It's been awhile since I've been on just a day hike. I'm obviously bringing a day pack, but I run into the bad habit of packing too much crap. I'm going two hours away from where I live to hike Red River Gorge and it's going to be a high of 73 degrees. We should be at the trail head around 9AM. Some great views most of the rock I'll be on is sandstone. Anyway here are some of the stuff I either will, may, or may not bring.
1. Raincoat (probably not need)
2. Gaiters (May not need)
3. Light fleece (probably will be chilly in the morning.)
4.Small med pack with "vitamin I", Imodium AD, etc.
6.Camel back bladder that inserts into my pack.
7. Trekking poles
10. 2 Nalgene bottles of water.
11.small head lamp in case we hit a few caves along some of the trails.
12. some cash
Now I may bring my filter, so that would require me to not have to bring the second water bottle.
Any suggestions on anything important I am forgetting?
I know I can be a contradiction to my motto of "keeping it simple."
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.
I would personally add to your list something you are comfortable with getting a fire going in any weather.
I also take a small silnylon tarp - (in my case a silponcho). a tiny piece of silnylon is light enough to warrant a place in my dayhike bag. It's handy enough If I get caught out, and also exceedingly useful if I get stuck or hurt in in bad weather and require an emergency bivy - either rigged as a tarp, or wrapped up in it waiting for help to arrive. IMO any injury I can still walk is minor <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> beyond that, anything that happens to me that doesn't kill me outright would probably only kill me due to hypothermia, not the injury itself.
I donít want to defray you from keeping it simple, but I always feel spoiled w/ a sit pad. Plus it keeps the pants from soaking up water. And if you want to keep it light, then a 2íx2í painterís cloth is handy to sit on.
The day hiking list I cited is about 2 lbs. more than I carry (my daypack is about 10 lbs. with lunch and 2 quarts water), but it's a good guideline. I haven't really analyzed it to see whether the author is carrying more stuff or whether his individual items are heavier. I would doubt the latter since my daypack contains my older, heavier extra clothing and rain gear that I no longer use for backpacking. I do carry enough clothing, plus one of those little mylar blankets, so that I can stay warm, dry and hydrated should I be caught out overnight. I won't be comfortable, but I won't get hypothermia, either. The "extra food" just needs to be an extra snack, preferably something you don't particularly like so you're not tempted to eat it during a normal trip. It takes weeks to starve to death, or longer for those of us with more internal padding. I don't carry a filter for day hikes but take some chlorine dioxide tablets--there are always some in my little "first aid-small essentials" stuff sack. Again, if it's an emergency and you're out of water, drink what's there. You can die of dehydration quite rapidly, while the incubation period for nasties in the water is a week to 10 days, by which time you'll be home and close to medical care.
Yes, you might want your lunch!
Re your cash, etc.: Never leave anything in your car (even if not of any value) or that would provide fodder for identity thieves. I always leave my billfold at home and take a little folding money, drivers license, car insurance card, car registration, health insurance card and a debit or credit card in a sandwich bag in an outside pocket of my pack. If everyone would take care to follow this rule, car clouting at trailheads would cease to be a problem!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey