Gill’s Day Hiking Checklist (2020)

Gear List

When it comes to day hiking, my gear choices are relatively consistent – I know what works for me and so I continue to use what works. I am also ready to go given that I generally leave my ‘just in case’ items in my day pack between hikes. This means I don’t have to think too much about preparing for a day of hiking.

I also expect my gear to last and I will hang on to gear as long as it is functional and isn’t looking too bad through wear. My gear has lasted the distance and is still looking OK. Having said that I am always on the look out for something new but often fail to find anything that captures my eye!

So here is my standard day hiking gear list based of course, on my particular needs and circumstances. Please note that I share some items with Tim; some of which I carry and some he carries. My list may or may not suit you however I hope it will be useful in helping you to develop your own day hiking gear kit. You can download a PDF version of this list here Gill’s Day Hiking Checklist March 2020.

PDF Version of my current day hiking gear list

The following link is a downloadable version of my 2020 day hiking gear list. I do a full update of this list on an annual basis.

Gill’s Day Hiking Gear Checklist 2020

List last updated 1 March 2020

Pack System

Pack: Osprey Sirrus 24

Why I chose this pack:

  • It is compact and allows lots of free movement
  • The trampoline style suspension frame provides airflow across my back – very welcome on hot days and doesn’t saturate my back even in the hottest weather
  • It has heaps of pockets which is just what you need to stow all your bits

Dry Bag: Sea to Summit 13 Litre Ultra-Sil Dry Sack

Why I chose this dry bag:

  • Great for keeping electronics dry and protected
  • Keeps your bits together in one place

Hydration System

Hydration Bladder: Osprey Hydraulics 3 Litre Bladder

Why I chose this bladder:

  • While I’m not a fan of bladders, they are the most convenient way to get water quickly and regularly
  • I don’t usually fill up this 3 litre bladder but on long and/or hot days I will
  • This bigger capacity is also helpful when water may be hard to find
  • I really like the magnetic chest clip that keeps the drinking nozzle in place so its easy to access

Water filter: Katadyn BeFree 600ml filter bottle

Why I chose this filter bottle:

  • I insist on filtering my water and the Katadyn BeFree is fast and easy to use
  • It’s lightweight
  • This bottle acts as an additional small water bottle when you need it
  • Shared item

Camp Kitchen

Spoon: Sea to Summit Alpha Light Spoon 

Why I chose this spoon:

  • I like long handled spoons – I end up with food all over my hands when using short handled implements!

Mug: Sea to Summit X-Mug

Why I chose this cup:

  • I don’t always need a cup on a day hike but the X-Mug folds down flat so its easy to have just in case
  • Weighs very little
  • Holds a good sized drink
  • If you have small hands, the X-Cup may be a better option

Footwear

Footwear: Altra Lone Peak 4.0 RSM Low Women’s Shoe

Why I chose this:

  • I have wide feet and this is the widest hiking shoe I have found
  • It’s made for women’s feet
  • Its zero drop with extra cushioning so you don’t feel the impact
  • A little hard to find in the hiking stores but freely available online

Socks: Injinji Trail 2.0 Women’s Mid Weight Mini Crew Toesocks

Why I chose this:

  • I love toe socks – they keep my toes separated which reduces rubbing and the incidence of blisters
  • Provide cushioning and warmth where I need
  • Hard wearing

Gaiters: Dirty Girl Gaiters

Why I chose this:

  • I love these gaiters – they are fun, coloured and lightweight
  • They keep debris out of my shoes are just right for low cut hiking shoes
  • These gaiters are available in a range of sizes and colours through some hiking stores and are also available online
  • If you need protection from snakes, you’ll need a traditional and more heavy duty pair of gaiters

Layering System

Bra and knickers: Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra and Hot Pants

Why I chose this:

  • Firstly, everyday bras and sports bras are uncomfortable at the best of times
  • Secondly, when you sweat, they stay wet for a long time
  • This bra and pants set fit well, don’t ride around (the pants stay put for hours!) and when you sweat, they dry in no time
  • I wear a set to bed which means I can still look half decent for that midnight wee break!
  • And they are also presentable enough to wear as swimmers
  • I have been wearing the same bra and pants set for years – and not just when hiking

Pants: Marmot Lobo Women’s Convertible Pants x 1

Why I chose these pants:

