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  • Amanda Perkins

What To Pack For A Short Hike | Hiking

Updated: Jan 6

Are you a fair weather hiker looking for tips on what to pack for a short hike? Then you are in the right place! We love to hike... as in, walk in nature. This could be up a mountain or on a nature trail. Time and time again we find ourselves needing certain items and over the years I have compiled a list of necessities to pack when we are going for a short hike. If you are a parent and looking for tips for hiking with kids, click here too!

what to pack for short hike

1. All Types of Snacks

What I mean by all types of snacks is bring snacks that are high in protein but also snacks that are high in carbohydrates. You don't want to be deep into the woods with a low blood sugar. When you are burning energy hiking, even on a short hike, you want to make sure you are replenishing your energy with good food. We love bringing nuts, fruits, crackers, and jerky. If you could find foods that contain high amounts of water, you could double down and rehydrate in the process. That is a plus!

what to pack for short hike

2. Extra Layers

In New England the temperature can change quite a bit as you gain elevation. Wear or pack extra layers on your short hike depending on the season. Like I mentioned in the beginning, we are fair weather hikers, so we don't hike when it is below freezing or raining, but we still find ourselves needing pants and sweatshirts as we climb elevation. I have also noticed as you get deeper into the woods near a water source (like a river or a waterfall) the temperature drops quite a bit. It is always best to be prepared and have these extra layers readily available in your pack.

3. Bug Spray/Sunblock

It is very difficult to be able to predict how buggy a hike will be. If you are hiking in late spring it is a safe bet that you will run into a lot of bugs, but they can pop up anywhere and anytime. If your trail is thickly infested with mosquitos and may flies it can make your hike pretty miserable if you do not fight back with bug spray. A squirt of bug spray on your ankles can also help deter ticks from being attracted to you. Ticks are huge up here in New England!

You always want to bring sunblock and apply it as directed. Even on cloudy days you can get sunburnt. Do your skin a favor and wear hats and apply sunscreen.

4. Water

Bring as much water as you can carry. This can be in a camelbak backpack or just water bottles in your pack. Just like the food, you will want to replenish yourself of water as you venture out on this short hike. In the summer dehydration can be dangerous. Be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

5. Map

Have you ever been lost on a mountain with 3 kids? I HAVE! And let me tell you, you want to make sure you have your trail map before starting your hike. Be sure you have a trail map before you go into the woods! This could be a screenshot on your phone (make sure you have full battery on your phone if you use this method) or print out a trail map before you embark on your hike. You don't want to learn the hard way on this one.

I may be compensated via the links clicked in the article.

6. The Female Funnel

Okay I'll be honest. This is the whole reason I wrote this post in the first place. I HAVE to tell you about this little invention. Totally changed my whole hiking life. This little funnel has helped me enjoy hiking so much more. No more holding it the entire time you are hiking. My daughter and I LOVE this female funnel and it is so easy to use and clean. I highly highly recommend this product for all of my female hikers! Now you can enjoy an iced coffee before your hike and drink all the water you want ;).


These 6 tips will ensure that you enjoy your next short hike! We hope you find these useful. For more information on hiking and resources to help you plan your own trips, check out more resources here. If you have any questions about the things mentioned here, please feel free to ask in the comments. Happy hiking!

More Resources:

5 Beginner Kid Friendly Mountain Hikes in NH

4 Favorite Kid Friendly Seacoast NH Hiking Trails

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