Day-hiking gear list

Not sure what to bring on your next day hike? Here you’ll find a complete day-hiking gear list with all the essentials, whether you’re hiking for only a few hours or for a full day climbing some peaks. The best thing about day hikes is that you don’t need to take too much with you, making it easier to stay light. Of course, you’ll still pack the essentials to stay safe in case of emergency. Below are the most important items, but please add any items that are specific to your trail as well.

man taking jacket out of backpackIf you’re hiking for just one day, the most important essentials will always be water, food, communication, and navigation items such as your phone. We always recommend you bring at least 1.5 liters of water with you, and even more if you’re hiking in warmer conditions. Bring energy-rich food such as bars and nuts. Carry a fully charged phone with you and put the GPX on your phone in a navigation app or bring a paper map of the area.

You’ll find the full gear list if you scroll down a bit more. We’ve outlined the top 9 items to keep with you. If you click on the links, you’ll be redirected to the brands we recommend and to trusted outdoor gear shops where you can buy the gear.

man holding his hiking poles
man hiking in green landscape


Most important items

These are the absolute must-have essentials for your next day-hiking trail. It’s not much, but each item is definitely necessary. Always choose to invest in the right quality gear when you have the possibility. It’s more sustainable and keeps you safe on your trails.


  • Hiking shoes
  • Backpack – 15-30 liters
  • Clothing: layers
  • Rainwear
  • Water bottle
  • First aid kit
  • Hiking poles
  • Power bank
  • Socks

Top brands for your gear

Hiking shoes

Hiking shoes provide comfort, grip, and protection against rugged terrains, ensuring safety during your day hiking trails.



Essential for all the gear you bring, designed to distribute weight evenly, making it easier to transport water, food, and your other essentials.


Hiking poles

Poles will assist in maintaining balance on uneven terrain, reduce knee strain on descents, and help you hike more efficiently.

Leki Poles Black Diamond


A shield against the elements. Even when the forecast looks good, the weather can shift easily and you may end up in rain.

Rab equipment Pinewood


Layers protect you in fluctuating weather conditions. Take at least three layers with you, a base-, mid-, and outer layer.

Rab equipment Pinewood

Water bottle

Vital for staying hydrated and maintaining energy levels during your hike. Bring always at least 1.5 liters of water with you.

SIGG Nalgene


More than just for comfort, the right socks prevent blisters, wick moisture, and provide cushioning over long distances.

Injinji Darn Tough

First aid kit

A compact lifesaver, it is equipped for treating small injuries, which can ensure that minor setbacks don’t turn into major emergencies.

Ortovox First Aid Kits

Sun protection

Protect your eyes and skin with the right sun protection such as sunglasses, sunscreen, and a sun hoody.

UVEX sunglasses Goodr sunglasses


Complete day-hiking gear list


  • Hiking shoes
  • Backpack with rain cover
  • Rainwear: (hardshell) jacket and pants
  • Clothing: layers (T-shirt, fleece jacket, down jacket, shorts, long pants, base layers, hiking socks)
  • Hiking poles
  • Water bottle
  • Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Power bank
  • Water and energy-rich food (nuts, chocolate, energy bars, muesli balls, wraps)
  • First aid kit with emergency blanket
  • Small garbage bag: for protecting your gear against rain and packing out trash

For navigation

  • GPS watch
  • Map of the area
  • Navigation app on your mobile (Alltrails, Komoot, Hiiker, Outdooractive)

As for every gear list, add specific items that are important for the trail you choose and the circumstances you’re hiking in. Think of insect-repellent, microspikes, and other specific hiking gear to ensure your safety.

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