Hiking Essentials Checklist for Summer Days

Summer is an ideal season to make the most of the year’s longest days, get outside and hike some hills. But, as you know, along with the sun can come the intense heat which can turn your fun time into potentially dangerous and painful experience. So, what you need to do is to manage the combination of these two adequately.

And you must be wondering how to do that.

Well, in this article we have written down a hiking essentials checklist to help you stay healthy in hot weather and have a great time while backpacking. Also, thinking about where and when you will be hiking are crucial steps in planning a successful outdoor adventure.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Planning Tips for Backpacking in Hot Weather

Where to Hike

Choose trails that are near water. That is very important if there is not much shade. But if you are near a large lake, river or ocean, you can refresh in the water when you feel warm enough. Dip your bandana, shirt or hat into it frequently so it can keep you cool as the liquid evaporates.

Find some shade. Choosing the trails that will keep you in the shade is a smart idea. That way you won’t be directly exposed to the sun. You can select paths within steep canyon walls or under the trees. That depends on your personal preference.

When to Hike

If you are visiting or live in a very hot climate, you should hike at night, which can bring you relief. Sometimes it is almost unbearable to walk when the temperature is high, so a lot of people choose to go on an adventure at night time.

You should avoid hiking around 3 PM because it is to the hottest time of the day. Start early in the morning so you can finish before noon, or begin after this intense heat. But, if you must hike at these hottest hours, choose the trails that are near water or have a lot of shade.

Hiking Essentials Checklist for Hot Weather

When you are deciding what to wear and carry for your hot-weather hiking trip, you should have some priorities. The most important ones are safety and comfort. When it comes to outdoor activities, you should never sacrifice these two.

There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable while backpacking. Choose a high-quality backpack and pack as lightly as possible to avoid a bulky and heavy load. Make sure to dress appropriately for your adventure. The most probable things that you might need for summer day hiking:

  1. Sun Protection
  2. Hydration
  3. Insulation
  4. First-aid Supplies
  5. Survival Kit
  6. Nutrition
  7. Emergency Shelter
image of lightweight hiking shoes

1. Sun Protection

  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • ultra-lightweight long pants
  • ultra-lightweight long sleeve shirt
  • wide-brimmed hat

Of course, we all love the sun on our skin, especially after a long winter, but when it comes to hiking in summer, you should be extra careful. If you are backpacking in alpine environments packing breathable and ultra-thin long-sleeves, a wide-brimmed hat and long pants are a good idea. Also, other essentials that you need to bring are sunscreen and sunglasses. Sunglasses will block the UV rays from the sun.

2. Hydration

  • Water bottles
  • Filtration system
  • Purification tablets
  • UV sterilization pen

Carrying enough water while backpacking is a high priority, especially in the summer. You lose a lot of liquid by sweating, so you need to replenish it frequently. If you choose the trail that has a water source, you should know how to purify, collect and filter it. That is why it is important to carry and learn to use purification tablets, UV sterilization pen, and a filtration system.

hiking backpacks

3. Insulation

  • Lightweight rain jacket

That might sound strange, but having a jacket in the alpine environments will keep you dry if you get caught in a shower. Weather in the mountains changes fast, so you should always be prepared for any situation. So, when you considering what to pack when going on a hike in summer, don’t forget to pack a lightweight rain jacket. You never know when you will need one.

4. First-Aid Supplies

  • A Sling
  • A Splint
  • An emergency blanket
  • Blister care
  • Duct tape

The type of the kit you need to carry will depend on the duration and location of your trip and group size. The most popular one is the first-aid kit that is pre-assembled. These include supplies to treat basic ailments such as upset stomach, mild cuts and grazes, small burns, insect stings and bites and blisters. If you are a beginner at hiking, we recommend to start with a pre-assembled one and then add some things that you will need.

5. Survival Kit

  • Swiss army knife
  • Firestarter
  • Duct tape
  • Climbing rope or paracord

When you are on the trail, you can get in some dangerous or uncomfortable situations. That is why it is essential to be always prepared for anything because you never know what can go wrong. These tools that we have mentioned will keep you comfortable and alive until help arrives.

6. Nutrition

  • Snacks and lunch in the box
  • Energy drinks
  • Water in carrier

To keep your body and mind alert on the trail, don’t forget to take regular snack breaks. Always carry at least one day worth of extra meals. Food is fuel to our body, and a reasonable goal is 2500 to 4500 calories per day per person depending on your exertion level, weight, and size.

7. Emergency shelter

  • Lightweight tarp
  • Space or foil blanket
  • Bivy sack (otherwise known by its full name, a bivouac sack, is a personal-sized waterproof shelter)

You may think that this seems counterintuitive, but it is an essential thing when going on a summer hike. The emergency shelter provides sun protection, keeps you insulated and dry. And it can save your life if you get in a situation where you will need to spend the night on the mountain.


Packing all of these essentials that we have listed above is a must when you are going on hot-weather hiking. Bear in mind that when it comes to backpacking, all these things are crucial, especially if you are a beginner.

Always be prepared to be surprised, and plan for the worst. We hope that this article was helpful and that you will use it as a base from which you will make your own hiking checklist!


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