Your day hiking basic gear list will evolve as you become more experienced, but for now its about getting you out on the track enjoying the tracks with enough gear to enjoy your self and come back in one piece no matter what happens.
Depending on who you talk to and their personal preference(*1) this list can grow to mammoth sizes and budgets, or shrink to ultralight proportions.
Take it from me, you don’t need every thing suggested!, starting small and to the point also has several advantages;
- You don’t spend a heap of money up front.
- Your body has a chance to adapt and acclimatise to the new activity with out sudden weight.
- It is a bit like an “obligation free look”… period, is hiking really for you?
- Learn to enjoy the outdoors with out the pressure to go faster than you are comfortable.
Basic Day Hiking gear
Carrying light loads over well made gravel, sand, grass, earth tracks.
- Preferably Hiking shoes or Boots – but sports shoes will definitely work initially.
- Technical Socks such as those designed for running or hiking.
- Drink bladder reservoir. (adequate hydration)
- Rain coat or Jacket – preferable heavy rain proof.
- Small First Aid Kit – relevant to the activity.
- Wide brim Sun hat / sun cream / sunglasses.
- Clothing – Both for hot and cold weather.
- LED Head Lamp and spare batteries. (I recommend a model with an on/off switch lock function – or twist on.)
- Your lunch – best high Carbohydrate, moderate protein, moderate to low fats.
- Emergency Kit
- Day Pack to carry it all in – 20-40 litres is a good size. (with internal frame and good back ventilation is better)
- Phone /and charging method.
- Personal Locator Beacon, Not essential, but I highly recommend you consider it a priority on your gear list.
- Intentions Plan – sent to someone you trust.
- Topographical Maps NZTopo50 Map) of the track area you are in.
(*1) Like personal taste in clothing or shoes, every one is going to have their own take on hiking gear, this largely dependant on their own experience,(or lack of) age, type of hiking, personal tastes, budget, dreams. Also be wary of advice from shop staff, they are after all make sales, and fewer are actually hikers.