife encounter that you least expected out on the trail. Alternatively, smartphone cameras are pretty incredible these days - carry one with you so you always have something handy for that perfect snap. This is sensible too so that you are always contactable and vice versa.
Be sure to have some cash on hand or your card nearby so that should you choose, you can wander to the nearest local store and treat yourself to a well-deserved beer, coffee or bowl of fries. You've earned it! (Unless you skip the hiking and just wear your tramping boots down to the pub, then your beer won't taste anywhere near as good).
First Aid Kit
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s always a good idea to grab a wee SnapLock bag of sorts and pop a few first aid essentials in there. Things like some painkillers for any niggles, or plasters in case those damn blisters decide to pop out and say hello. If you’re lucky to be hiking in New Zealand, a bit of sheep’s wool down your socks will do the trick!
Now, quickly lay out the gear you will wear, go guzzle down a decent dinner and get a good night's sleep! It’s important your body is fuelled and rested for you to get the most out of tomorrow. See you on the trail!