It’s no secret that hiking is our favorite activity! From National Forests, to state parks, to National Parks, to even within a city, we love seeing places by foot and getting off the beaten path when we can to get deeper into nature. In fact, one year we even completed the 52 Hike Challenge, where we hiked 52 hikes in one year!
We often get asked what is in our backpacks when we hike, so in this post we’re sharing everything we bring with us for day hikes, including the 10 essentials, clothing we wear, food we bring, some other fun outdoor items we own, and more!
Looking for our backpacking gear? We have our backpacking gear + packing list that shares the additional items we take for overnight trips.
Note: this guide contains affiliate links, which means that if you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!
Our Hiking Gear
Here is everything we take with us hiking, with some explanations for some of the larger items below!
We each carry a different type of backpack and love both for different reasons. Adam carries a REI Co-op Trail 40 Pack, which is great for hiking and everyday use. It is huge and can fit so many things, as well as a water bladder, which is useful both on the trail and in cities.
I carry a WANDRD PRVKE 31L Backpack, which fits multiple laptops, multiple cameras, chargers, personal items, and more! It has a hidden passport pocket and opens from the back, making it safer from pickpockets.
We also use the Remote Designs 27L backpack and 5L hip pack and LOVE both of them. They are very high quality products for the price!
Kathryn rocks Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX on the trails and she LOVES them! Adam wears the ALTRA Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, which is a trail running shoe, so they are less bulky than boots, but still great for the trail.
We always carry at least one CamelBak Crux 100 oz Hydration Pack Reservoir. It carries almost 3 liters of water and is super easy to drink from while on the move.
If we need to refill the CamelBak on our trip we use a Sawyer water filtration kit and they have worked great over the years! We have also recently purchased a Katadyn BeFree 1L water filter water bottle to have an additional water filter option and to be able to carry less water on hikes with many water sources that we can filter from!
The Garmin InReach Mini is a satellite device that allows you to send messages to your loved ones when out hiking, gives you the ability to send your location, and has a SOS in case of emergencies. It does require a monthly subscription, but it can be as low as around $10/month.
The Kahtoola MICROspikes are AMAZING and the best investment we have made for hiking. They have made hiking in icy and snowy conditions so easy! We can basically run on ice without falling.
We’ve been using these headlamps for awhile now and they are bright, comfortable, and great for hikes before sunrise or after sunset.
Bear spray is a must have item when hiking or camping in areas where bears are present. Thankfully we have yet to need it!
Kathryn got me these Bushnell H20 Roof Prism binoculars for my birthday in 2021 and I love them! They are so fun to use on our hikes, backpacking trips, or just pulling over on the side of the road to spot wildlife!
We always make sure we have the 10 essentials on our backpacking trips, such as emergency shelter and a first aid kit. Check out our How to Make Your Own 10 Essentials Kit post to learn more about the 10 essentials and to make your own kit for hiking.
Hiking Clothing + Shoes
Here are the clothing items we wear on our outdoor adventures. We try to stick to higher quality products, which may be more expensive, but tend to last longer. We are big fans of Lululemon, PrAna, Vuori, Patagonia, and REI!
We recommend always bringing layers when backpacking, especially in the mountains, as the temperatures can vary, as well as rain jackets in case it rains!
Food we take hiking
Here are some of the food items that we love and bring with us on most of our backpacking adventures!
Our Outdoor Gear
Here’s some fun things we use when we’re not hiking!
We have actually had two of these kayaks. It turns out if you don’t try to paddle through oyster beds they work just fine! We’ve only been able to use it a handful of times, but it is comfortable to ride in and so much fun to paddle around in.
My fiancé and I just found your channel and we love seeing everywhere you go and how you do it! Hope your glass for you van comes in! Excited to continue to watch your videos 🙂
Thank you for watching Marie! We got the new window yesterday, so fingers crossed the installation goes well!
We Love watching your channel! We don’t miss an episode! Your love for food and adventure, truly speaks to us as well! Thank you for setting an example for other couples and encouraging us all to be more adventurous!
Safe journey to you both!
John and Lori
Hi Lori! Thank you so much for watching, we are so glad you enjoy it!
My husband and I just booked our trip to Glacier for April/May! Your video made us so inspired to go! It’ll be our honeymoon trip since we got married during COVID. Love watching you guys!!
We hope y’all have the best time! And a belated congrats on your marriage!
Just subscribed to your channel today! We just started RV’ing and are going to try New Hampshire… what resources did you use to find a place to park it or did you just use a Walmart the entire time?
Hi Steve! Thanks so much for subscribing! We have some spots to stay listed in this guide: https://adventuresofaplusk.com/the-best-things-to-do-in-the-white-mountains-new-hampshire/#13-where-to-stay-in-the-white-mountains. We did mostly Walmart, some free camping, and also a KOA!
I really enjoy your videos, and you’re inspiring me to get out hiking again. What adventures you both have had.
In your South Dakota ( I think) videos. You’re wearing neck gators, and Katherine I really like the color and design of yours. Can you tell me where you found that, I’d love one for windy days kayaking and hot days hiking.
Hi Mary! Those are made by a brand called Buff. We got ours at REI a few years ago so I’m not sure if they still offer the same pattern, but they make tons of different patterns so hopefully you can find one you like!
Thanks and thanks for watching and commenting, Mary!
My family just found your channel while planning our 2 week 4 national park road trip. We have loved watching and getting LOTS of ideas 🙂
That’s awesome! We hope y’all have a great trip!