33 Things to Pack on a DAY HIKE in Hawaii

by Mariam Beard • Last Updated: February 2, 2023

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I absolutely LOVE this backpack and have it in GREEN. It’s super light with two side hip pockets for easy access to items (i.e. lip balm, cell phone, etc.). The main section of the backpack is thermal insulated and is what keep my 2L water cool. The front section of the backpack is where I pack my snacks. The chest strap makes it comfortable to carry and keeps everything secure It also has an orange rescue whistle built into the backpack. 


I have been on WAY too many hikes where the sun sets a little bit faster than you anticipate and you end up hiking in the dark. In a pinch, I have used the light on my iPhone but keeping my hands free is the best (and safest) option. So for this, I always pack a headlamp regardless of the hike I go on. 


​An external battery pack is a must have if you have a smartphone.  I regularly take a lot of photos on my iPhone and use the AllTrails app when I’m hiking. I leave the app running because it pings me if I veer off the trail. On longer hikes, this can drain the battery. Having a spare battery pack and iPhone cord is key.

HIKING CAMERA | Action Camera

  • GoPro Hero 11: My #1 hiking camera. It’s rugged, waterproof, and has great image stability.
  • Go Pro Hero floating handler: I leave my GoPro on this permanently. It makes a great selfie stick for filming plus it floats (great if I drop my GoPro down a stream when I’m hiking – it’s happened).
  • Spare GoPro Battery: Since I usually film quite a bit on longer hikes, having a spare GoPro battery is definitely needed. I usually put this in a Ziploc bag to keep it dry if it rains on the hike.
  • GoPro Volta: This battery pack is AMAZING. It’s a mini tripod and battery pack built into one. It extends your GoPro battery by about 4 hours (yes FOUR HOURS!)

Spashproof/Waterproof Pouch

I’ll keep my wallet, keys, and whatever else I want easy access to. It rains pretty frequently and keeping these items dry makes it easy.


These hiking spikes are an absolute MUST to pack. They slip right on over your regular athletic shoes when you need a bit more grip. Plus, they come with a pouch so you can choose to slip them on when you need them (steep, slippery terrain) and take them off when you don’t (flat terrain).


  • Water:
    1. 2L water bladder: I’ll fill my 2L water bladder up to bring with me with a bit of ice. I’ll make sure to rinse it out well and use fresh lemon so there isn’t a plastic taste.
    2. Extra 1.5L water bladder: If I’m going on a longer hike, I’ll pack an extra 1.5L water bladder. You can always dump out the water near the end of your hike if you realize you packed too much. But, if you do need water, there’s usually no where to get it. ALWAYS pack more water than you think you’ll need. 
    3. Post-Hike water flask:  I’ll also fill up a flask with water and ice to leave in the car for AFTER the hike. I have this 22oz one in aquamarine with the straw attachment.
  • Easy to pack high-protein food: Trail mix, Protein bars, Beef jerky
  • Boost of sugar: Applesauce packs are my personal favorite.
  • ​Meal: I’ll usually pack a FULL Sandwich in a Ziploc bag. If I’m going on a 3-5 hour hike, I’ll pack a full sandwich (turkey, bread, cheese, veggies, etc.) to eat when I reach the top of the whichever peak I’m climbing. It gives me a boost of energy to hike back and having a proper meal (that isn’t pre-packaged) is key.


    Always a good thing to pack if you need to use the restroom. Also good for higher elevation hikes when your nose can get runny because of the elevator.
    Wear sunscreen before the hike. But, also pack about 1oz of sunscreen into a small container or grab a travel-size sunscreen. The sun in Hawaii can be aggressive. When you’re on the ridgeline with no shade, you’ll be happy you packed just a little more sunscreen
  • HAT
    Sun protection is a requirement on any long hike. 
    Always a good thing to pack if you are hiking during Oahu’s winter/wet season (Dec-Feb). A short rain shower can turn into a torrential downpour quickly.
    I pack my 50SPF rash guard. If the sun gets a little stronger, I can put it on to prevent a sunburn. If it ends up being colder and windier at the top of a summit, I have an extra layer. If it rained earlier in the hike and I want a fresh, dry shirt, I’ve got one. 
  • Small Ziploc bags
    These are great for putting any trash or wrappers from whatever I bring and popping them back in my backpack to throw away when I get home.
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Aloha! I'm Mariam.

I'm an Oahu resident sharing my adventures here in Hawaii to help take the guesswork out of planning your trip to Hawaii.

I've worked full-time as a concierge for a decade and have planned thousands of itineraries for travelers like you!


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