Day Hiking Backpack Checklist

If you plan on day hiking on your next camping trip, having the right gear is important. Today, we are going to go over what items you want to make sure to have with you, even if only out for a few hours. You don’t want to get caught in the middle of nowhere not being prepared. So let’s get started!


If you will be hiking for the day, you will need the right type of backpack. I mean, you need to have a place to store everything we will be going over below. Taking the right kind of backpack is important as well. You want something that is laid out in a way that everything has a place to be.

Hiking backpack with plenty of room for all your gear. Bright colors help people find you if lost.

Backpack tips

A bright colored backpack can help you be seen if you are in trouble and people are searching for you. Using a dark colored or camouflage backpack will work if you also use it for hunting but if not, go with a bright color. If you do go dark, make sure to pack a bright (hunter orange) color rag just in case.

You want to get a backpack that has a lot of room but comfortable to carry around all day. Pictured above is a large outdoor hiking backpack that has plenty of room and pockets for everything you may need.

Things to think about when buying a hiking backpack are: will you even hike camp (do you need room for a tent like above)? Does it have room for everything you need? Is it too big (how much can you carry)?


Heading out in unfamiliar land without anything to help you get around is just kinda dumb. How many news reports have you seen about hikers getting lost with search parties being sent out to find them? You cannot depend on having phone service when in the woods or underpopulated areas. It is important to know where you are and how to get back.


Taking a map that has local landmarks is a good idea. You can usually find these at local tourist stations. Make a note of landmarks on the map as you head out so you can look for them if lost on your way back.


Compass to help you read a map if you get lost.

Compasses are not used nearly as much as they should be. Having a compass will help when trying to read a map. Knowing which way is what can help you confirm landmarks in a specific direction. A compass app can be found on most (if not all) smart phones. One thing to remember is that if your phone dies, you will not have a compass. A small pocket compass is cheap and well worth the little space it will take in your backpack.


A real GPS is always a smart idea and can replace your map and compass. You can not rely on your phone GPS, you would want a dedicated device strictly for this. Just make sure it has a personal GPS locator function built into it.

Sun Protection

Even if you plan on hiking in the woods, sun lotion is a smart thing to pack. Have you ever got sun burned on a cloudy day? Being hidden under trees will protect you but if you will be in open areas, you will wish you had it. It is smart to pack a small tube of sun lotion that doesn’t take much room and will not add unneeded weight to your pack.

It is recommended not to use spray lotion for a couple reasons. One, you will be taking arousal into nature. Second, more and more people are having chemical reactions to them. You do not want to be too far out if you have one. This happened to me nephew and it was BAD!

Extra Clothes

You may not think of something like an extra pair of clothes as something you will need, but it is. Weather changes, it could be cool when you leave but become very hot. Or, it could be a nice day and the sun goes down quicker than you thought. Preparing for the weather can ave you from suffering weather changes.

What if you run into the perfect swimming creek or pond? I bet you will be kicking yourself that you didn’t bring an extra pair of your skimmies (bra/undies)!

What if it rains? Do you have a poncho? They are light and easy to pack.

Lastly, pack a pair of work gloves. You can thank me later.

Emergency/Survivor Gear

Starting a fire with flint as part of your emergency survival gear while hiking.

Even if you are going out for a few hours, having some basic survivor gear can save your life. Just a few simple things can be the difference between life and death in case of an emergency. Here is what I carry:

  • Knife (both pocket and larger K-Bar type for cutting wood)
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Flint or small box of waterproof matches
  • Small radio with crank power (for weather if you get stuck)
  • Multi-tool like a Leatherman or Gerber
  • First-aid kit with extra tape that can be used in making a splent
  • Whistle
  • A few MRE’s (meals ready to eat) in case you are stuck overnight or two
  • Water sanitize tablets
  • Small tarp to make shelter if needed
  • Rappelling rope
  • Pistol (if laws allow and you have your CCW) since you never know what you will run into

Water and Protein

Getting water out of a creek to drink using a filtered water bottle or using sanitize tablets.

You will of course take water on your hike, but make sure to take enough to last. You need plenty of water to stay hydrated but water is heavy! A gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds, and that’s a lot of weight to add to your pack.

Using a water bottle that has a built in filter not only make hiking fun by refilling from lakes and streams, it also cuts real pounds from your back. The technology of today is awesome! Here is one from Amazon that gets great reviews.

