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What to Pack for a Summer Hike

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It seems like we wait for the majority of the year for summer to finally arrive — and then once it does, it’s gone in a flash! So while it’s still peak warm season, take advantage of the great, sunny weather — take a hike. It’s not only a way to get outside and enjoy some time in nature, it’s a perfect excuse to get in some exercise as well. Whether you’re headed out for the afternoon or on an all-day trek, it’s important to be prepared. Here’s what you should pack if you’re going summer hiking today or in the near future.

11 Things to Pack For Summer Hiking

1. Backpack

You’re going to need a bag to carry all your gear, and a backpack is the perfect piece for that. Having most of the weight on your back allows your hands and arms to move about freely.

2. SPF

It doesn’t matter if the trail is shaded or directly in the sun; sunscreen is a must! Apply as directed before you head out, and bring some with you so you can reapply along the way.

3. Sunglasses

Your eyes need sun protection, too, so don’t forget to pack a pair of sunglasses in your backpack. Even if you don’t end up needing them, they’re not heavy, nor do they take up much room.

4. Tissues

Chances are you’ll need to blow your nose, or maybe wipe your hands before you enjoy a snack. You’ll never be upset that you brought along some tissues for the walk.

5. Bug repellent

Bug bites can make the best hike turn miserable! Be sure to throw in some bug spray in case the mosquitoes are out and about.

6. Food

There’s nothing worse than being hungry on the trail and finding out you still have two-plus miles to go. So plan accordingly when it comes to your fuel. If you’re going to be out for over four hours, be sure to pack a light lunch (a sandwich or wrap are good options), as well as snacks like nuts, bars, or fruit. If you’re going for shorter mileage, snacks will do. Just make sure you have enough in case you take a wrong turn and are put a little longer than you planned.

7. Water

There’s no doubt it’s going to get hot in the sun, especially once you start moving and grooving. Hydrate well beforehand, and bring at least a bottle or two of water. It might be heavy to carry at first, but once you get going, you’ll be happier the more H2O you have.

8. Light layer

Yes it’s summer, but if you’re hiking into the woods, the trail may be shaded for a majority of or even all of the hike. It never hurts to bring an extra lightweight long sleeve in case you’re feeling a little chilly. You can always tie it around your waist if you decide you don’t need it anymore.

9. Flip-flops

More for those doing a longer, full-day hike, your feet will be ecstatic to switch into a pair of flip flops at the end of the trail. It will let them breathe and stretch a bit after working hard all day.

10. Change of clothes (including extra socks)

If you have room, a change of clothes is always nice. You never know if you’ll want to go out afterward, so better to be prepared than to wish you were. If anything, always throw in an extra pair of socks.

11. Biotène

If you tend to suffer from dry mouth, be prepared by using some Biotène Moisturizing Spray to ease symptoms before you head out. The spray moisturizes, soothes, and freshens breath to relieve your dry mouth symptoms. [Note: Biotène Moisturizing Spray shouldn’t be stored at high temperatures, so plan accordingly.]

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