Day Hiking Necessities
When I first started hiking, all I had was a bottle of water and a map. But that was before I knew what real hiking was. If you’re going to go exploring the mountains, canyons and deserts of Southern California, you will need to be prepared.
Here’s what I now carry with me on any given hike: Backpack, water, food, sunscreen, map & compass, flashlight, emergency blanket, proper clothing & shoes, first-aid kit, fire starter, knife, cell phone, camera.
I hope I don’t need to explain how each of those items will contribute to a safe and successful hike. You should also be conscious of individual needs and the comforts that you wish to enjoy on your hike.
Here are some other popular items (some people may consider them necessities) to bring along on hikes:
Advil or other painkiller (especially for high altitudes)
Extra day’s supply of food
Gloves, hats, other clothing
Insect Repellent (woodland areas especially)
Matches or lighter & waterproof container
SPOT (Satellite GPS Messenger / Personal Tracker)
Tent, tarp or bivy
Twine or Duct tape
Water filter or other treatment system
1. Remove your cell phone battery while hiking so that it doesn’t die while searching for signal.�
2. Buy sunglasses that are tight on your head so they don’t slip around once you start sweating.
3. Carry more water than you think you need (and drink before you get thirsty).
4. Pants can be a good thing to have around lots of poison oak/ivy.
If you’re interested in ideas for more junk you can bring with you, or to see a breakdown of Clothing and Shoe options, visit REI’s Day Hiking Checklist page.