Interactive Hiking Checklists for Different Conditions

Hiking Checklist - Multi-Day Hike in Cold Weather

Hiking Checklist – Multi-Day Hike in Cold Weather

Hiking trips require gear which keeps you safe and comfortable on trails. To help you bring the right gear on your next hiking trip, we made interactive hiking checklists which are tailored for hiking trips of various durations and under different conditions (day vs. multi-day hikes; cold weather vs. warm weather etc.). The checklists below consist of compulsory and optional items; some are “luxuries”, others are for specific conditions such as avalanche safety equipment. In the Critical Considerations section below, you will find advice on the gear that is listed in the various checklists. Before going on a hike also check out our article How to Plan a Hiking Trip.

Interactive Hiking Checklists:

Checklist for Day Hike in Warm Weather

Suitable for:

  • Temperatures above 10° C; 50° F
  • Hikes which last for a few hours to a whole day (without spending the night)

 

Backpack

Footwear

Clothing

Waterproof/breathable Clothing

Navigation

Food and Water

First Aid

Sun Protection

Hygiene

Accessories

 

Checklist for Day Hike in Cold Weather

Suitable for:

  • Temperatures below 10° C; 50° F
  • Hikes which last for a few hours to a whole day (without spending the night)

 

Backpack

Footwear

Clothing

Waterproof/breathable Clothing

Navigation

Food and Water

First Aid

Sun Protection

Hygiene

Winter Equipment

Accessories

 

Checklist for Multi-Day Hiking in Warm Weather

Suitable for:

  • Temperatures above 10° C; 50° F
  • Hikes which last more than a single day (spending one or more nights on the go)

 

Backpack

Footwear

Clothing

Waterproof/breathable Clothing

Navigation

Food and Water

Cooking Equipment

First Aid

Sun Protection

Sleeping Equipment

Hygiene

Accessories

 

Checklist for Multi-Day Hiking in Cold Weather

Suitable for:

  • Temperatures below 10° C; 50° F
  • Hikes which last more than a single day (spending one or more nights on the go)

 

Backpack

Footwear

Clothing

Waterproof/breathable Clothing

Navigation

Food and Water

Cooking Equipment

First Aid

Sun Protection

Sleeping Equipment

Hygiene

Winter Equipment

Accessories

 

Critical Considerations

Backpack

The required size of the backpack you should bring, depends on the duration of the hike, conditions on the trail, your equipment and your preferences (are you changing base layers daily, is comfort more important than the weight you carry etc.). It makes no sense to bring a very big backpack on short hikes while for longer hikes you will need a bigger backpack to fit everything in. Learn more about hiking backpacks in our Guide to Hiking Backpacks. Also check out our articles How to pack a backpack and How to fit a backpack.

Hiking Boots or Shoes

Choose footwear according to the expected conditions. If you are doing an easy trail with a light backpack, there is no need for very robust hiking boots. You will be faster in lightweight hiking shoes or boots. However, for technically difficult terrain or hiking with a heavy backpack it is recommended to wear sturdier hiking boots which provide ankle support and durability. Learn more about hiking boots and shoes in our Guide to Hiking Footwear.

Base Layer

For hiking you should wear a base layer that is moisture-wicking, breathable, and quick-drying. Such base layers are made either of Merino wool (blends) or synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. For multi-day hikes it’s recommended to wear an odor-resistant base layer, so that you don’t have to bring more than one garment. Learn more about base layers in our Comparison of Base Layer Materials.

Mid-layer

You should choose a mid-layer (insulation layer) according to the expected conditions. A fleece jacket is great for moderate temperatures while low temperatures require either a jacket insulated with down or synthetic insulation. Learn more about mid-layers in our Comparison of Mid-Layer Materials.

Shell layer

A shell layer protects you against rain, snow and wind and is therefore very important for hiking in windy or rainy conditions. We recommend bringing a shell layer on every hiking trip because (good) shell layers are very light and packable. Learn more about shell layers in our Comparison of Shell Materials.

Food and Water

As food and water are heavy, we recommend researching potential sources of water and food along the trail prior to the trip. In order to minimize the weight and volume of the food you do bring along, pack food that has a good spatial and caloric density. Learn more about this in our article How to choose food for a hiking trip. Read more about recommended water intake during hiking in our article How much water to take on a hiking trip.

Sleeping Equipment

Basic sleeping equipment includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and a portable shelter (tent, bivy sack, tarp etc.). Learn more about sleeping equipment in our Guide to Backpacking Sleeping Equipment.

Winter Equipment

Ultimately, the trail conditions determine which winter equipment you should bring for a winter hike. If the trail is covered with snow you will most likely need gaiterscrampons, an ice axe and in some cases also equipment for avalanche safety. Prior to the trip, you need to thoroughly research the trail conditions in order to pack the right gear to keep you safe, but not weighed down.

How helpful was this post?

Click a star to rate it!

11 vote(s) so far. Average rating 4.5 out of 5.

Author Information

Blaz

Outdoor enthusiast with experience in all types of hiking and mountaineering. Hiked in the Alps, Iceland and other countries. In love with via ferrata trails and snow-covered slopes. Check out my hikes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *