When you’re feeling a little stir-crazy and need to get out of the house and into the great outdoors, there’s nothing like reconnecting with nature by taking day hike.
National Parks provide an easily accessible escape from the urban sprawl, so you’re far away enough to get a break from traffic and high density living, but close enough that you don’t need to bring a backpack full of supplies.
Sometimes we go a little crazy and pack too many things... Or pack too few. For a longer hike, it makes sense to pack items such as a sleeping bag, tent, compasses, extra socks etc, but for a day hike, all you need are some key essentials.
Here’s a practical list of 6 key items to take with you for your day hike:
Hydration is key. Always bring a cannister of water to keep you hydrated during your walk. For a 6-8km hike, it’s recommended to bring at least 2-3L of water to replace any lost fluids while you’re out & about.
A good tip is to drink some water before hitting the trail, so if you have a spare bottle of water in the car, consume from that supply before relying on the water you’ll be bringing on the hike.
It’s important to be consistently sun smart. Even on cloudy days you can get sunburned, as UV rays may even be more intense due to reflection off the clouds.
Be sure to apply before you depart on your hike. Keep in mind that sweat can cause sunscreen to rub off quicker than normal, so ensure to re-apply every two hours to protect your skin.
Sometimes the weather can be unpredictable. There’s nothing worse than hiking while being cold and wet. Pack a lightweight and durable anorak or jacket, which you can easily slip on to keep you protected from the wind, rain and other elements. It’s better to be safe than soggy!
First Aid Kit
Minor bumps and scratches usually come hand-in-hand with hiking. We all try to be careful, but sometimes a misplaced foot or hand can lead to a cut or graze.
It’s always a good idea to have a little zip case with some basic first aid supplies inside, including band aids, alcohol wipes, tweezers (for removing splinters etc), insect repellent and a small bottle of saline for washing wounds, so you can get back on your hike in no time.
Snacks are a simple way to keep your energy levels up so you can keep trekking. Carrying a few energy bars provide a convenient way to get a boost without having to take a break.
If energy bars aren’t your thing, why not make your own trail mix? A selection of nuts such as almonds, cashews and pecans for a hit of good fats, some dried fruit like sultanas, cranberries and apricots to boost your low blood sugar, plus a sprinkle of pepitas for a serious nutritional punch including protein, iron and an array of vitamins and minerals will give you that extra spring in your step.
Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be fun – why not throw in a few sneaky squares of dark chocolate, pretzels, peanut butter chips or even popcorn to make each bite a unique experience.
Your phone is more than just a phone – it’ll your indispensable multi-tool on your hike; from providing a compass and map, a communications device if you do get disorientated, fitness tracker, to your camera for capturing the journey, your trusty phone will be a handy resource. Just make sure the battery is fully charged before you head off!
And when you’re home safe and sound, you can refer to your beautiful photos to inspire you for your next hiking adventure.
Friend of Fjällräven - Nicole Robertson