Best Hiking Gear – 18 Day Pack Essentials

This is everything in my hiking day pack. This essential hiking gear is geared toward women and men who seek lightweight, quality hiking gear for day trips lasting 10-12 miles.


– Zion National Park Hikes –
– Bryce Canyon National Park Hikes –
– Mount Pilchuck Fire Lookout Hike –

0:00 – Intro
0:30 – Suzi’s favorite day hiking backpack women
1:19 – Martin’s favorite day hiking backpack for men
2:46 – Item #1 – Foldable hiking poles
3:50 – Item #2 – My hiking water bottle
4:12 – Item #3 – Personal water filter
5:10 – Item #4 – Rain protection for your bag
5:20 – Item #5 – Compact first aid kit
6:21 – Item #6 – Emergency whistle
6:45 – Item #7 – Sunscreen or sun sleeves
7:45 – Item #8 – Packable rain jacket
8:09 – Item #9 -Extra clothing layers
8:36 – Item #10 – Insect repellent
9:05 – Item #11 – Toilet paper or…(TP alternative)
9:34 – Item #12 – Hand sanitizer
9:40 – Item #13 – Pocket guides – emergency first aid and survival tips
10:18 – Item #14 – Snacks
11:04 – Item #15 – The best way to hold your phone while hiking
10:49 – Item #16 – The best way to hold your camera while hiking
12:30 – Best camera for hiking and travel vlogging
13:06 – Item #17 – External battery
13:20 – Best hiking app for Android and iPhone
13:54 – Item #18 – Headlamp or flashlight


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  • It's really hard to approach this topic because people get divided into two schools of staying super ultra lite and free ~and ~the other school of self preparedness at all times.
    Both have merit. Both are definitely situational like hiking a trail in a national park with a million people, or wandering off the main trail. 🤔
    I tend to wander.
    Also in the world we live in now, can't guarantee there will not be some major disaster like fires or sudden flooding, even quakes now that could lead people off the trail and need to shelter for say 72 hours. Never solely depend on a phone nor others to rescue you. I have worked for the Feds in a wildlife refuge and the main deal for us workers was to get the people in site into their cars and out and control the smooth flow of moving traffic evacuation. Others will go off if they can in ATV's down fire roads or large trails and clear out as many as quickly as possible. When that job is complete they are trained to turn back and self rescue. Period.
    If you are off somewhere off trail, think wisely and logically, and well they can't save everyone especially if a fire is approaching. That gets handed to fire and rescue who could be miles away. You may have to run and well off path. Same with floods. Our deal was a nuclear plant nearby, ya…fun stuff..
    And good luck.. Just life.
    I have those books and they are great if, if, if you have the gear to use and some practice. They are guides to read cover to cover at home, take notes, practice, then bring with you with some prior knowledge. In the panic we may need a reminder.. And it does not take much gear.
    Some basics IMHO..
    Everyone who sets out should have a good ferro rod and a knife of some kind, a little fixed blade is best, with a 90 degree spine to strike the rod, period. Carry a BIC sure, but this is all weather insurance. BICs run out of fuel just sitting in a pack. They could be pressed on other gear emptying fuel. You always have to check them. Some last years yes, some don't. And people don't check before then head out especially if they are buried in some kind of mini survival kit. Mini BICS are the worse. I have thrown away tons. The fixed blade knife is the safest to make the tinder needed often to start a fire. Most people grab a little Mora knife, and I have those and they are great. Light weight, cheap, sharp and very useful. But I went with a thicker knife now, a bit shorter yet thicker blade, more bushcrafty. Easier for me hold, great hand grip shape, and to use with gloves on and I don't have to worry about breaking it. It's the Joker Erizo, not expensive. I can button wood, cut limbs, just more rugged.
    Anyway what to pack is hard when ounces matter. Each person has their own prefereances and limits.
    It's a tough call !
    The trick is to find balance.
    And even if you consider emergency preparedness trying to find gear that is decent enough to actually work is another story.
    For instance, people carry little mylar blankets or more so mylar bivvys say the size packed of your headnet and think they are all set. I did fir years. Although they do provide warmth in a pinch, in mylar the body will actually retain moisture, and when you get out of the mylar and you are soaked, temps dropped, so you could get hypothermia more easily from trying to keep warm then just being cold period. The Out Door Gear Review on You Tube did a video on this using himself as the guinea pig. Crazy. I was shocked. But I was a dummy and never tried my gear ! I just bought it and packed it.
    So you have to be careful with these items and use common sense..
    Same with packing a thick mil trash bag as a cheap alternative. You will get wet from the inside trying to stay dry on the outside if you are not careful and air out every so often. By a fire preferably.

    So what to do….???
    I really don't know… research…

    I have done tons of research so
    I am trying to pack out and test a Snugpack lite weight "Special Forces" Bivvy. The bivvy is waterproof, windproof and moisture wicking, really a close up shelter. If I get lost for some reason it's called 12 ounces of insurance in a tiny package.
    I have been packing for years a little Bearz like small tarp/beach blanket/ ground cover and I made a rapid ridge line out of thin dymema cord that I often use as a sun or rain shelter and it works great ! Tons of testing on this little jewel.. This has the corner loops to be steaked down and I have a tiny set of steaks or more dynema cord attached and cut to tie it down either way. This this covers overhead shelter to pair with bivvy and I can sit up.
    I pair the bivvy with a liner and after trying many that were pure junk and waste of cash totally, I landed with the Snugpak Thermolon liner, it's like a body sock and I love it..super compacted. Also moisture wicking material it's warm, and soft, and comes in handy to use just as a blanket to wrap around myself. Temps drop I can put a puffy over it..and use as a body wrap or shawl. This liner unlike others I have tried, keeps you warm while wicking moisture away again from the body.

