Gearing up for a day hike sounds easy, but most get it wrong - sometimes with grave consequences.

Kentucky Hiker Gear List | Day Hiking

It's a fact - day hikes can take a bad turn and unprepared hikers find themselves in serious peril as a result. While you can't be prepared for everything, you can be ready for the most common adversities you may face while on the trail. Below is the Kentucky Hiker Gear List for Day Hiking. It has all the things you'd expect plus other items that will help you if things go sideways.

  • On my person
    • Technical hat
    • Hiking poles
    • Mobile phone
    • Map
  • In my 23L backpack
    • Compass/whistle/thermometer
    • 2 32-oz. water bottles
    • Lifestraw
    • 1 gal. zip-lock baggie with food and spork
    • 1 gal. zip-lock baggie to pack out trash
    • Multi-tool/knife
    • Insect repellent
    • Sunscreen
    • First-aid kit
    • Bear spray, if appropriate
    • Trowel
    • Bath wipes
    • Solar cell battery backup with caribeener
    • USB charging cable
    • Headlamp
    • 6 AAA batteries
    • Fire starter sticks
    • Lighter
    • 50-ft. paracord
    • Emergency sleeping bag/bivvy
    • Long sleeve synthetic quarter-zip shirt
    • Beanie
    • Waterproof phone case
    • Emergency poncho
    • Lightweight rain pants


  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen


  • Waterproof phone case
  • Bath wipes and trowel
  • Pocket knife
  • LifeStraw
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeve synthetic shirt


  • 50' paracord
  • Emergency bivvy
  • Emergency blanket
  • Fire starter sticks and lighter
  • First-aid kit

If Amazon ain’t got it, you don’t need it! Just kidding, Kentucky Hiker is supported through your purchases, so it’d be super sweet if you got your gear here.