Hiking Essentials Checklist

Hiking Essentials Checklist: What to Bring on Your Day-Hike

Planning a day-hike? Fantastic! But before you hit the trails, it's crucial to pack the right gear. Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here’s a comprehensive checklist of essentials you’ll need to make your hiking trip safe, enjoyable, and memorable.

  1. Hiking Backpack

    • Why It’s Essential: A good hiking backpack is your best friend on the trail. It holds all your essentials and distributes weight evenly to avoid strain.
    • Tips: Look for backpacks with padded straps and a waist belt. Water-resistant material is a bonus.
    • Recommendations: We would go with something in the region of 25-35 litres capacity to carry everything you need.
  2. Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes

    • Why It’s Essential: Proper footwear is critical for comfort and safety. Hiking boots offer ankle support, while hiking shoes are lighter and flexible.
    • Tips: Make sure they’re well-fitted and broken in before your hike.
    • Recommendations: Explore a range of hiking boots and shoes at Great Outdoors website or come see us in Dublin for expert fitting. Meindl, Merrell, Salomon and Scarpa are some of our most-popular brands right now for hiking boots.
  3. Waterproof Jacket

    • Why It’s Essential: Weather can be unpredictable. A waterproof jacket keeps you dry and warm.
    • Tips: Opt for jackets with breathable material to avoid getting sweaty inside. Gore-Tex provides breathability with waterproofing.
    • Recommendations: Browse our selection of waterproof jackets at Great Outdoors. We love Rab & Mountain Equipment as they have many tried and tested durable jackets.
  4. Navigation Tools

    • Why It’s Essential: Even on marked trails, a map and compass or a GPS device can be lifesavers.
    • Tips: Learn basic navigation skills before your trip.
    • Recommendations: We have a variety of navigation tools at Great Outdoors. Even a simple pocket compass and a paper map is handy to have.
  5. First Aid Kit

    • Why It’s Essential: Accidents happen. A well-stocked first aid kit can handle minor injuries.
    • Tips: Include bandages, antiseptic wipes, blister treatment, and pain relievers.
    • Recommendations: Pick up a first aid kit tailored for hiking. We would go with the Trek First Aid Kit.
  6. Food and Water

    • Why It’s Essential: Hiking burns calories and dehydrates you. Pack enough snacks and water.
    • Tips: Use a hydration bladder for easy access to water and pack high-energy snacks.
    • Recommendations: Visit us for portable food options and hydration packs. Platypus & Osprey make great hydration bladders.
  7. Sun Protection

    • Why It’s Essential: UV rays can be harsh, even on cloudy days. Protect your skin and eyes.
    • Tips: Pack sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, sunglasses, and a hat.
    • Recommendations: Find quality sun protection gear at Great Outdoors. We recommend Sun Bum or Lifeysystems sun cream for outdoors use.
  8. Multi-tool or Knife

    • Why It’s Essential: Handy for various tasks, from cutting food to emergency situations.
    • Tips: Choose a lightweight, compact tool.
    • Recommendations: Victorinox or Leatherman!
  9. Headlamp or Flashlight

    • Why It’s Essential: In case your hike takes longer than expected, a light source is vital.
    • Tips: Bring extra batteries.
    • Recommendations: We have a range of reliable headlamps - our best sellers are the Petzl Actik Core or the Black Diamond Spot 400-R
  10. Extra Clothing

    • Why It’s Essential: Weather can change quickly. Layers help you adjust to temperature fluctuations.
    • Tips: Pack an extra pair of socks and a warm layer.
    • Recommendations: We recommend either a thick fleece, or a light synthetic vest or jacket for when you are sitting having a lunch!
  11. Emergency Shelter

    • Why It’s Essential: If you get stranded, an emergency shelter can protect you from the elements.
    • Tips: A lightweight emergency bivy or blanket works well.
    • Recommendations: Find emergency shelters and bivvy bags for both single person and group use.
  12. Personal Items

    • Why It’s Essential: Don't forget items like your ID, cash, and a mobile phone for emergencies.
    • Tips: Keep them in a waterproof bag.
    • Recommendations: We offer various waterproof bags and pouches for either phone sized items all the way up to dry bags for multiple clothing items.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for a day-hike doesn't have to be overwhelming. With this checklist, you'll have everything you need to hit the trails confidently. Whether you're looking for a sturdy hiking backpack, reliable hiking boots, or a waterproof jacket, Great Outdoors has got you covered. Visit us online or stop by our Dublin city centre store for expert advice and top-quality gear.


1. What should I pack for a day-hike?

  • Essential items include a hiking backpack, proper footwear, a waterproof jacket, navigation tools, first aid kit, food and water, sun protection, multi-tool, headlamp, extra clothing, emergency shelter, and personal items.

2. Why is a waterproof jacket important for hiking?

  • A waterproof jacket protects you from rain and wind, helping to keep you dry and comfortable.

3. Where can I buy quality hiking gear?

  • Check out Great Outdoors online or visit our Dublin store for a wide selection of hiking gear and expert advice.

Remember, being well-prepared is key to enjoying your hike. Happy trails!