In all the excitement and popularity of #OptOutside and outdoor adventures, the day hike is totally underrated. Camping and outdoor getaways are more popular than ever, and people are doing everything from pitching tents in the wilderness to buying expensive airstreams and finding dirt roads out west.
But don’t sleep on the day hike.
There’s nothing better than leaving your house with only the bare essentials and finding your favourite local trail. It doesn’t even have to be out in the wilderness. Local parks and state forests have miles of trail systems waiting for exploration, and you don’t need a ton of gear to check them out. Here are five items you’ll want to have on your hike.
5 day hike essentials
Timberlands are so well known for their style that people forget how functional they can be. This is the perfect boot for the upcoming cold weather. They’re supportive, insulated and have a great sole that works on the street as well as the trail. Anyone who loves dipping over to a local park without bringing a separate boot to change into will love the versatility of a good pair of leather Timberland boots.
Patagonia Nano Puff jacket
Patagonia is another brand that becomes more known for fashion but still totally delivers on function. Are there more technical jackets to wear on the trail? Of course. But would you also wear them around town? Probably not. The Nano Puff is thin and lightweight, but its synthetic insulation makes it warm and cosy. You can grab one in just about any colour imaginable and Patagonia’s commitment to repairability means it will outlive any small rips or tears over the years.
Prana hiking pants
Some people wear jeans on the trail, and maybe it works for them, but there’s nothing worse than cold, wet denim. You want pants that will wick moisture, stay dry and stretch with your moments during your hike. Prana makes dozens of different fits, styles and materials so that you can be at your most comfortable stretching those legs outside while also looking your best. Like Timberlands and Patagonia, you could rock a pair of Prana’s in town and no one would be the wiser.
Darn Tough socks
That’s enough about style, now it’s time to talk about all function. When you’re out hiking, socks matter. Durable, cushioned wool socks are the last line of defence between your feet and a bunch of blisters. Luckily, there’s a company in Vermont that makes just these socks with a lifetime warranty (seriously, what other socks can say that). Darn Tough socks use a strong-but-comfortable wool that wicks moisture to keep your feet warm and dry. Happy feet, happy hike.
Nathan water bottle
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your body isn’t still losing water during a hike. The good news: you don’t need a Camelbak or anything crazy, just a good insulated water bottle that won’t chill your hands when carrying it. Nathan makes water bottles for runners and has lightweight, insulated solutions that are easy to carry and perfect for any short hike.
It doesn’t take much to get fully prepared for a great day hike. Good boots, a warm coat, dry socks, functional pants and way to stay hydrated—that’s all you need to get out on the trail to get a little closer to nature.