The contents of your pack for a one-day hike will vary from season to season. Key recommended items include:
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Space blanket
- Three large trash bags
- Sun glasses and sun screen, large brimmed hat
- Matches, lighter or fire starter in waterproof container
- Water enough for more than your hike 1 liter per hour of the hike
- Food enough for more than your hike
- Rain gear in summer adding a fleece in winter
- Map of the area you are hiking (don’t rely on a GPS)
- Compass (even if you use a GPS)
- Toilet paper and plastic bag to pack it out
- First Aid Kit in a zip lock bag including
- Blister care (mole skin or second skin)
- Duct tape
- 4 inch dressings
- Safety pins
- Personal medication
- Ace bandage
In addition to what’s in your pack, make sure your base layer is wicking, not cotton. Consider fleece gloves, fleece hat and extra socks. Hiking poles can take a lot of pressure off your knees.
A cell phone is nice to have, but remember that large parts of the back country have no cell phone service.
Go over your route with the entire party – AND DON’T SEPARATE
Above all, let someone else know where you are going and what time you will return – with instructions to dial 911 if you are over due.