What’s In Your Daypack?

Photo credit: Gideon Haden ChomphosyThe nature of your adventure dictates what you need to carry with you. An overnight backpacking trip requires a shelter. A day of rock climbing require rock climbing shoes. A float trip requires paddles and dry bags…. you get the idea. There are certain items that should find their way into your daypack regardless of your pursuit, though. Here’s what we always pack in our daypack.

Sun screen

Keep your skin safe. Ultraviolet radiation can damage your skin and cause skin cancer. Remember that UV radiation can harm your skin even on a cloudy day.

Lip balm

The sun can chap your lips, the wind can chap your lips, and dry, arid climates can chap your lips. Lip balm can save the day!

Extra food bar (or two)

Toss one or two extra Epic bars or Clif bars into your daypack. You could get lost, have a mid-day energy crash, or meet a hungry traveler. It’s always a good idea to have extra food just in case.


A knife can save your life. Pack a pocket knife from Benchmade, or a fixed blade knife from ESEE.

Basic first aid kit

Adventure Medical Kits makes first aid kits based on the number of people in your party and the duration of your trip. This allows you to carry what you need without packing unnecessary items.

Extra insulation

A cold front could move in, you could get caught in the dark, or you might just need a dry layer to put on. A synthetic base layer from Polarmax can provide extra warmth without taking up too much space.


A headlamp can literally be a lifesaver if sunset sneaks up on you. The Petzl Tikka Plus packs 160 lumens bright enough to get you off the trail after dark.

Stormproof matches

In an emergency situation a fire can provide warmth, protection, light, and a means to cook food if necessary. Waterproof matches are an easy way to ensure that you always have the means to make a fire.


You can’t always carry all the water you’re going to need. A LifeStraw is a nice way to make sure that you always have safe drinking water.

Goal Zero Flip charger

These days, a phone is more a more common means of navigation than a map or a compass. Keep your phone juiced with this portable phone charger.

SealLine Waterproof E-Case

These cases come in a variety of sizes and provide fully submersible protection in the event of a sudden storm or an unintentionally dip in the river.


We carry all of these items and more here at Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters. We also carry a great selection of hiking backpacks and day packs from brands like Osprey, Deuter, Kelty and more. Stop by the store the next time you’re in Fayetteville, Arkansas!

Comment below and tell us what you always pack on a day hike!

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