Jon and I try to hit a trail multiple times a month, ideally, at least once a week. Sometimes I’ll go on a nearby beach or forest hike with just the dogs in tow. Amber Bear and Shadow are great pups, Shadow is not great on the leash yet and Amber can mosey along next to me on her own. Heres my top six vegan day hiking must-haves.

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1. A great day pack for hiking.

I love my Osprey Tempest 30 backpack. It is perfect for day hikes and may even be big enough for a one-night backpacking adventure depending on how light you pack. (I personally haven’t used it on an overnight treck as of yet.) However, I absolutely love that it is a larger day pack. I can fit anything and everything I could possibly need in it, no problem.

2. Water. Specifically, a water reservoir.

I have an Osprey water reservoir that is inserted into the back of my backpack, and I find it incredibly helpful. You can take a sip at any time even while on the move. I also have an insulated sleeve over the hose/straw which has kept my water from freezing on multiple occasions. The insulating sleeve is also great in the summer because it keeps direct sun off of the clear hose, keeping your water cooler. Water bottles are great, but I always feel like I have to stop to drink; otherwise, its contents end up everywhere. I also like using a reservoir because I can fill it with up to 3 liters of water; which is overkill for most day hikes we do, but you never know when you might want or need it.

3. Vegan snack, vegan snacks, and more vegan snacks.

In my opinion, you can’t be over prepared for hiking. If you’re going on a backcountry day hike make sure you have food for at least 1-2+ additional days. Each person you’re hiking with should do the same. A good chunk of the day hikes we do are in only 500 – 1500 acre forests so within two hours or much less time you’ll run into a road or a house so being over prepared isn’t as necessary. Some of my favorite vegan snacks to take hiking are straight up bananas, dates, and snack bars like gomacro.

4. Always have extra layers of clothing.

In the summer having an extra layer or two can be helpful to keep the sun off of you or if you end up in a pickle and are forced to stay overnight. Also, here in the PNW you never know when it might actually rain and staying dry can be helpful.

5. Supplies for your furry friends.

If you are hiking with a dog make sure to pack extra water, a collapsible bowl, and snacks for your BFF.

6. Emergency supplies for hiking.

So aside from extra food, layers, water, and supplies for your furry friend what else? There are several small items that could be very useful in the event of an emergency and/or if you get into a situation where you are stuck out in the wilderness for longer than intended.

When we do go on backcountry day hikes we over prepare. It’s important to remember that no matter how experienced you are or how many hikes you’ve done that weather and nature as a whole are ever changing and trail conditions can be unpredictable even if someone hiked it the day before and posted that the trail was clear. Some additional small items we keep in our packs include a headlamp, emergency bivvy, waterproof matches, Sawyer water filter, and small first aid kit.

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