What to Pack for a Day Trip - Daysack Essentials

The UK is home to many scenic spots, perfect for day trips that are spent exploring what nature has to offer.

The UK is home to many scenic spots, perfect for day trips that are spent exploring what nature has to offer.

Whether you’re hiking, exploring, or planning any other outdoor activities – you need to prepare for moments where you may find yourself stuck. For example, if you get lost – you’ll need to have everything on you that you could potentially need to remain safe.

A tip we have is to create a checklist of what you’ll need to take with you in your daysack. These are all the possible essentials you can think of, from water to a lightweight jacket

So, what are the essentials? What do you need to pack for a day trip? Read on to find out what you need to take with you on your daytime adventures…

What is a daysack?

These types of bags are ideal for short activities and days out, so there’s no need for a chunky rucksack.

Daysacks – or day rucksacks – are all about versatility, practicality, and comfort. This makes them ideal for hill walking, cycling or simply heading out on a day trip. You can also use them for school or take them with you on holiday.

Your day rucksack should be strong, light, and compact, but with enough room for your essentials, and any items of clothing you may wish to take. Daysacks can also be made to feature rain covers, multiple storage, and drop-in pockets.

Available in litre options ranging up to 40L, they can also include a hip belt to redistribute the weight from your shoulders to your pelvis for added comfort and support.

Create a day trip and hiking checklist

We recommend creating a checklist that you can refer to when you go hiking, as it’s far too easy to forget something essential!

If you’re new to hiking or spending your days exploring the great outdoors, you may also wish to consider this as a shopping list to prepare you for all conditions and weather.

Top tip: Pack for an outdoor adventure the night before. This will allow you to double-check what you’ve packed in the morning, just in case you missed anything!

Ideally, you’ll want your outdoor equipment to be lightweight and comfortable to carry. There are many purpose-made items available that are well worth the investment. The absolute essentials can include:

  • Clothing.
  • Snacks.
  • Water.
  • Maps.
  • Emergency Kit.


If you’re going hiking, you’ll likely have sturdy walking boots already sorted. But remember, you’ll need to also be dressed for the weather – and be prepared for any potential changes!

You should always check the weather forecast before leaving, and we would also recommend packing a lightweight waterproof jacket, an extra layer, and a sun hat. These are appropriate for your daysack in most UK weather from spring to autumn.

Lightweight clothing is best, including jackets, so even if you take it off, your daysack won’t be weighed down. Likewise, a light thermal layer is always handy to keep in your bag if the weather suddenly changes.


You may not be planning to stop for a picnic, but the right sort of snack can boost flagging energy and even sustain your mood.

For walking, think of taking portable calories, such as chocolate bars, energy bars or dried fruit treats. It’s important to keep your appetite at bay. After all, you won’t have enough energy for sightseeing and adventures unless you stop to refuel!

It’s easy to lose track of time or even get lost, so you should always have a backup plan. For day trips where you’ll only be gone a few hours, a piece of fruit should be enough. However, fruit bars and biscuits are also a safe option if you miss a regular meal.


Even for a short walk, it’s always important to take some water with you – as you may not be sure of changing weather or gradients. On a long walk or hike that can involve scrambling, having plenty of water is absolutely vital. So, we would recommend refilling your water bottle or flask whenever you get the chance. 

If you’ve drunk a lot of water early into a strenuous hike or your day trip, consider taking water purification tablets if you can’t buy water from anywhere. These tablets purify water from a source that could cause you illness due to your body not being immune to bacteria.



While you may think your phone could be enough for this, it’s more than possible you may lose your phone or it could run out of battery. Granted, that’s the worst-case scenario – but it does happen! 

For short walks, a local guidebook may be more than enough, especially if you plan on exploring an area more. However, for longer hikes away from usual paths, a map and compass may be particularly useful. Plus, it’s a great life skill to have! Practice in advance to make sure you can read the map and understand how to use the compass.


Emergency kit

A first aid kit is essential when it comes to being prepared for any potential scenarios. After all, trips, sprains, and cuts can happen anywhere.

And even at the very least, your first aid kid should include blister pads, which are very handy if you’re yet to break in your hiking boots or walking shoes! Blisters can cause significant discomfort, and blister pads will ensure you don’t miss out on having fun. 

Depending on the type of day trip you plan on experiencing, there are more emergency equipment and survival aids that you can include in your daysack:

  • Tissues – if it’s cold or you have hayfever.
  • A torch or headlamp.
  • An emergency shelter.
  • Insect repellant.
  • Whistle.

Tip: While your phone may be best only for emergency calls, it may even tell you your GPS coordinates.


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