Hiking is my favourite activity, no matter where I am in the world. I consistently find that hiking brings a sense of joy, clarity, excitement and discovery. It's such a great way to get out and feel good about your body, breath in some fresh air and discover the world out there.
Hiking is a popular way to explore a new country, too! You can discover the mountains, hike up to ruins or castles, see epic view points... it's a wonderful way to travel. Plus, it's (usually) free!
Today, I want to talk about what I bring with me when I go hiking. Depending on the length or difficulty of the hike, I'll add to this list (like more food or more layers etc.). Please note that this list is for day hikes only.
Make sure you have a day pack you feel comfortable walking and climbing in. It should fit snugly on your shoulders - if you can get one with a waist strap, that's even better, to assist with weight placement.
I carry a 1 litre reusable water bottle with me while I'm hiking shorter tracks; for longer hikes, I carry two litres. Staying hydrated is crucial while you're out in nature.
Lunch & Snacks
Pack enough food for your the length of your hike. Bring energetic snacks like nuts, bananas, veggies, energy bars/cookies, apples and dates. If you're going out for longer, bring a good lunch, too, in a reusable tupperware with reusable cutlery.
Waterproof Jacket & Wool Sweater
Even for sunny hikes, I like to pack a waterproof jacket that can double as a windbreaker. Regardless of the weather at the start of the trail, elevation gain can often bring along cooler weather and weather is always subject to change. Layers are key!
I also pack a wool sweater that keeps me warm without making me sweat. It's great for when the wind picks up a bit or when I've reached the top of the trail and I've stopped moving.
This is my most important one! I have to have my camera on every hike (and everything else I do) so I can document the beauty I'm seeing to share on my blog and Instagram. I love getting out in nature and sharing my experiences. Don't forget to empty your SD card before you go and fully charge your battery.
We use a Fujifilm X-T1 with an 18-55mm lens as our main camera and also bring a Canon PowerShot point-and-shoot as backup.
Before you head out, make sure your phone is fully charged. A phone is important to carry in case you need to contact anyone, plus it's also a great tool for maps. I always bring my fully charged battery pack which can charge my phone six times over.
The best way to get photos of yourself while you're out and about is to bring a tripod. Nico and I bring our tripod everywhere we go - it means we can get photos together even in the most isolated of places.
First Aid Kit
I don't bring a full set but it's always handy to have some bandaids, pain meds and allergy meds when you're heading out into nature. I also always carry sunscreen and bug spray, for obvious reasons.
Map or Trail Directions
If the hike isn't well marked or super popular, I like to take screenshots of the directions and the map in case I need to refer back to them. This is also useful in case you lose service on the trail and Google Maps stops working.
It's so nice to finish a hike and pull on a clean pair of socks. My shoes may have gotten muddy or wet and it's nice for the way home to have clean and comfy toes.
Make sure you're wearing good shoes for your hike - hiking boots if it's steep or unstable ground, or comfortable running shoes for easier trails. I own a pair of Keen hiking boots and a pair of Nike free runners, both of which I absolutely love and cover all the kinds of trails I tackle.
I always carry a compostable plastic rubbish bag to collect any rubbish I find on the trail. I practice the 'pack-in, pack-out' method whereby you take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints. Unfortunately, not everyone does, so I like to make sure I'm grabbing any garbage I spot while I'm out and dispose of it properly.
It's handy to carry even a small flashlight just in case you end up being out after dark, even if you didn't intend to. Carry one separate from the one on your phone so as to save phone battery.
Ball Cap & Toque
Wear one and carry the other. If it's chilly, pop a toque on to keep your ears warm. The rest of the time, keep your ball cap on to protect your face from the sun.
I always have a pair of sunglasses in my bag to protect my eyes against the sun, no matter the weather (except of course, rain). Even snow can be damaging to the eyes so winter hiking requires sunnies, too.