The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Supreme long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka shares his hard-earned knowledge in this essential guide to backpacking gear and skills. The guide covers clothing, footwear, backpacks, shelter, sleep systems, foot care, campsite selection and hiking efficiency.

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight 7oz First-Aid Kit: Designed as a bare-minimum ultra lightweight kit for two people, components weigh less than 7-ounces, but still contains the most essential first aid supplies. A great kit if you're a multi-sport enthusiast looking for a universal lightweight kit.

 Day Hiker Gear List

Proper planning and preparation is necessary anytime you venture into the great outdoors. Starting off with a day hiking gear list is a great way of helping you to prepare, while also helping to make your trip safer and more enjoyable. Of course the gear you need to carry will vary according to the type of hiking you've planned: the length of your hike, the time of year, as well as your destination and the terrain you'll be traveling over.

Hikers should always be prepared for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Temperatures in the mountains typically fluctuate as weather patterns change, especially at the higher elevations.

The western side of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park receives more precipitation. On average, Estes Park receives just over 13 inches of moisture every year, while Grand Lake receives almost 20. During the summer months, daytime temperatures can reach well into the 80s; however, overnight lows throughout the park can drop to the 40s, and snow can fall anytime. You should automatically expect temperatures to be at least 10 to 15 degrees cooler in the higher elevations at any given time of the year.

For any extended hike it's best to prepare for a variety of conditions and pack accordingly. Dress in layers and always carry raingear in your pack. Although not an exhaustive list, the following day hiking gear list is a good starting point before heading out on your next hike to help ensure that you'll have all the essentials. You may want to add or remove items based on expected conditions and your personal needs.

 Required Gear

* Backpack, day pack or fanny pack

* Supportive footwear designed for the length and terrain of your hike

* Extra socks (see REIs guide for choosing socks)

* Base layer (polypropylene)

* Mid / Heavy-weight fleece or pile jacket

* Rain / wind shells (jacket and pants)

* Wool or fleece hat

* Balaclava

* Gloves

* Water: full canteen(s), water bottle(s) or hydration pack

* Extra food: high energy snacks

* Trail Map and/or Guidebook

* Compass (with the knowledge of how to use it)

* Emergency Space Blanket (smaller than a wallet)

* Emergency bivvy sac

* Waterproof matches / fire starter

* Pocket knife

* Flashlight or headlamp with new batteries

* Storm Whistle (in case you got lost)

* Small mirror (in case you got lost)

* A few yards of cord

* Watch

* First aid kit (see below)

* Personal medications

* Moleskin (for blisters)

* Insect repellent

* Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm)

* Baseball style hat / Wide-brimmed hat (to protect from sun)

* A few zip-lock plastic bags

* Napkins

* Toilet paper (in a plastic bag)

* Money / ID

* Many of the items above can be purchased from REI.


 Suggested / Optional Gear

* Trekking poles

* Water Filter / Water purification tablets

* GPS (with extra batteries)

* Notebook with pencil / pen

* Camera (film / fully charged battery)

* Binoculars

* Cell phone (though likely won't have coverage in backcountry)

* Feminine products

* Gaiters

* Knee Support

* Bandana

 Basic First Aid Kit

Some examples of items for your First Aid kit are listed below. Customize your kit according to your personal needs. Be sure you're familiar with everything in your kit and remember to keep items up-to-date and replenished. It's also important to keep your first aid kit in a waterproof container. Finally, we strongly recommend that you take a First Aid class and a CPR class, and make sure that you keep current on these skills. (Adventure Medical Kits sells a variety of first aid kits specifically designed for hikers such as the one on the left)

* Personal medications

* Roll bandages

* Triangular bandages

* Ace bandages

* Butterfly bandages

* Sterile compresses

* Adhesive tape

* Sterile gauze pads

* Antiseptic wipes

* Miscellaneous band aids

* Twine

* Tweezers

* Safety pins

* Scissors

* Thermometer

* Latex gloves

* Tissues

* Plastic Bags

* Antibacterial soap / wipes

* Eye drops

* Burn ointment

* Sunburn lotion

* Disinfectant cream

* Decongestant and antihistamine tablets

* Anti-acids

* Antibiotic cream

* Aspirin / ibuprofen

* Hydrogen peroxide

* Diarrhea medication

* Hydrocortisone cream

* Poison Ivy cream / cleansers

* Bee sting kit

* Snake bite kit

* Heat / cold packs

* Personal information / contact person

* First aid manual

* REI sells a variety of first aid kits for camping, hiking and backpacking, including a variety of options from Adventure Medical Kits