Exactly what you need for a perfect hiking day
While it doesn’t take a great outdoors person to navigate a day of hiking, the outing does require a little bit of preparation. After all, there’s no faster way to spoil a nature walk than when your unsupportive shoes give you a blister, you develop a sunburn, or the hunger pangs kick in when there are no snacks in sight. That’s why, with safety and comfort in mind, we’ve come up with 12 items you’ll be glad to have before you set out for your miles-long hike. While you wouldn’t dare leave home without a reusable water bottle, you may be inspired to shop items you didn't think you needed — and may push you another mile...or three. Read on then adventure out.
Merrell is known for its line of supportive outdoor shoes that provide traction, so you step confidently across mud, dirt, gravel, or whatever else you come across on your trail. These also happen to come in a bright, cheerful palette, which isn’t necessary for a good hike, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
SHOP: Merrell Women's Antora 2 X See America, $120, available at
There’s no negotiating it: Sunscreen is necessary for all outdoor activities, hiking included. Opt for EltaMD’s mineral, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 50 and don’t forget to reapply every two hours.
SHOP: EltaMD Sunscreen UV shield Sport Sunscreen Lotion, Broad-Spectrum SPF 50, $19.59, available at
It’s hard not to be drawn to Cotopaxi's bright, clashing colors at first glance. The brand composes its designs with repurposed materials, and the result is a lightweight, sturdy backpack that’ll fit all your essentials for the day.
SHOP: Tarak 20l Backpack - Del Día, $100, available at
Give yourself one less thing to worry about and leave your expensive glasses at home. Find your contact lens prescription onand pick up a comfortable pair for your hiking day. Grab some drops while you’re at it to help keep your eyes hydrated for the journey.
SHOP: OPTI-FREE® PureMoist® Drops, $6.39 per box after discount, available at
On the hottest of hiking days, we recommend wearing something light, breathable, and moisture-wicking. These GapFit joggers are just the ticket.
SHOP: GapFit Recycled Hike Joggers, $52, available at
Maybe you’re the kind of hiker who has no problem turning your phone off until you return home. Maybe you take so many photos, your phone battery dies before you reach those gorgeous summit views. For the latter, be sure to pack this.
SHOP: BioLite Charge 20 PD Fast USB-C PD Powerbank, $29.95, available at
Hydration is key before, during, and after a hike. Don’t leave home without one of these bottles, filled up, for every hiker on your outing.
SHOP: 32oz Wide Mouth Tritan Water Bottle, $11.99, available at
Speaking of hydrated... On-the-go, fruit-punch-flavored electrolytes can help you stay quenched and moving. Don't forget about pre-hike prep — take your daily vitamins, minerals, and supplements before a strenuous — or leisurely — activity. Lucky for you, Vitacost.com is offering 12% off such goodies between June 14-15.
SHOP: NUUN Hydration Electrolyte Tablets Sport for Exercise Fruit Punch, $39.99, available at
Getting in touch with nature, even its tiniest inhabitants, is all a part of the experience. Still, your day will be exponentially better if you pack protection from tick or mosquito bites.
SHOP: Insect Repellant, $6, available at
No one wants to be the hangry hiker. Think ahead and pack wholesome snacks that provide protein and carbs to help fuel you through to the end of the day.
SHOP: Everlasting Joy 12 Bar Tray, $34.95, available at
Never underestimate the elements. Bring a windbreaker or poncho that will protect you if it begins to rain around mile two of your five-mile trek.
SHOP: The ReNew Poncho, $98, available at
Pack a pair of binoculars so you won’t miss a single exquisite view on your adventure. We suggest this compact-size option that’s waterproof and fog-proof.
SHOP: Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 8 x 25 Binoculars, $79.95, available at