The Ultimate Guide to Packing Your Hiking Day Pack

I don’t know if this is something that effects everyone. But it happens to me at least once a month. I go to get ready for my hike, and suddenly I can’t remember what to pack. I’ve got the basics already but my mind goes blank and I can’t remember anymore. This happened a lot more when I was new to hiking and trying to figure out what I could cull and what I needed on every hike. The goal for this article is to help you figure out what’s essential for your hiking day pack and what can be left behind. Below are your 10 hiking essentials which need to be packed on every hike.

A hiking day pack checklist can help you utilise the space you have, and will help you make the most of your hikes. Before hitting the trails, make sure you have this checklist covered and have prepared adequately to ensure your safety.

If you’re new to hiking, make sure you check out our beginner hiking tips as well!

We’ll start off with the obvious options and then head into the more niche content on what to pack for hiking.

find out what to pack in your hiking day pack

The single most important thing to pack is water. Whilst it seems obvious. It can be daunting to try and figure out how much water to pack. The old rule of thumb is 1 litre for every 2 hours of hiking. However we always recommend taking more water than you expect to need. Excess water can be easily carried in a bladder or in the water bottle holders on your day pack.


Regardless of the time of year and location you are hiking in, it is important to take sun protection seriously and pack excess sunscreen in your pack. Sunscreen should be replaced every 2-3 hours on a hike.


Whilst we live in a world which is always connected it is important to have some form of offline maps available. Many apps like all trails offer subscription services which offer offline map downloads onto your phone and you can also print out topographic maps of the area.

find out what hiking gear is needed for beginners

Another obvious option, but it is important to always carry small high calorie snack options on your hike. Hiking involves a lot of energy and it is important to replenish this. Options can include, nuts, fruit, trail mix & protein bars.

First aid kit

Hiking first aid kits are small and cover all the essentials. It is important to carry one of these every hike to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

hiking packing list for beginners

Once you’ve got the essentials covered it’s important to think about what to bring on a hiking trip and what else you should pack for a short hike.

Snake bite kit

A snake bite kit is imperative in any area known for snakes. If you’re in Australia this will be every hike. We recommend this snake bit kit as it includes revolutionary technology in the smart bandages which have been designed for funnel web and snake bites.

a snake bite kit, essential for hiking
Snake bit kits are essential for you hiking day pack
Spare Socks

Trust us. There is nothing worse than wet socks when hiking. Whilst this isn’t essential it is a luxury item you might be really glad you packed

Rain Jacket

You can’t control the weather but you can control how it effects you. Compact rain jackets are easy enough to come by and will make a world of difference if the weather changes suddenly while you’re out on a hike.

Multi tool

Multi Tools are great they usually include flint, a knife, bottle opener, pliers, screw drivers and a saw. Some others include even more. In the event something goes wrong a multi tool will be your best friend in helping you out of the situation.


Only to be used in emergencies a whistle can be used to attract attention or ward off unwelcome visitors.


These will help combat the glare on the water and help with sunprotection

Survival kit

Much like a first aid kit although it is specifically designed for survival and keeping you alive in the worst case situation. You can read here why you need one. However an Australian survival kit is important given how harsh our environment can be.

best day hiking survival kit
Contents inside a compact survival kit

Another luxury item, but it is always a good idea to pack a camera to capture your memories

Keep in mind it is best to keep you day pack packed and up to date. Always replenish items which have been used for the best results and so you don’t forget anything on your next hike!

If you’re looking for more options in you hiking day pack you can also look into eco friendly soap! This is our favourite option!


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