What Do I Pack For Hiking?
Although I know this can vary greatly depending on the time of year and the weather at the time of the hike, as well as location, I thought I would throw together a basic list of the stuff that I always seem to have with me, regardless of if it is 106 degrees hiking in Texas or if it is 60 in the fall in New Hampshire.
The Bag - SOVRN Republic Drifter HD
This has been my go to bag for a lot of adventures since I have bought it, and before this the standard drifter was my go to. The Drifter HD is a 32L bag, while the Drifter is a 30L bag. The slight difference in size also means there are many features that make me personally like the HD much more than the standard, but everyone has their preferences. The bag features a rain cover, three awesome grab handles, a shoulder strap, front straps to help take the load off your back, a laptop compartment that fits up to a 17" laptop, water bottle pouch, waist and chest straps, and awesome back padding. I have carried almost a gallon of water, along with a hammock and all my GoPro gear in this bag for a 6 mile hike when it was 106 degrees and the bag was more than comfortable for the entire hike.
Im going to list this first because I know its something everyone always forgets or barely cares about when they pack to go hiking, but its something that should be up on your list of items to pack, and it won't take up much space. I usually pack a small first aid kit (mine is no bigger than my wallet), a Lifestraw (mostly because its already in the bag but it could come in handy one day so it stays in the bag) , and a lighter just in case I ever need a fire.
Ok, we all know hydration is key. So please be sure to pack water. You don't want to be the person who brings 32oz of water on a six mile hike through a canyon in Texas when it is 106 degrees out. Its not a good idea. I always try to pack more water than I have too, and when going for a hike I have found that using 32oz water bottles works best for me since they are easy to carry in your hand (while keeping the rest in the bag) instead of always having to reach around to get them. Its probably time to invest in a good water bladder to throw in the bag, but for now this works for me.
Ok you got me. I always seem to have my ENO Hammock hanging off of my bag. You never know when you might want to throw the straps around a tree and relax for a few minutes before you head back to the starting point, or if you have time you can make the hike a spontaneous camping trip for the night and enjoy the stars while laying back, don't forget to pack a bug shield or a rain tarp just in case! (I always have a set of lights from ENO packed with me too just in case!)
Lights, Camera, Action!
Yep, Im that guy always carrying his GoPro gear with him down the hiking trail. I won't go too in depth here, but its always a good idea (in my mind) to carry your camera with you because you never know what adventure could happen, or what kinda fun you might want to document while you're out on the trail with your family or friends.
Ok, maybe not an entire outfit, but depending on the time of year some clothes might be good. An extra shirt or pair of socks could mean the world to you after your feet get wet or you're drenched in sweat. Usually I carry a light rain coat with me just in case there is ever a freak shower. Its payed off before while traveling abroad and it earned its keep in my bag for whenever there is an adventure.