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Thank you to California Almonds for sponsoring this sneak peek into my hiking backpack – you’ll always find me carrying them!
I can’t tell you how excited I am that warmer weather has arrived! It means that I can go outside without bundling up, which means more hiking!
Over the last several years, I have been pretty sick, which really affected my energy levels. Once my gallbladder was removed, my body starting functioning more normally, and I’ve had a ton of extra energy!
It’s awesome because it means I finally have the energy levels to hike as much as I want to. Whenever I hike, I carry quite a lot of stuff with me.
I overheat easily, and I have a crazy fast metabolism now, so supplies are a must for me! If you’re curious what I put in my hiking backpack for short day hikes, here’s a sneak peak!
Filtered Water in Reusable Bottles
This is absolutely the most important thing to carry with you when you go for a hike. I always bring 32-64 ounces, depending upon how long I plan to be out.
The nice thing is, as you drink your water, your pack gets lighter so it gives you some extra incentive to stay hydrated. Not that I need that – I overheat easily so I drink a lot of water ?
Nutrient Dense Snacks Like Almonds
Since having my gallbladder removed, I’ve been blessed with an insanely fast metabolism. I’ve lost 57 pounds in the last year (a little longer than a year now) and my body still expects me to have that much fuel to burn, so I’ve been eating like a Sumo wrestler to keep the weight on.
That means I carry snacks with me everywhere. When I hike, I really look for nutrient dense snacks that aren’t to heavy to carry.
While I have a few other snacks I rotate in and out, almonds are always on the menu! They are yummy and filling and nutrient dense. I find I always reach for them first, especially when I’m on the go!
They have the protein, fiber and healthy fat (without the sugar, gluten or cholesterol!) I need to power through my longer hikes, and every day too. They are also an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and contain calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.
I often have a perfect portion almond tin in my purse too. That way I’m not tempted to purchase an unhealthy snack when I need to refuel on a busy day.
Even the local wildlife appreciates that I prefer whole natural almonds. This little guy stored several away for winter! Look at those cheeks!
For some reason, wild animals have always come right up to me, especially #chipmunks and #squirrels. This little guy wanted my #almond stash! ????? #chipmunksofinstagram #squirrelsofinstagram #hikingadventures #naturephotography #naturelover #nature_cuties #nature_seekers #getoutside #mountainlife #hiker #hiking?
I highly recommend keeping some whole natural almonds in your hiking backpack. They’re my favorite snack to eat on a hike!
Electrolyte and Tea Powder
While I love good old fashioned plain, filtered water, I like to carry electrolyte and tea powders with me when I hike. I dehydrate easily, and I find it’s important to be prepared. Plus, it’s nice to have a good tasting treat on hot days.
Fortunately, there are lots of good options for electrolyte powders and tablets that you can take on the go. And the powdered tea technology has come so far! Mix it up and bring something yummy to drink on your next hike.
Even though this is a luxury, not a necessity, it makes my hikes so much nicer! Some trails don’t have the best places to sit and rest, so a lightweight blanket really comes in handy.
We like to find a nice spot under a tree to sit down and enjoy our water and snacks. If it’s a longer hike, we pack lunch too! It makes for a nice picnic.
While I don’t always get around to reading a book when I go hiking, the times when I do I’m super grateful I have one with me.
I typically only bring one when I hike alone, or when we all plan to spend some time reading. Most often, when we hike as a family we talk more than we read.
Journal and Pen
This is probably my favorite thing to bring with me on hikes. I do something I like to call, “Walk It Out.” Whenever I’m feeling upset, unsure, confused or any other sort of feelings that I need to be worked out, I go for a long walk.
That’s when I Walk It out. I walk as far as fast as I can until my head feels clear. Sometimes that happens quickly, and sometimes it can take a couple miles!
Then I sit and write a stream of consciousness for as long as I can until my head isn’t clear. If you haven’t done stream of consciousness writing before, it’s where you write down whatever comes to you – no matter how silly or unrelated it may seem. Just keep writing.
It’s amazing the messages you find for yourself when you write with a clear head! As soon as you stop feeling like your thoughts are flowing naturally, get up and walk again. Walk as far and as fast as you need to clear your head. Then repeat.
It can take a while to get the hang of the practice. However, I find that it works better for working through thoughts and feelings than any other method I’ve tried!
These days, this one is pretty much a given. But it’s super important to bring your phone with you, especially when you’re hiking alone, or further out into the wilderness.
If someone gets injured, you need a way to call for help. Otherwise, you may have to hike out to make a call.
I also like to listen to audio books while I hike sometimes. Most often, I listen to the sounds of nature around me, but sometimes a good motivational audio book is what I need!
Plus, if you’re more of a digital person than a paper person, you can use your phone in place of a journal for doing your stream of consciousness writing. I personally like the feel of a pen on paper in my hand.
First Aid Supplies
I am guilty of forgetting to pack first aid supplies more than once. Of course, it’s those times I forget it that I really wish we had them.
Even a skinned knee can ruin a hike with kids if you don’t have the right first aid items with you! So make sure you at least have a small kit with basic supplies in your hiking backpack.
This item should be a given, but it’s not. I have definitely forgotten to bring full sun protection on more than one hike. That’s not fun!
I recommend natural sunscreen, a sun hat and a lightweight hoodie or long sleeved shirt you can put on if the sun gets too powerful.
While you won’t always need this one on a hike, when you need it, you need it! I try to always have toilet paper, paper towels or napkins with me for potty breaks, especially when I have the kids with me!
Just make sure you follow safe practices and either carry out or bury the paper. For that reason, it’s best to bring unbleached and natural paper products if you can.