What to pack for a day of hiking

Taking day trips around Vancouver is the best way to spend time outdoors, mind your mental health and not spend a fortune. If you’re lucky enough to live in Vancouver you will not be short of places to go. Most of places be that BC Parks, Trails and Beaches have camping area, picnic area and washrooms. It’s down to you then, to make sure you have everything with you for the day (if you’re planning to be on budget).

Here are few things I’ve learnt throughout my time here (so far) and what useful items to bring with you at all times in your backpack:

  • Something for the rain – small umbrella or a rain coat (Coat will not be of much use during the rainy season!)
  • Change of Shoes & Socks – this does not need to be in your back pack but definitely worth having a spare in the car, as the trails can be wet & muddy
  • Change of clothes – again this would be left behind in the car for when you get back, if needed (i.e. if you get caught in the rain)
  • Snacks – Water / Nutrigrain Bars / Fruit (Try and avoid bananas and yoghurts if you dont want a major explosion in your backpack)
  • Always bring lunch i.e. a sandwich & small hot tea/coffee flask – You do not want to cut an amazing trip short due to being hungry (speaking from experience) especially, that even though you may not plan the trip to be long, there are always further places to explore!
  • Wet Wipes & Pack of Tissues
  • Mask & Hand Sanitized (because you know, COVID)
  • Small Towel – if you get soaked, sweaty or want to sit on something
  • Always bring a plastic bag – for your rubbish (remember nothing can be left behind for bears), to have something to sit on if ground is wet or to use as a rain cover
  • Plasters – you do not want your trip to be cut short due to bad footwear hurting you
  • Something sweet – Always have something sugary in your bag, you never know when you might feel a bit faint, weak or need a bit of a power kick. Difficult hikes can do that to you.
  • Hat / Gloves – depending on where you hike
  • Hair Tie – nothing worse than being sweaty and having to deal with long hair on your back/neck
  • Sunglasses – Because you know, weather in Vancouver is unpredictable
  • Bear Spray – Not so much in the winter during their hibernation, but better to be safe than sorry
  • Little bell – Tie a little bell to your backpack, to “scare” the bears away; nothing worse than having to shout or clap for the entire 3 hour hike to keep bears at bay
  • Sun Screen – if you are hiking in the summer is a must
  • Bug Spray – Again, mostly in the summer around BC & Alberta
  • Utensils / Knife / Multi-utensil – this is useful if you’re planning on having proper lunch, you might need a spoon to eat your soup or noodles with, yoghurt etc.
  • Phone Charger – That’s if your phones battery life is not great and/or you’re planning on taking a lot of videos & photos
  • Map/Navigation – if you are going into a less traveled area with no signage, map may be very useful and save your battery life

This is a lot of items to consider, however bare in mind this will not 100% apply to everyone. A lot of the items mentioned above are very small and lightweight and can be used in multiple ways. I always say it better to be safe than sorry. I hate to cut my trips short due to being hungry, thirsty or my footwear hurting me.

What other items would you generally pack on your day trips? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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