How to prepare for a full day hiking trip

I started with a full-day hiking trip recently and plan on doing them just about every weekend with small hiking in between. I love the mountains because it’s the place I can get perspective, find clarity, and even tap into my own inner wisdom for information.

It’s also just a great way to connect with nature and get some exercise while exploring beautiful trails. However, it’s important to be prepared before you head out to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Three Ridges Hike

Here are some essential items

Water – Staying hydrated is so important when hiking, especially on a full-day trip. It’s recommended to bring at least 2 liters of water per person, and even more if you’re hiking in a hot or dry climate. On my 14-mile hike, I had 5 bottles of 16 oz of water with me. I drank a bottle roughly every 2.5 hours. I’ve since invested in a hydration backpack that holds 3 liters.

Snacks – Bringing snacks such as trail mix, energy bars, and fruit can help provide the necessary energy to keep you going throughout the day. Don’t forget to pack some extra snacks if your hike takes longer. I had granola bars, carrots, hummus, sun-dried tomato wrap, salami, and Swiss cheese, and that was plenty for the 8 hours of hiking.

First-Aid – Kit A basic first-aid kit should be included in your hiking gear to handle any minor injuries or accidents that may occur. It should include items such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. I didn’t need it but I had it with me!

Navigation – Carrying a map and compass or using a GPS device can help you stay on the right trail and don’t get lost. It’s also a good idea to download maps and trail information before your hike in case you don’t have cell phone service on the trail. Alltrails was and is a nice choice as I was able to download the map and not get lost which could have happened at various points as I was looking around for the blazes to guide me.

Sun Protection – This goes without saying, that protecting yourself from the sun’s rays is important when spending an extended period outdoors. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect your skin and eyes.

Layers of Clothing – Wearing layers of clothing can help regulate your body temperature and protect you from the elements. Bring a waterproof jacket or poncho in case of rain, and extra layers if you’re hiking in a colder climate. I had a windbreaker, a hoody, and sweatpants – forgot the shorts but I thought long pants were the better choice and due to the rock climbing and brushes I came across it was a wise choice.

Emergency Supplies – In case of an emergency, it’s important to have supplies such as a whistle, flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone. I also had two battery banks with me, I rather be prepared than not. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return.

I don’t go hiking without my partner knowing where I go. In some instances, I can estimate how long a hike will take me, plus the drive which gives my partner an estimate of when he should be concerned.

A full-day hiking trip can be a wonderful way to explore nature, get some exercise, and create unforgettable memories. It’s important though that you are prepared.

What is your must-have for a full-day hiking trip? Let me know in the comments.

German by birth, living, hiking, and camping in the US. Addicted to Coffee. Enjoys going to concerts. Also, Artist + Author. I love to encourage you to explore beyond your backyard. 

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