List: 10 Essentials for Day Hiking

Because s@%$ happens…

When I don’t have time for an overnight backpacking trip, I still like to hike nearby trails. If I’m hiking a trail shorter than five miles that I’ve already done before, I often only take my Salomon Hydro Handset, which holds my ID and my truck key. (I know that’s not the best practice way to do things, but I’m honest.) If I’m doing a longer trail, however, or a trail I’m not familiar with, I do take along the 10 essentials. 

The REI Co-op blog has a great article on the 10 essentials that everyone should read, but I’ll do a brief recap here and then show you what I bring along.

Originally, there was a list of 10 items that hikers should carry with them in the woods. We call this the “Classic List.”

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Extra clothing
  • Headlamp/flashlight
  • First-aid supplies
  • Firestarter
  • Matches
  • Knife
  • Extra food

Now there’s a new list of 10 essential “systems” to carry along.

  • Navigation (map and compass)
  • Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  • Insulation (extra clothing)
  • Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  • First-aid supplies
  • Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
  • Repair kit and tools
  • Nutrition (extra food)
  • Hydration (extra water)
  • Emergency shelter

The featured picture for this blog article shows what I bring, but I’ll put it here as well:


My “10”:

I carry all of these in a Camelbak Helena Pack I’ve had forever. It’s 20 liters, so it’s overkill, but there’s a lot of gear on my wishlist and a smaller pack has to wait! I also carry a few plastic grocery bags to pick up trash along the trail, my cell phone, my truck key, and my ID.

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