Besides water, protein is just as important. Staying hydrated and fueled will keep you energetic and keep you feeling good. packing things like jerky, protein bars or a jar of peanut butter will make sure you will have the power throughout the day.


So, above we covered a checklist of things to take on a day hike. You may think of your hike as harmless fun but all you have to do is watch the news to see what type of things that can happen while out. The above may sound like overkill but being prepared is being responsible. Your friends and family want you to come back!

So a quick overview of things you need:

  • good backpack with plenty of room
  • map and compass
  • sun protection
  • extra clothes or at least socks
  • poncho
  • emergency and survival gear including: knife, flashlight, fire starter, radio, multi-tool, whistle, MRE, water tablets, small tarp, rope and firearm (if allowed, have CCW and in a area with predators)
  • water bottle with filter
  • protein snacks like jerky

Stay safe and enjoy Mother Nature!

Review: Ohero Enviro Livewell Fishing Air Pump

Using live shad is my go to bait to catfishing. Over the past year and a half, we have been throwing a net almost weekly down at camp. Towards the end of last year, I made a homemade livewell (I really gotta get those instructions up soon).

This Issue

The one thing about portable livewells is that you will go through multiple batteries over a weekend. On the air pump I got from Walmart, I’m getting about 8-10 hours before needing to change the 2-D batteries. I’m spending $6-$8 or so per weekend keeping the livewell going.

I ran across a small pump that claimed to get up to 50 hours per set of batteries. Even better, I found it on sale for less than $15. It’s called the Ohero Enviro Fish Pump. Today, we are going to review this pump, test it in my livewell and compare it to the one I have been using. The test will include air output and battery longevity.

The Ohero Enviro Livewell Air Pump

I purchased the Ohero Enviro air pump from (can find it here).

The claim

Running off of 2-AA batteries, the manufacture claims that you can get up to 50 hours per set of batteries. They also claim quiet and efficient. They do not mention on output flow so you know how large of a livewell this will work on.

The pump itself

As you can see in the photo above, the pump opens up and doubles as a carry case. Once open, it has a place to wrap the hose and keep the air stone. In the middle to the right is where the batteries go. Above that, you have the motor itself. You notice that is a small motor .

How it works

The Enviro Fish Pump is a water resistant self contained pump. Here is how it works:

When you unpack your pump, unpack and remove it from the outer plastic sleeve. Open the pump (photoed above) and remove the hose and air -stone. Insert your batteries and close the pump up. Next, place the pump back into the plastic sleeve and close up. This will make it more water resistant. Once that is done, connect the air-stone to the hose and the hose to the pump. Your all set, you can then clip the air pump to your bucket or livewell and turn on.

Once you are done with the pump, simply do everything in reverse. Remove the air stone and hose, remove the plastic cover, open the pump and place the parts in their respected sections and close up. You may also want to remove the batteries if you will be storing it. You now have it neatly packed up and ready for storage until your next fishing trip.


The size of the pump is small. In the photo above, you see the size compared to the one I got from Walmart. It is much smaller since it is ran off of 2-AA batteries compared to 2-C batteries on the larger one.

The size makes it good for keeping in your tackle box to be used in a 5 gallon bucket while out.

Testing/Comparison Two Pumps

Noise Comparison/Air Output Video


As you see in the video, the noise compared to the other is much quieter. About half the loudness as the other. This makes since because your dealing with a smaller motor and less battery power.


The Enviro air pump put out less airflow than the other but, I think it is what I need. The more powerful pump is made for larger livewell. It pumps at the same rate or more than a 20 gallon fish tank would take. The Enviro pump should fit my homemade livewell and a 5 gallon bucket just fine.

One issue I was running into with the larger livewell pump was it would turn creek water I had in my livewell very fast. I would need to swap out the water every hour or so. With the Enviro fish pump, it is lasting much longer. It’s not overkill like the larger.

How long it last on a set of batteries

I did a test on to see how long 2-AA batteries lasted in the Enviro. I got about 40 hours out the new batteries. This is over twice as long as the larger using C batteries. It is not the 50 hours as claimed but I will update this review after I run a few sets through it. Time will depend on many things like battery age.

The Bottom line

So here is the bottom line, it depends on what you need. The Enviro fish pump for a livewell is a solid choice for someone that uses a small livewell or bucket to keep live bait. It is not a good choice if you have a large (on-board) boat livewell.

It uses 2-AA batteries, it lasts longer than my other larger pump, the airflow fits what I need and not overkill and it is quiet. You can’t ask for much more if you have a small set-up.