A Hiker’s Guide: 5 Light Items You Should Pack in Your Bag

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Like any self-respecting Angelino, I love to hike. We have countless locations here in LA to choose from. It’s great to get out in the fresh air, spend quality time with friends, family or your dog. It’s even a great second or third date option.

If you’re a hiker, you know how important it is to bring along the right equipment. From taking great photography shots of the scenery, to being prepared for an emergency, having the right equipment is necessary. However, it’s a delicate balance of bringing too much weight that you have to carry on your back and being caught empty handed. To help, we’ve compiled a list of light items you can pack in your bag to have a great and safe hike.

Water Bottles

Even if you don’t carry anything else, you must bring water. You’ll be exercising during the day in the heat, so your body needs water. The amount of water you need depends on the climate you’re hiking in, your level of exertion and your personal needs. However, the Adventures in Good Company blog recommends taking at least two to three liters of water. The Platypus Platy Plus Bottle is a collapsible water bottle that weighs just 0.8 ounces, making it a great option for your hike. Many hikers have been carrying reliable BPA-free Nalgene bottles for years, but they’re a bit heavier than the other option.

Flashlight

Even if you don’t plan on being out in the dark, you should pack a flashlight. You never know when you might make a wrong turn or twist your ankle and need some light. There are plenty of flashlights available that don’t weigh a ton. For starters, flashlights with a lithium battery are lighter and last longer. The Fenix light weighs just 2.6 ounces and looks futuristic with a shiny black exterior. The best part? When left on low-light mode, it can last for three days, according to a Backpacker gear review. That’s one perk any hiker can appreciate.

First Aid Kit

As much as we don’t like to think about it, injuries do happen on the trail. In case any scrapes or bruises occur, you’ll want to patch yourself up. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) blog recommends carrying bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, a small squeeze bottle, pain relievers and antibiotic ointment in case disaster strikes. It also doesn’t hurt to take a basic first aid and CPR class to brush up on your skills.

Spare Sunglass Lenses

You don’t want your sunglasses to break when you’re out in the wilderness or on the trail. The blinding sun can make it difficult for you to hike and can damage your eyes over time. Prevent this problem by packing a spare pair of sunglass lenses. Revant Optics provides replacement lenses for Oakley sunglasses that weigh just a few grams, so you can replace them if your lenses get scratched or broken while you’re out.

Backpack

What’s the most important item you need besides water? Your backpack. The blog Clever Hiker recommends ZPacks because they weigh just 16.5 ounces and come in different models for day hikes and backpacking trips. Another option is the Exodus pack. It’s frameless, weighs 17 ounces and is perfect for both day hiking and longer trips. The inflatable back panel is great for extra storage. The CDT is another frameless option. It weighs 24 ounces and can hold a foldable sleeping pad, too.

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