Essentials for the perfect day hiking pack

The Ottawa area is bursting with amazing hiking opportunities for enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you are taking the family out for a day at Gatineau Park or heading to see the views on the Calabogie Peaks, a day spent out on the trail is never a day wasted.

Heading out for a hike takes a bit more preparation than just lacing up your boots if you want to stay safe. Anything can happen out on the trail, so it’s important to take some time to plan what you want to include in your hiking pack for the day.

Having the right supplies and gear, including innovative apparel from Kryptek, can help you if things on the trail get a bit dicey. Let’s take a look at some of the essential items that you should always add to your pack before you head out on a day hiking adventure.

Hiking can be thirsty work. Staying hydrated is your number one priority when you are on the trail. If you end up being out for longer than you had planned, it’s important to be able to get drinkable water.

Due to the weight that it would add to carry as much water as you need, you need to find another way to stay hydrated. Carrying a compact LifeStraw in your pack is a great way to ensure that you can drink water wherever you find it with little health risks.

You need to keep your energy levels up when you are on the trail. Hiking takes a lot of energy, and you should always carry a few high protein snacks with you in your backpack. Items like energy bars, granola, or trail mix are great options that are light and take up little room in your pack.

First Aid
You never know when you could end up with a twisted ankle or some bruises and cuts when you are out on the trail. It’s important to have a basic first aid kit with you in your hiking pack. Make sure that your kit includes the basics like bandages, burn ointment, a simple tourniquet, and pain relievers.

Many hiking packs already have a good amount of paracord worked into their design. Paracord can be unraveled and broken down to be used in many survival situations. Paracord bracelets, key chains, or belts are a great resource to have with you on any hike.

If you get stuck on a trail overnight or run into bad weather, you will need to find shelter. A small tarp can be easily folded and stored in your hiking pack for when you need it. Stay out of the cold and the rain by bringing shelter with you in your own pack.

Compass / GPS
Most hiking trails are well-groomed and clearly marked. However, if you end up getting off track, you will want to have some way to be able to navigate your way to safety. Make sure that you carry a compass and a GPS unit with you. It may seem redundant to carry both items, but if you can’t get a clear signal on your GPS you will be happy to have a compass as a backup option.

For many outdoor enthusiasts, there is nothing more relaxing and exhilarating than exploring a new trail or hitting one of your favorite spots. To keep yourself safe, always plan for the unexpected and make sure that your hiking pack is prepped with these essential items.

Photo: Pixabay