What’s in the Pack? Day Hike Edition

Below are my favorite type of gear I take for a day-hike. The only thing. I would adjust is the amount of food depending on how long you want to spend outside.


Platypus Reservoir,
Size: 1.5 Liters
Cost: $36.95
Pro: Easy to clean from the top
Con: Slower release to drink water compared to Camelbak but I don’t mind it since it allows myself to pace myself drinking water

Alternative: Camel Bak 1.5 L
Size: 1.5 L
Cost: $32.95
Con: Difficult to clean
Pro: known to not break apart or bust.


Water Bottle
Brand: Nalgene
Cost: $10+
Tip: Purchase with a narrow mouth

Smart Water Bottle $1.50- $2
Regular water squeeze bottle (whatever you have) You don’t have to spend extra money on water bottles if you have plenty at home. We have so many that we try to reuse.


Nuun Sport is my favorite choice of drink. It’s only 15 calories and 2g of sugar. Best of all it’s eco-friendly and portable. There is no excuse to dehydrated. You can put it your purse or gym bag for when you’re on the go. There are several delicious flavors to choose and there is some with caffeine too. They use stevia, which is the reason it is low in calories and sugar while tasting so yummy.

Gatorade, which is a familiar name has 270mg of sodium, 75mg of potassium, 34g of sugar, 140 calories per serving. Nuun has 300mg of sodium, 150mg of potassium, 2g of sugar, and 15 calories per 16oz. Winner Winner, Chicken dinner!

My favorite flavors are strawberry lemonade and fruit punch. It also saved me on the Pacific Crest Trail, especially in the desert. When I was dehydrated I through in 2 tablets for 16oz. Best of all it’s lightweight and portable. I loved it so much I joined the events marketing team for the Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz DMA, I help out the Bay Area from time to time, and it’s my 4th year being an ambassador. Now that’s a true fan!


Sawyer Squeeze
In case you plan to hike more than you had, carry one for emergencies. Some hikes seem easier but can be extremely challenging like the Yosemite Falls hike or anything in the heat with 80-100+ degree weather.
Amazon: $25.47 two pouches
Pro: No technology needed. All it requires is a pouch for the dirty water and a water bottle preferably a SMART Waterbottle.

Just get the Sawyer Squeeze, it is lightweight, minimal, and a thru-hiker’s favorite.

Aquarmira (tablet) or Droplots
Life Straw
Gravity Bag


There is no right or wrong backpack. You can bring whatever fits your stuff. Please bring one if you are hiking more than 30 minutes. You will get thirsty, you will get hungry. Be prepared. Set yourself for success. If it bothers you, think of it as burning extra calories, because technically you are carrying more weight = burn more calories.

If you are carrying a water reservoir or bladder, you will need to find a pack that has a pouch and hole for it to come from inside your pack to you.

I had rigged up my regular backpack zippers to make it close with a mini lock. Otherwise you can bring a backpack with side water bottle pouches. The water bladder allows you to drink water whenever you want. I prefer accessible water. Some don’t care, but I don’t mess around with hydration.

If you did want to spend more money:
Invest in a backpack with good ventilation and something that is lightweight.
Day-Packs should not weight more than 3lbs and be less than. >20L
I would not spend more than $120 on a day-pack, you are only hiking 1-5 hours.
If you spend any more money, you might as well invest into backpacking.

I guess you can spend $200 if you have disposable income but spend your money elsewhere
Excellent Day Parks: Osprey, Palante,
$175 for day-pack and one overnight: Waymark Co


Wear shoes that work best for you that offers traction.

Trail Shoes: are my favorite. I am a former long-distance runner, and my Nikes have been my go-to even on the Pacific Crest Trail for 2300 miles!
Pro: Super Lightweight
Con: No Ankle Support

Brands: Nike Wildhorse (my show), Brooks, Altra Lone Peak, Salomon Trail Runners

Boots: Great for hiking and it adds stability
Pro: Ankle-Support, Stability, I feel like a GOAT
Con: HEAVY, I am so much slower, It can get expensive but the shoes can last much longer, and it will be worthwhile in the end.

Brand: Salomon, Altra


Always bring sunscreen and my favorite is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer 45+. Note: The Zinc Mineral is safer to use, and soon I will transition to use it as soon as I run out of sunscreen.

Since sunscreen has several chemicals, I used the EWG Skin Deep database to determine the safest sunscreen to use. The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer is ranked #3, the Zinc Mineral is rated 2 (1 safest, 10 worst)

The spray sunscreen is the worst because it is easy to inhale all the chemicals, it doesn’tt allow you to apply the appropiate amount, and it harms the environment including the coral reef.


Favorite Meals
Empanadas, Tacos, Leftover Pizza, Sandwiches, Chips, Cheese

Favorite Fuel
Honey Stinger Waffles, Energy Gel, and Energy Chews

Honey Stinger Protein Bars
Quest Nutrition Bars (Keto-friendly) Chocolate Sprinkled Doughnut, Cookies & Cream, Blueberry Muffin, Birthday Cake, and Chocolate Mocha Chocolate Chip are some of my favorite flavors


I LOVE Trekking Poles. As a clutz and with sometimes knee pains, it is like I have four legs and it reliefs pressure on my knees going. up and downhill. It always helps out when I trip. Lastly, it is great for encountering animals like a BEAR. You can hit your trekking poles together to make noises or wrangle a rattlesnake to move across the trail.

Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles – Pair – Women’s
Amazon: $139.95
REI: $149.95

Alterative: Other Poles offer to absorb the shock. I love these black diamond poles because it has lasted forever. I used Leki Poles but it broke after 1000 miles. Do your research and watch youtube videos to ensure you pick the best.


Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera

Alternative Nicer Camera: Mirrorless Cameras, it works like a DSLR but since it is mirrorless it is not as heavy or bulky

Zomei Tripod with Cell Phone attachment $66.99
Searched reviews and Zomei offers lightweight and it is backpack friendly

Sony – Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera


For the accessories, I don’t have any preferred brands, and I choose stuff that I already have or that may be a fashionable or sports team cap.

Sunglasses: Goodr offers good & cheap athletic sunglasses, cheap is $25-$30
Hat: Full brimmed if more susceptible to skin cancer
Fanny Pack: for all the essentials

Contact Us

Santa Cruz, CA 95060