Anyone who's gone on a 5 or 10 hour day hike knows that hiking is an adventure. A number of things can happen and in order to better prepare for the various things that one might encounter on the trail, here is a list of things you should consider taking along when going on a day hike. Rather be prepaired for the unexpected than getting caught in a situation you don't want to find yourself in.

  1. Backpack - Well, this one is obvious.
  2. Rain Coat - For unexpected rain. and cold
  3. Food - Even if you only plan on a one hour walk, you might end up getting lost or find a side trail you end up on. Always take fruit, energy bars and some biscuits or a sandwich. You will need the calories.
  4. Water - NEVER walk without water even if you do not take a backpack and food. Also pack some juice which will give you an extra boost of energy.
  5. Boots - Wear boots that fit properly. Never go on a long hike with new boots as you will end up with blisters. You can also wear a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers. Make sure it fits properly.
  6. Socks - Make sure you wear a thick wool sock with an inner polypropylene sock. This combination will keep your feet dry whilst protecting it against blisters. You can also consider a sock liner as opposed to a loose fitting one and a wool sock with reinforced padding on the heel and the ball of the foot.
  7. Jacket - A fleece jacket is nice to have for as much as you sweat on a hike, there will almost always be a place and time for a jacket. On longer hikes, when weight is a problem, you might consider a dri-mac which can also be converted in a pillow by folding it and pulling the strings tight.
  8. Watch - It is nice to know what the time is. Keeping an eye on how long it took to get somewhere is a good way to know how long it will take to get back.
  9. Maps - Having maps is a good way to get to know the terrain you're on in addition to giving you an indication of what is to come and what you have accomplished. Planning your day hike can be the most important way to guarantee a good day. A compass is a nice to have even if you are following a well marked trail.
  10. Knife - A knife is a valuable thing to have on a hike for various reasons.
  11. Pen/paper - You never know when you might need to leave a note behind so that others can find you.
  12. String - String is one of those things that you will always have a use for.
  13. Plastic bag - This is to use as a garbage bag. And while you're there pick up any trash that other's have left behind. This way you are part of the solution and not the problem.
  14. Aspirin - While it may be noble to "grin and bear it," the fact remains that when your knee starts to hurt every time you step on a rock, you want aspirin.
  15. Flashlight - No matter how much you plan, no matter how well you know your local hiking trail, or how closely you keep track of the time, once in a while things will sidetrack you and the sun might disappear sooner than you anticipated. When this happens, a small flashlight will come in very handy. Also take spare batteries.
  16. Matches - You might decide to have a tea break. Be responsible when you light that fire. You don't want it to get out of hand and cause a veld fire.
  17. Toilet paper - For the obvious. Make sure you bury the obvious for obvious reasons!
  18. Trowel - For digging your hole.
  19. First aid kit - For the unexpected eg. bee sting, insect bites, cuts and burns etc.
  20. Sunglasses - You have to protect your eyes against the sun.
  21. Camera - You have to take pictures - not only so that you can proof to your friends that you actually went out there instead of slouching on the couch in front of the tv, but also to show them what they are missing out on.
  22. Insect repellent - You want to enjoy your walk without having to outrun mosquitoes.
  23. Hat - A wide brimmed hat that also cover you ears, nose and your neck is essensial to protect you from the sun.
  24. Binoculars - This is a nice to have especially if you walk in areas where there is game or if you love watching birds.
  25. Sunblock - The best way to ruin your fun is the get sun burn. No matter how much cloud cover there is.


  • Backpack
  • Sac- liner
  • Sleeping bag (In waterproof sac liner)
  • Survival bag
  • Boots
  • Spare Footwear
  • Spare laces
  • Water bottle
  • Gas stove
  • Spare cylinder
  • Cooking pots
  • Matches (in waterproof container)
  • Candle
  • Torch
  • Spare batteries
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Map
  • Pencil & note pad
  • String
  • Money (in change)
  • Plate
  • Mug
  • Fork
  • Spoon
  • Dish cloth
  • Pocket knife
  • Can opener (if not on knife)
  • Garbage Bag
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Emergency Food Pack (packed seprately)

  • Warm top or Jacket
  • Warm Pants
  • Woolen Socks
  • Shirt
  • T-shirt
  • Sun Hat
  • Woolen Cap
  • Underwear

  • Toothpaste & Brush
  • Toilet Paper
  • Deodorant
  • Soap (trail)
  • Small Towel
  • Face Cloth

  • Mug
  • Fork
  • Spoon
  • Dish Cloth
  • Pocket Knife
  • Can opener (if not on knife)
  • Garbage Bag
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Emegency Food Pack (packed separately)