    This is all an investment for sure, especially the bivvy, but if you are a camper these are great items to have to go along with a three season sleeping bag for tent or hammock.
    For emergency prep I think pretty essential as much as water IMHO, because IMHO dehydration ranks pretty equal to hypothermia in effecting the brain with disorientation and the body with limited mobility to self rescue pretty equally…and when you think of how many set off in shorts, that is scary. I do…that is why I always carry super compactable rain pants, and tights, along with a quick dry long sleeve hoodie and my packable down puffy all 4 seasons and a packable rain jacket for sure as a shell.
    I have the arm sleeves and LOVE THEM. And I bring a neck buff that matches. UV protection all the way, and to keep warm. Dont forget a hat with flaps. I have a super compact Columbia mostly for summer, but anything is better then nothing when I gets cold. Just line with a Bandana. .
    So with the bivvy and liner
    the trade off here is carrying an extra 12 ounces for the bivvy, and the liner is almost a pound. So I stopped carrying a big camera and the big batteries it takes period. I got a better small camera and use my phone, Note 20 for video. Go pro weighs nothing so. I lost the heavy mounts and found a lighter attachment to go on my trecking pole. So all that just about equals the bivvy and liner weight.
    Medical is the next issue and most medics are agreeing on three things now as "must haves".
    1-A SWAT T three in one tourniquet/compression strap/ wrap. This should be no problem for people to pick up, they are super cheap and weigh a few ounces. So thin can slip in a pocket.
    2-Compression gauze is a little more bulky, so at the very least carry a thick maxi pad.
    3-Blood stopping gauze, very light weight and slim.
    ~ Moleskin is great but people are switching to Leuko tape which does the trick, stays on better especially in water or when you swet and can be used for medical tape. Just slim the packaging down by wrapping it around a plastic store card. Simple.
    For water…I lost all the plastic bottles like Nagene period. I got the Katadyne Be Free with it's stock bittke, I chose the 1 liter bottle. As a back up or if I have to carry more water I pair this with the Hydropak "Seeker" model, a two liter bladder which pairs with the Be Free filter cap. Hydropack makes the stock bottles for the Be Free so it is made for this unit. The wide mouth on these bottles allows to more easily fill them with water compared to Sawyer cheapo water bags. The Seeker bladder is pretty tough and can be hung as a gravity bag.. It can hold hot water or be frozen.. This comes in handy for medical uses. It packs down tiny. They both do.
    The Be Free filter itself being an open unit is much easier to clean and dry. There is even a pre-filter little slip on .01 micron "sock" on the market that is so useful and will prolong the filter and also so easy to clean and dry.
    Drying these filters or Straws is so important to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Something everyone should check into before buying.
    When I am done with my Be Free I rinse it good and let it sun dry as well as the .01 micro pre filter. Then pack way. No mold ! Ever!
    I don't have to buy a new one each season. Last advantage is if any of these fiber filters freeze they are useless. So with the Be Free I can shake it out pretty good, put in a baggie and stick in my pocket close to my body to keep from freezing. You can do this with the Sawyer yes, but you can not dry it as well its a closed unit as well as Life Straw. It stays wet no matter what you do. So the Be Free overall because of design is less likely to freeze.

    Hope this all helps.

  • Excellent video, thanks. Some really good tips 🙂 I would add always carry a swiss army knife or similar. In addition take some para cord and a little duct tape, which can wrap around hiking poles. Finally, for those who lose or forget their first aid kit, there is a can pee on wound to act as antiseptic. I asked a doctor about this and it is correct! Only last resort of course

  • The Osprey backpacks have built-in whistles on the sternum strap buckles. I have the exact same 9L pack. Love it.

  • An additional thing people forget to add to the First Aid Kits are medication like ibuprofen, but more importantly Antihistamines/Allergy tabs in the event you find yourself allergic to something. I know snake and bug bite relief was mentioned in the video, but allergy medication is very important because you might not know you're allergic to certain shrubs or plants until you get a reaction.

  • So what does the 🦊 say? Sorry I couldn't resist.

  • Greetings from Singapore!🇸🇬🙋.Great video.Thanks for sharing!

  • Really nice kit, beautifully presented! I always carry a compass, area map and pace beads. Many people who get into trouble outdoors on day hikes do so because they lose the trail and get disorientated. This is typically when their personal and phone energy is low: happened to me in a snowstorm. A compass will get you right back on track.

  • Nice video my friend love it keep up the great work inspiring people Ive liked & subscribed also stay safe much appreciated Rucksack Adventures

  • Thank you for the very informative & helpful video! I really got a lot out of it. I subscribed and look forward to getting and staying caught up with your content. Happy Hiking!!!! Bob V

  • You are a great presenter – nice gear selection.

  • Thank you for talking me into the trekking poles and appreciate your transparency about vertigo..It really is going to help me!!

  • My tip for hiking is to always pack plenty of water and Gatorade. The water bladders are ok but you can't really get a lot of water out of the tube.

  • I really like trekking poles and that Osprey looks perfect!

  • Thanks for sharing your video. I like it and will support you

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