Find a Company
River Search
Outdoor Products

Retail Stores

Adventure Library

Hot New Products

Event Calendars Specials & Booking Our Services Site Map Contact Us Home
Hiking Checklist

Hikes can be extremely fun and rewarding if you have the right equipment and are well prepared. Proper footwear, clothing, hydration, food, and a comfortable pack will determine how comfortable you are. Make sure you check the local area and bring maps of the area and the trails you plan to hike. This is a compilation list of a number of items that are recommended for day hikes; however remember that different gear can be useful and /or fun depending on the difficulty and length of your trip. Whatever you bring, you have to carry, so consider each item carefully before heading out on the hiking trail!


Absolute Essentials (for any hike, any length and difficulty level)

Water – one gallon per person per day is recommended. There are several hydration systems such as Camelbak or Platypus that integrate a water bottle into the backpack.

Pack – either a small backpack or a fanny pack

Good hiking shoes – break in your shoes before attempting a long or strenuous hike

Food – even snacks for shorter trips

Sunscreen – even if it’s overcast


Sun Hat - or warm hat if the weather is expected to be colder

Flashlight & Batteries – Headlamps make it easier to use your hands

First Aid Kit

Map – topographic maps are best


Firestarter kit (can be used as an emergency signal)

Warm Layers – check the weather, especially if you are hiking in the mountains. Changes happen quickly and unexpectedly, so know the local area’s weather conditions before you go.

Raincoat – if there is any chance of rain, pack a lightweight raincoat.


Good Additions to a Hiking Checklist


Notepad & pencil – or pens, watercolors, etc.

Water purification – for longer hikes with water sources

Hiking poles – if you have bad knees or will be carrying a heavier pack, poles are great

Picnic lunch


Frisbee & Balls


Natural history field guides

Gold Panning Equipment – check the local regulations on panning for gold



Clothing for Hiking

Layers, layers, layers. That is the key to dressing properly for a hike. Even if the weather is cooler, when you are exerting a lot of energy, you will inevitable get warm and sweat. However, when you stop hiking, your body will cool off and you will need a warm layer to put on. Weather changes quickly and often in the mountains, so prepare for a number of weather conditions.


Upper Body Layers for Hiking

Tips: fewer layers can be worn on warmer hikes. Avoid insulated pieces because they do not allow sweat to evaporate as well.

Synthetic or wool baselayer t-shirt or tank top

Synthetic or wool baselayer long sleeve shirt

Fleece jacket or vest

Windbreaker and/ or waterproof jacket


Shoes and Lower Body Layers for Hiking

If the weather is cold, wear a baselayer, however legs tend to stay warm while hiking and it is more comfortable to hike in only one layer of pants. Also, while shorts are nice to have in warm weather, if you are hiking through brush, having your skin exposed can cause rashes and reactions from the plants.

Synthetic underwear

Lightweight pants – some have a removable bottom so they can turn into shorts

Synthetic or wool socks – there are varying opinions on what is the best thickness of sock, however it is a personal choice, and what matters most is that the socks and shoes fit comfortably together

Hiking shoes – a mid or low-rise shoes is fine for day hikes, just try it out on an incline hiking up and down before purchasing to make sure they don’t irritate any parts of your feet.

Internet and Business Solutions for the Outdoor Industry