Packing Your Day Pack: An Illustrated Guide

Packing Your Day Pack

An Illustrated Guide

By Hailey Hirst

Although we might know we should be more prepared when we go outdoors, it’s easy to hit the trail with nothing more than a water bottle sometimes. It can seem like enough. But is it really?

You never know when the weather will turn, when the trail will disappear in overgrowth, when you’ll run out of water….

Since it’s hard to know exactly WHAT is essential or extra (but worth the weight) for a day hike, check out this handy illustrated guide to an expertly-packed day pack:



  • Plenty of water – Keep it cool all day in an insulated bottle
  • Snack(s) – Try Fresh Off The Grid’s festive trail mix
  • Sun protection – Sunglasses, sunscreen, plus your favorite hat make a good combo
  • Navigation – Trail map and a handy compass, or GPS if you like it high tech
  • First-aid kit – Very important for any minor injury, pain, or allergies. Make your own with this guide from Katie Cooney!
  • A multi-tool – Simple, but necessary
  • An extra layer – A waterproof puffer is compact for your day pack, and great insulation if the temperature drops
  • Emergency kit – A flashlight, matches/fire starter, paracord, whistle, garbage bag, etc. are the small things you probably won’t use but could be VERY glad to have should you need them in a survival situation


  • Camera – for capturing the details
  • Kit of paints – inspired by Heidi Annalise Art and her Altoid tin landscapes
  • Notebook + pen – to write field notes or trail reflections
  • Music/Podcast – especially for a long solo hike, we love to listen

We’re proponents of using what you have and making what you can. It shouldn’t be difficult or expensive to be prepared. Be smart and safe, and have fun out there!


Hailey Hirst is the Digital Content Editor for She Explores and a multi-passionate creative who thrives on the often-overlooked details. She lives in Kelowna, British Columbia. Find her on Instagram

What’s in your Day Pack?


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