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What to Pack for a Solo Day Hiking Adventure

Day hikes are some of the best trips to go on because they are a short drive away and you can easily get back home later in the day. But sometimes we don't consider just how important it is to pack for these hikes. You may have heard of the 10 essentials but it may be difficult to take everything with you depending on where you are going and the type of pack you take. Whether you are carrying a hiking backpack or a fanny pack, it's important to try and take most of these with you when you are out on a solo adventure to ensure you are safe.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit, along with water and snacks, is one of the most important things to take with you. There's a variety that you can purchase online that are specifically for day hikes that come with bandaids, topical creams, and medicine.

Water + Snacks

Always make sure you have water and snacks with you. It's essential especially during the summer months when you can deplete your energy quicker in the heat. I typically take my 1.5-liter water reservoir with me. As for food, I carry anything from granola bars to trail mix.

Portable Phone Charger

If you are like me, you love using your phone as a GPS, a camera to take photos, and a video recorder. This can drain your battery fast so it's always good to have a portable phone charger that you can use to juice up the battery while you're hiking in case you need to contact anyone.

Form of Self Defense

A knife and pepper spray. I think these are some of the easiest and most discrete weapons to carry. Whichever one you decide to carry, never keep it packed away because it will be hard for you to grab it if you need it. I usually hook the pepper spray to the front of my pack with a carabiner and hook the knife in a similar location for easy access.

Sun Screen

Let's keep our skin radiant and healthy by wearing sunscreen! We are always exposed to the sun, even on overcast days. Carry a tube or stick of sunscreen for your hikes in your pack to apply it before and during your day hikes.

Comfortable Footwear

This isn't necessary but I always love changing into a comfortable pair of shoes after my hikes. Removing my boots and throwing on my Crocs is one of the best feelings especially if I need to drive one or more hours to get back home. Aside from this, you can also carry sandals in your pack in case you want to cross water or get your feet wet.


Again, carry as much of these as you can for your solo hikes. I recommend at least the first aid kit, water, snacks, and portable phone charger. I also carry some of the items on the 10 essentials list like a headlamp, rain jacket, and maps for the parks I go to. Feel free to customize your pack to suit whatever adventure you are going on because a hike here in Texas requires some different things than a hike in Oregon. Stay safe out there, always let someone know where you are going, and happy hiking!

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