A must-have packing list for spending a day in a park

What to pack for a day hikeThere aren’t many better ways to spend a summer day than hiking, biking, fishing or exploring a local or state park. Well the next time you head out for that kind of fun-filled day, make sure you bring along everything you may need. You might think you’re just heading out for a few hours, but it’s important to think ahead and have the supplies you’ll need if there’s an accident or if bad weather blows in. Start by grabbing a day pack and filling it with the items in the list below. (This is just for a quick day trip—for longer camping trips you’ll need even more.)

  1. A map of the park (you can often get this from the ranger at the park entrance)
  2. A small compass
  3. Sunscreen (you need to reapply regularly—even if you’re in the shade)
  4. A first-aid kit (make sure to have band-aids for blisters!)
  5. Some sort of multi-tool with a knife on it
  6. Snacks (trail mix or energy bars) and extra water
  7. An extra layer in case it gets chilly
  8. Insect repellent

There’s one more thing you should pack! A park pass. If you don’t know, the MIBigGreenGym partnership between the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources means you can check out a state park pass for free from your local library.


Photo credit: Laura Hamilton

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