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I get it. Why the hell do you need all this stuff for JUST a day hike? I’m only going 5 miles, why act like I’m going to get stranded?
What do I REALLY need for a day hike?
Today, I’m gonna explain the 10 essentials and you why they’re called the essentials.
These items may save your life and all these items are needed is to keep you safe.
Most people who have to get rescued from getting lost in the wild are day hikers, not back country backpackers. There are mostly people who just wanted a short hike and got turned around. While most are found within 24 hours, the essentials will help keep you alive long enough for the searchers to find you. (Info from this story.)
My husband often makes fun of me for packing so much stuff but it makes me feel better. If we’re doing a trail I’ve done before, I may not take all the things. If I’ve been there enough, I’m fairly confident in my ability to find my way back to safety. But a new trail, no matter how short, requires the ESSENTIALS.
So what do I need for a day hike?
Backpack: Duh. I just carry a cheap one to hold all my stuff.
Food: Even if I don’t expect to be gone long, I usually pack some crackers.
Water: ALWAYS take more than you think you’ll need. I’m in the southeast USA where it’s fairly wet most of the year, I also take a water purifier.
Sun protection: shirt, hat, sunglasses, sun block
First Aid Kit: you can make your own or buy one for super cheap. I’d much rather carry this small item than be injured with nothing useful?
Extra layers: if you’re somewhere where the temperature may drop significantly when the sun sets, take extra clothes. Also, if you get wet you have dry clothes to change into. I have a mylar 2 person bag.
Flashlight or a Headlamp- I think headlamps are amazing. There are many uses for it around the house so why not get one to help you stay safe outdoors too.
Knife or multi tool- help with fire making and prepping food. General safety as well.
Now that you know WHY you should always carry the 10 essentials, PACK’EM Up!
Nashvilles largest Park has lots to offer. Warner Parks trails , including paved trails, have lots of space for a great workout and scenery.
Winding Stairs Park in Lafayette, TN is a great detour while in Middle Tennessee. The stunning waterfalls and trails make for a great stop.
Wanna start hiking but unsure where to start? Here is everything you need to get started safely. Let’s get out and hike! Beginners Hiking 101