- Buyer's Guide
Dayhike Carry Essentials
What better way to introduce our awesome new contributor and EDC specialist Bernard Capulong than side by side with his selection of dayhike carry essentials that will have you amped to hit those trails, safe in the knowledge that you’re properly equipped… Plus, if you’re keen to get your fix of EDC, scope out everydaycarry.com (co-founded by Bernard) for a round-up of some seriously sweet EDC gear.
There’s no better way to spend your weekend than getting some fresh air, stretching your legs, and taking in all the beauty mother nature has to offer on a peaceful dayhike. But your outdoor adventure can turn south quick if you’re not prepared. In the spirit of Outdoor Week, we’ve put together a list of essentials to keep you safe and equipped to make the most of your time out on the trail.
Like with assembling any carry, the items in your kit can vary depending on a number of factors: season, location, budget, preferred activities, and so on. But we hope these essentials can provide the groundwork and inspiration for assembling your ultimate personalized hiking carry. Starting with a theme of minimalism and lightweight for a shorter dayhike adventure, you should throw these items into your favorite Carryology-approved pack:
Water is essential not just for any rigorous physical activity, but for survival conditions as well. This bottle from Klean Kanteen is made from stainless steel to be durable enough for drops and dings, and can withstand boiling to purify your water in a pinch.
For an extremely compact and lightweight way to keep your bottle filled with clean water, toss this filtration system from Sawyer into your pack. Its high-performance 0.1 micron absolute filter removes bacteria from up to 100,000 gallons of water (for the exceedingly thirsty). It can conveniently attach to an included drinking pouch, a standard water bottle, or your existing bottle using an included straw.
When out in the wilderness, your EDC folding knife might not be up to par. Instead, opt for a lightweight yet robust fixed blade knife to handle your bushcraft needs, like the Companion from Mora of Sweden. Its 4.1-inch long, 1/8-inch thick carbon blade will give you plenty to work with, while its ergonomic handle ensures comfort and security in hand. No moving parts minimizes chances of failure under heavy use, making it an invaluable and reliable tool for your hike.
Whatever your fixed blade can’t handle, chances are, this classic full-sized multitool from Leatherman can. It’s one of the most commonly carried and most-revered tools of its kind in the EDC community for good reason: it’s got virtually every tool you need outdoors with top-notch construction, durability and performance.
Don’t get caught in the dark! Illumination is critical once night falls, and a versatile light can come in especially handy. The H52w from Zebralight has a right-angle design that enables it to be used as a headlamp to free up your hands, or as a task light for when you’re setting up camp. A moonlight mode can let its long runtime shine without compromising your night vision, a 280 lumen high setting can blast through the darkness, beacon modes can help with signaling in an emergency, and its warm tint helps better render your outdoor environment’s colors.
Take a few spare batteries for your light, or add this multi-purpose power bank to your hiking kit. It’s compact enough to keep around for recharge duty, giving 3000mAh of juice to your phone, camera, or other gadgets. If you can afford the extra bulk, it can also attach to a compatible solar panel to charge with 4 hours of full sun.
While you can use GPS functionality on your phone for instance, it’s a good idea to keep a map and a compass to navigate if your tech calls it quits mid-hike. The Tru-Nord 150C conveniently attaches to a zipper pull or keychain without weighing you down.
Like water, fire is also absolutely essential in an emergency situation, as it provides warmth and a means to cook or signal your location if you need help. Stormproof matches are a great way to have access to fire in bad conditions, but this match case from Exotac grants added protection from water and impact.
When you need help, you want it quickly. Blowing a whistle, like the Fox 40 Sonik Blast, not only reaches higher decibel levels than yelling at the top of your lungs can, but it also carries much further if you’re really out there.
A quick dayhike usually won’t require an elaborate medical setup, but small injuries are still a possibility. It’s best to keep a basic, lightweight first aid kit like this one just in case to keep any wounds clean and protected from the elements. Don’t forget sunscreen, shades or a hat to protect you from extended sun exposure as well.
*Feature image sourced from Coast Magazine.