Hiker's Essential Kit Lists | Mountain Days | Winter Walking

THE Hiker’s Essential Kit List – The Day Bag

Are you new to hiking? Or maybe you’ve walked thousands of miles? Either way, I think what you carry in your pack should be the same. I mean, we all carry a first aid kit, waterproofs, an emergency shelter right? If you’re willing to have a read on for a few minutes I’ll convince you that this kit needn’t cost the earth or weigh a ton.

We’re all on a budget to some degree. So, what do you spend your pennies on first?

My Journey

My budget was so low when I started I wore a Mac-in-a-pack I’d bought from a car boot sale for 50p and when I started wild camping in the Lakes I took a Calor Gas stove I’d got for £1 from another car boot! We all have to start somewhere don’t we?

I’ve done all of the Wainwrights and I imagine thousands of miles hiking over the years so I’m more than qualified to write a little blog to help you get kit together for a hike whether you’re just in or an old hand. I’m also a Mountain Leader and take groups out regularly on day walks and multi-day expeditions. So, here we go.

My Mountain Day Kit

This is my kit for a day out. It’s the same kit I took on a 3 day trans Lake District hike, following Wainwright’s Coast To Coast route. We stayed in B&Bs so I didn’t have my camping kit (although I did carry the shelter).

What’s the difference between multi-day hiking in the mountains and a stroll in the park? Not much I think. I’ll carry this pack when I take the kids round Heaton Park! I always imagine that even if I don’t need medical attention or help, there could very easily be somebody along my route who does and I’m responsible enough to carry what might be needed.

This pack came to about 3.5kg without the poles, which I carry anyway. The red pouch is a Lifesystems Mountain First Aid kit with some additions, e.g. the toothbrush, paste and spork (see below).

Day bag up the mountains.Day bag up the mountains.
Day bag up the mountains.

I use an MLD Exodus pack as my expedition load is usually only around 6kg (full Winter expedition kit comes to 8kg). The bag is only 500g. When your kit is heavier you need a bag that will hold that weight AND offer you comfort carrying it. Osprey make excellent bags for this purpose but there are so many, get out there and TRY THEM ON, see what feels good.

Click on each item for details and go to the cheapest listing online I’ve found.

Kit List

  • MLD Exodus Pack
  • Map
  • Silva Expedition 4 Compass
  • Casio Pro Trek watch
  • Petzl Actik head torch, Petzyl case and spare batteries
  • Petzl e+LITE Headlamp
  • Walking The Wild beany (essential)
  • Berghaus Sprectrum gloves
  • Kestrel wind meter/thermometer
  • Sawyer water filter and pouch
  • Berghaus waterproof trousers
  • Lifesystems emergency shelter
  • Anker 20100 Power Bank & charger cable (not in photo)
  • Lifesystems Mountain First Aid Kit
  • Medication – (Ibuprofen, co-codamol, paracetamol, travel tablets – some of which I would not administer to another person), waste bags, tissue, various plasters, triangular bandage, other bandanges, blister plasters, spork, sewing kit, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet tissue, hand sanitiser, tweezers, tick remover, bug spray, sun cream, lighter, water proof matches, Swiss army knife, spare compass bezel, thermometer, gaffer tape.

I’ve presented this kit to many people, novices and the very experienced, and some say I don’t need the odd thing but you just need to get a feel for your own kit really. Common sense rules. After years of carrying it, for example, I have thrown the scourer away 😉

So basically, if you were to carry this whole kit on a day hike it definitely wouldn’t weigh you down and it would all fit into a day bag like my Berghaus 25l. You would also probably be better prepared than anyone you’ll meet all day.

Hope this helps.

Are YOU going to make any changes to your day bag? If you would like to discuss kit feel free to drop me a message.

Feedback is greatly appreciated, especially a like or comment.