  • Very tough – I don’t have to worry about wear I park my backside!
  • They have great stretch
  • They can be wore long, folded up to be capri length or zipped off as shorts
  • I can wear a belt when I need to a bit of extra help in keeping them up (usually the case after multi week hiking)
  • They look good enough for around town

Tee: Wilderness Wear COOL MERINO Tencel 155 Short Sleeve Scoop Tee

Why I chose this Tee:

  • Wicks away moisture
  • Super soft and lightweight
  • Tailored fit and styling
  • Washes well and doesn’t smell after many days’ wear

Puffer Jacket: The North Face Women’s Thermoball Full Zip Jacket

Why I chose this:

  • I wanted a synthetic jacket that would cope with expected wet conditions over a long period
  • This jacket is snug and will take me from cool to cold conditions depending on the layers underneath
  • The fit is really good
  • I also bundle this jacket up at night and place it inside my Wilderness Wear PolyPro+190 Women’s Long Sleeved Crew Neck Top to form a soft and comfy pillow

Rain Jacket: Marmot PreCip Jacket

Why I chose this:

Neck warmer: Wilderness Wear Merino Neck/Face Gaiter

Why I chose this neck warmer:

  • Very versatile – can be worn in many different ways including as a beanie or neck warmer
  • Merino and so its super soft

Hat: Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap

Why I chose this:

  • I use a few different hats and this is the one I wear when its really hot and I need very good sun protection
  • Its also great when there’s a lot of wind – it won’t blow away on you

Safety Equipment

Compass: Suunto A30 Compass

Why I chose this:

  • A simple no nonsense compass that performs all the basics
  • Shared item

Miscellaneous Equipment

Sunglasses: Mako Shadow Sunglasses

Why I chose this:

  • They fit my face which is the main consideration when choosing a pair of sunglasses
  • I tend to update my sunglasses every few years and have been very happy with this pair

Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Ultra Mountain FL Trekking Poles 130cm

Why I chose this:

  • They’re purple! No really, they are adjustable to just the right height
  • The hand grips are comfy and the straps mean you don’t have to grip hard to keep the poles with you
  • Best of all, they fold down and fit neatly in the side pockets of my pack

Reading Glasses: SOOLALA Lightweight Compact Reading Glasses

Why I chose this glasses:

  • I lost a good pair!
  • A cheap pair in a small protective case is an inexpensive solution to losing another expensive pair
  • This works for me but might not be an option for for everyone

Phone: iPhone 8

Why I chose this:

  • I have had an iPhone of some kind since they became a thing
  • It’s easy to use and relatively secure
  • Takes great pictures and videos of the trail

Foldback Clip 19mm

Why I chose this:

  • This is one of the ‘hacks’ in our hiking kit
  • The clip holds my rain jacket hood to my hat when its raining and windy
  • It also creates a porch that keeps most of the water away from my face
  • It’s well worth the few extra grams of weight

Toiletries

Toilet Trowel: GSI Cathole Trowel

Why I chose this:

  • This lightweight trowel will dig through hard rocky soil better than lighter metal options
  • Always bury your poop!
  • Shared item

Toilet paper: 10 sheets per day

Why I chose this:

  • I never rely on toilet paper being available
  • You may also need when you’re away from provided facilities, or if the on-trail facilities have run out
  • I fold each day’s worth and put it in a zip lock back to keep it clean and dry
  • Place the fold facing the edge of the bag – that way you just grab the top fold

Hand Sanitiser: Hand Sanitiser 60ml

Why I chose this:

  • The biggest cause of digestive distress on hikes is due poor sanitation after going to the toilet
  • You wash your hands with soap and water at home, and you should clean your hands on a hike as well
  • Hand sanitiser is a convenient option for hiking – make sure you rub it around

Lip Balm and Face Moisturiser 

Why I chose this:

  • For those conditions where cracked or sunburnt lips is a potential issue
  • A bit of face moisturiser helps the post hike recovery!

First Aid Kit

I have never had a serious accident or needed to treat one. In most cases the first aid kit is for blisters, splinters or ticks. Having said that, I carry basic first aid equipment on every hike, not matter how short, just in case. My first aid supplies go into the same packing cell as my toiletries. Shared item.

