Spring is officially here and that means now is as good a time as any to get outside! One of the best things to do when the weather warms up outside is to pack your bag for a day hiking in the woods. Whether it’s a short little walk after school to wind down your day or a day-long excursion on the weekend there are a few things you should never leave behind!
Water is arguably the most important thing to bring with you for a day on the trails. Hydration is crucial, especially if you live somewhere dry or with high elevation. Bringing a few smaller water bottles that you can just throw in your backpack like this one is perfect.
I’m a self-proclaimed snack addict every day but I especially love them when I’m hiking. When you’re feeling low on energy a piece of fruit (clementines, apples, and bananas are super easy to pack and eat) or something like a Larabar is perfect.
Sunglasses & Sunscreen
The sun can get really bright as the day moves forward, so it’s important to protect yourself from those powerful UV rays! Packing your favorite sunglasses, some sunscreen (even when it’s hazy out!), or even a hat will help you to protect that beautiful skin of yours!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not wearing comfortable shoes! If you’re interested in investing in a new pair of hiking boots, make sure you spend some time breaking them in before you take them out on the trails with you. This will prevent blisters and other foot/ankle related injuries.
It’s always best to be prepared for the cooler temperatures that come with the setting sun and the possibility that you could get lost and have to spend the night outdoors. Packing a small jacket, sweatshirt, or coat is the best way to ensure you will be safe and warm . Just fold it in the bottom of your backpack before you leave for the day!
You’re of course going to want to snap some pictures, but you also want to make sure you’re able to call for help if you need it (especially if you’re hiking alone). While you may not always be able to get a cell signal in the middle of the woods, if you hike back closer to a main road you’re luck will most likely improve
In our digital age, many of us have become completely reliant on GPS and have consequently lost touch with the old-fashioned art of reading a map. This is crucial if you are hiking a new trail (and sometimes even if you’re hiking an old one). Make sure to orient yourself with the map before you set out and have a route in mind.