Day Hike Checklist

With warmer weather on it’s way, you might be getting excited to hit the hiking trails soon! If that’s the case, here is my personal checklist of must-haves and must-dos to prepare for the trail.


  • Weather appropriate clothing (Layers, and base layer of moisture wicking clothing is always good)
  • Wool socks
  • Comfortable Hiking Boots (in good repair)
  • Properly fitting pack (With waist and chest straps and compartment for water bladder).
  • Water Bladder
  • Trekking Poles/Hiking Stick (for balance)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses (Polarized preferably)
  • Small Water Bottle (Mainly for mixing sport drink in)
  • Water filter (Generally only on long hikes)

Safety Items:

  • First Aid Kit & Ace Wrap
  • Bear Spray (If in Bear Country)
  • Duct Tape
  • Baby Wipes/Wet Wipes
  • Plastic grocery bag (For garbage. Pack it in, pack it out)
  • Sunscreen & Bug Spray
  • Pocket Knife/multi-tool
  • Compass

Fuel (How many of these depends on length of hike):

  • Water
  • Plenty of food, high protein/calories and light to pack: e.g. PB&J, Protein bar, Apple, Dried fruit, Trail Mix.
  • Quick Sugar Bursts as needed: e.g. Oreos or M&Ms
  • Sport Drink Powder Packets


  • Tell someone that’s not going on the hike where you are going and rough ETA for returning home. That way if you don’t return they can contact authorities.
  • Plan/research route (All Trails, maps, etc)
  • Make sure you’re body is ready for the hike (Do some practice hikes or use a program like Switchback Direct Physical Therapy’s Healthy Hiker Program to prepare)

Switchback Direct Physical Therapy in Idaho helps injured outdoor enthusiasts get out of pain quickly with convenient telehealth physical therapy so they can get back to the adventures they love.

If an injury or pain is slowing you down, or keeping you from the adventures you love, give Switchback Direct Physical Therapy in Idaho a call to find out how we can help! 208-557-1470.


Dr. Tyler Burke

DPT, Owner and Founder of Switchback Direct PT

We help injured outdoor enthusiasts to stop hurting and start adventuring.

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