Ultimate Hiking Packing List

Ultimate Hiking Packing List

Hikes are wonderful adventures that anyone can embark on. Whether going for a walk around a local forest preserve or trekking through a national park, you must be prepared for it. Read up on this ultimate hiking packing list. This will help you brace for the journey ahead and ensure you’re safe and nourished along the way.


No matter where you go, you’re going to need something to carry all your items. That’s where a backpack comes in handy. This will allow you to carry every item on this list with ease and convenience. Keep in mind the weight and bulk capacity, features, and fit. Some backpacks have built in drinking pouches with a nozzle for convenient hydration. Choose a backpack that adheres to your torso length, not your height, for a good fit.

The North Face Womens Terra 55

The North Face Women’s Terra 55 Backpack

Bear and Bug Spray

For those hiking in bear country, you must bring along bear spray. Bear spray is a bear deterrent with ingredients to ward off approaching bears. Interestingly, the main ingredient is capsaicin, the main component in chili peppers. Numerous studies show that bear spray is an effective deterrent against aggressive bears, but it still depends on the circumstances of the attack. Also, you should pack some bug spray to keep any annoying mosquitos away.

Hiking Shoes or Boots

Of course, a hike requires the proper footwear. This is where hiking boots come in. These boots help handle rough terrain and long distances. Hiking boots also provide support to your ankles and feet during a hike, climb, or other outdoor activity. Keep in mind, there are three main types of hiking footwear: trail shoes, trail hikers, and hiking boots. Trail shoes and trail hikers are good for dry or muddy semi-rugged paths and day hikes. Hiking boots are ideal for steep inclines and have grips for better traction on dirt, mud, or snow.

Picture of a Keen men's Targhee III Waterproof Mid hiking boot.

Keen Men’s Targhee III Waterproof Mid Hiking Boot

Extra Clothes

Plan ahead for inclement weather, perspiration, or even stains that require a change of clothes. It’s never a bad idea to bring extra layers along too. Light jackets and raincoats make for great layers to pack in case of poor weather.

Picture of an olive Women's The North Face Sightseer II Jacket

The North Face Women’s Sightseer II Jacket

Food and Water

Depending how long the hike is, pack some extra food or water. Hiking burns a lot of calories, and the last thing you want to experience when you’re in the wilderness is low blood sugar. This can put you in a dangerous situation. Therefore, you should pack along calorically dense snacks to give you the energy you need. This includes protein bars, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, or even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s also a good idea to pack extra water in a water bottle or water purification systems if you are hiking in the backcountry. Dehydration is an even more serious concern than low blood sugar, so it’s crucial you have access to drinkable water through every part of your hike.

Flashlight and Pocket Knife

When you’re in the outdoors, be prepared for challenging circumstances. That’s why you should pack a flashlight and pocketknife. These are important tools to help you survive in hazardous situations, like darkness or coming in contact with dangerous animals. Many pocketknives typically include pliers, blades, can openers, screwdrivers, and other extensions to help you on your hike.

First-Aid Kit

Lastly, one of the most important items to bring for your day hike is a first-aid kit. Hiking is a risky activity in which you might fall, scrape your skin, sprain an ankle, or get sunburned. A first-aid kit will have everything you need to treat minor injuries.

No matter what you need for your hiking packing list, always make sure to wear the proper outdoor hiking clothes. Check out our raincoats, hoodies, and other clothing options before you head outside. At Eagle Eye Outfitters, we have everything you need for the big day. Contact us with any questions or concerns, and we’ll be happy to get back to you.