Tweezers

Why I chose this:

  • Can be used for splinters as well as removing ticks
  • Don’t stint on the quality here as most cheap tweezers just won’t pick out the small stuff as they don’t have the stiffness and/or fineness at the tip
  • Shared Item

Splinter Pick

Why I chose this:

  • Sometimes you get splinters so I will always carry a decent splinter pick
  • Shared item

Crepe Bandage x 1

Why I chose this:

  • Another part of my first aid kit
  • It is suitable for use as a dressing retention, stemming bleeding and providing light compression
  • Shared item

Compression Bandage x 2

Why I chose this:

  • For immobilising limbs in the case of snake bite or physical injury
  • Shared item

Triangular Bandage x 1

Why I chose this:

  • Just in case!
  • I have never had to use this in real life but its a versatile piece of safety gear
  • Shared item

Safety Pins x 5:

Why I chose this:

  • Always handy to have and not just for first aid use
  • Ever split your pants or broken a strap?
  • Shared item

Pain Killers: Neurofen x 6

Why I chose this:

  • The only time I use Neurofen is when I’m hiking
  • In addition to dealing with the rare headache it also aids with inflammation that can arise from doing extra long days
  • I rarely use Neurofen and only when absolutely necessary
  • Shared item

Go: Laxatives

Why I chose this:

  • Not something you are likely to need on a day hike – it is just part of my standard first aid kit
  • Shared item

Stop: Imodium

Why I chose this:

  • Also just in case
  • There is nothing worse than having diarrhoea on a hike, even a short one!
  • Shared item

Band-Aids: Various waterproof x 15

Why I chose this:

  • I use Band-Aids on nearly every extended trip, mainly for my toes at the start of the trip while the skin is hardening up
  • My Injinji Trail Toesocks have almost eliminated the need for Band-Aids but I still carry them for other needs
  • Shared item

Swap Outs

I carry most of the equipment above year round but there are some pieces I change over (swap out) depending on the weather, physical conditions of the hike, or the numbers of hikers.  The following equipment is what I will carry as the conditions dictate.

Insect protection: Sea to Summit Head Net

Why I chose this:

  • Sometimes the flies just drive you mad
  • This net keeps them off your head and out of your mouth!
  • Mosquito proofing at night
  • I have only used my net a couple of times but it has been very worthwhile when needed

Gaiters: Sea to Summit Quagmire Gaiters

Why I chose this:

  • I usually don’t worry about wearing heavy gaiters but when I’m going into a snake infested area, I up the leg protection with a serious gaiter

Singlet: Wilderness Wear COOL MERINO Tencel 155 Singlet

Why I chose this singlet:

  • Worn separately or as great base layer
  • Soft and comfy
  • Wicks away moisture
  • 70% Merino and 30 Eucalyptus fibre

Warm Top: Wilderness Wear PolyPro+190 Women’s Long Sleeved Crew Neck Top

Why I chose this top:

  • Very warm and soft against your skin
  • Durable and doesn’t retain odours
  • Washes well

Gloves: Thinsulate Gloves

Why I chose these:

  • I usually wear a range of gloves depending on the conditions
  • These lightweight merino gloves form my base layer and still provide the ability to feel
  • In cold weather, I usually have another two pairs of increasingly thicker gloves to wear on top

Rain Pants: Rainbird Waterproof Pants

Why I chose this:

  • The legs zips mean you can get them on and off without removing boots
  • They are very economical!

Buff: Buff Original

Why I chose this:

  • Buffs are very versatile with the obvious use being to keep your head warmer
  • I wear mine to keep my neck covered either because its cold or because I need protection from the sun – I have also worn my Buff on one arm to protect it from the sun’s rays
  • A bit of water on your Buff will cool you instantly

Emergency Beacon / GPS: Garmin InReach Explorer+

Why I chose this device:

  • This bit of technology has taken pride of place in my hiking kit for so many reasons and has replaced my Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and GPS
  • The two way communication option is a huge bonus on remote trips providing family with the ability to track how I’m going in real time and to communicate even when there is no phone signal
  • Shared item

PDF version of Gill's current day hiking gear list

PDF Version of my current day hiking gear list

The following link is a downloadable version of my 2020 day hiking gear list. I update this list on an annual basis (last updated 1 March 2020).

Gill’s Day Hiking Checklist March 1 2020

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