Must-Have Summer Day Hike Packing List and Gear

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When we go hiking, we make sure to bring everything we could possibly need! There is nothing worse than realizing you left something important at home when you’re already on the trail.

To make sure you remember to bring everything on your next day hike, we put together this summer day hike packing list! Here is everything you need to pack for a long summer day hike!

Summer Day Hike Packing List

Backpacks and Bags

If you’re going on a long day hike, you’re going to need a functional backpack to pack everything in! There are so many different types of hiking bags and backpacks out there, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few bags that will suit any hiking style.


For a summer day hike, you’re going to want to dress for the heat, but also be prepared for unexpected rain or changes in the weather, especially if you’re climbing in elevation. Always make sure to check the weather prior to your hike so you can dress accordingly. We personally prefer hiking clothes that can easily be layered and are moisture-wicking and lightweight. Clothes with these features can easily be packed away in our backpacks and offer comfort as the weather changes.

Shoes, Footwear, and Accessories

For a long summer day hike, good footwear and shoes are essential!

  • Smartwool socks are durable, comfortable, and fashionable! Wool is a natural moisture-wicking material, helping keep your feet cool and dry when hiking.
  • We love the new all-season, waterproof Outlander boots from Lems. These lightweight boots have a flexible, zero-drop sole that allows your feet to move more naturally.
  • Hopefully, you’ll be seeing lots of sun this summer, so pack some sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Trekking poles are great for stability, especially in steep, rocky conditions.

Water and Food

When preparing for a long day hike, make sure to pack plenty of water and food! We love bringing our Yeti Water Bottles because they are durable and drinks stay cold all day, even in the summer heat. As an alternative to a Yeti Water Bottle, consider a water pouch like a Camelbak that can easily fit into your day pack.

Here are some of our favorite hiking snacks:

In addition to having good snacks for your day hike, consider storing them in reusable plastic storage containers like these:

Health and Safety

You never know when you might need some health and safety supplies while on a long day hike, so consider packing some in your day bag. A First Aid Kit will cover all of your basics. But also consider packing some of these items as well:

It’s best to research the unique conditions of where you are hiking to pack accordingly. For example, what kind of wildlife or insects might you encounter where you are going? Will you be near water, and what kind? What will the weather be like? How fast could the weather change? What is the best time of day to start the hike and then head back?

Personal items

Don’t forget to pack your ID, money, phone, and a portable charger!


Lastly, we like to observe the nature and wildlife that we see during our hikes. So we like to pack our field guides, journals, and binoculars for our day hikes.

As photographers, we’re usually bringing our photography equipment with us on a day hike. Here are some of the photography gear that we bring along for hikes!

If you’re hiking at a National Park, make sure to pack the essentials for a National Park visit! These include any entrance passes required for entering the park. And if you’re an avid National Park visitor, consider investing in the National Park Passport Book to document your travels!

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