Day Hikes gear
Image: DOC


It's easy to get ready for a Day Hike. Make sure you dress and pack for the weather, terrain, and the time you will be out. This list is only for walks under 8 hours.

These are recommendations only for walks under 8 hours – what you need to bring will depend on how long you are walking for, the weather conditions, and the terrain.



  • Day pack with waterproof liner
  • Drink bottle – 1 to 2 litre
  • Packed lunch and snacks – pack more than you think you'll need
  • Fully charged mobile phone ­– some areas don't have reception, and you may want to consider other forms of communication
  • Personal medication, eg antihistamines, asthma medication
  • Extra base layer and socks
  • Rubbish bag
  • Map of the area you'll be walking
  • Visit the Kiwi way – never miss an opportunity to use a loo and be prepared with a back-up toilet option 

Emergency equipment:

  • Basic first aid kit including hand sanitiser, sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Head torch/torch and spare batteries in case you take longer than intended
  • Survival blanket to keep you warm in an emergency
  • Whistle in case your split up or need help
  • Extra high energy snack food


Conditions can change so be prepared:

  • Hiking boots with good ankle support and grip, or other sturdy footwear
  • Sun hat or warm beanie – pack one and wear the other
  • Sunglasses – wear or pack
  • Base layer: top and leggings in polypropylene/wool, quick dry shorts or pants
  • Mid layer: long sleeved top in wool or polar fleece – wear or pack depending on the weather
  • Gloves in polypropylene/wool – wear or pack
  • Socks in polypropylene or wool

Exterior layer: 

  • wind and water-proof jacket with hood – wear or pack depending on the weather
  • waterproof overtrousers optional

Tell someone your plans

  • Leave your intentions – before you go, tell a trusted friend or family member what you’re doing and where you’re going

Other things you could take

  • Camera
  • Swimming gear and towel depending on the walk

More information

Get Outdoors – Planning Essentials video

Learn more about preparing for a day walk in the Mountain Safety Council's Day walks activity guide.

Heading out for a day walk brochure.
Day walks guide: English | French | Spanish | German

Back to top