101 The Basics,  Day Hiking,  Hiking,  The Girl's Complete Guide

6 Things to Always Pack in Your Day Pack

This post is part of my Girl’s Guide to Day Hiking, which I hope inspires you to head to a nearby trail and enjoy the great outdoors!

Below you will find a list of what I have found essential to take in my day pack for every hike.

Day Pack Recommendations


An average person should drink about 2 liters of water per day, so if you are going on a half-day hike, take about 1 liter of water in your day pack.

Water Bottle Recommendations

  • Nalgene 1 Liter bottle, Amazon.com
  • Get something with a wide opening at the top so you can easily fit ice in




Even if you don’t feel hungry, a little fuel will help you get through the last part of the hike. Alternatively, depending on your schedule, you could pack a picnic and stop at a scenic point for lunch!

Snack Recommendations


  • Luna bars, Lara bars, Kind bars, and Clif bars are great. My favorites are Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick bar, Clif Mint Chocolate Builder’s bar, Blueberry Vanilla & Cashew Kind bar and Blueberry Muffin Lara Bar. So yummy!
  • Aaricka and Ha from my Girl’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park say fruit and beef jerky are the way to go because they love the salty and sweet combination.


You know if you don’t take a camera, you will see a bear, right? 🙂 Nature seems to know when you forget your camera.

Camera Recommendations


A few hours on the trail can be very intense on your skin! I keep a few bottles in my day pack ready to go.

Sunscreen Recommendations


Chap Stick

The dry air and dust always seem to parch my lips when I’m out hiking, and so I always keep vaseline handy because it provides a thick protective coat and is the only brand my lips don’t get addicted to.

Chap Stick Recommendations

Hand Wipes

I like having these around before eating on the trail (and especially after using a park restroom.) While Purell cleanses, it doesn’t get the dirt off, so I stick to wipes for the great out of doors.

(These come in handy for a host of other outdoor activities including hunting and fishing.)

A few other things I’ve often found valuable:

  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing
  • Dog gear! If you’re hiking with your dog, don’t count on him finding a creek somewhere along the trail. Bring a separate water bowl or bottle, as well as the plastic baggies that keep the trail tidy.