Are planning on hiking tomorrow, but have nothing prepared? This probably got you wondering how to prepare for a hike the night before?
Don’t worry, I have got you covered. It is never too late to get ready.
This blog post will help you prepare the night before so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to hike in the morning.
You will learn some great tips for how to prepare your pack, what to eat beforehand, and even what you should drink the night before going on a hike!
What Should You Eat The Night Before Your Hike?
If you are planning on eating before your hike, you should keep in mind that the food choices will be limited because of the environment.
You definitely want to avoid any foods with high sugar content as it can cause an energy surge and then a crash later on, which is not good for hiking. You also want to stay away from high fat or fried foods, as they can make you feel sluggish and tired.
If possible, eat a meal that is high in protein such as eggs with toast and fruit because it will help keep your energy steady throughout the hike. This combination also provides enough carbohydrates to give you energy but not so much sugar for an unnecessary surge of adrenaline while hiking.
Ideal Foods to Eat:
- Complex Carbs such as Oats, Sweet Potato and Pastas
Foods To Avoid:
- Fried Foods
- Super Sugary Foods
What To Drink The Night Before Your Hike?
You should be well hydrated before heading for your hike. But, you want to make sure you don’t consume anything caffeine like tea or coffee because you want to get the highest quality sleep possible.
In the future, I suggest you have magnesium to improve sleep quality.
Remember not to drink too much during the night though since this could disrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the washroom.
If you do not like drinking plain water, try adding in some fruit to sweeten the taste for yourself.
Also, you should avoid drinking alcohol before bed because it can disrupt your sleep and cause you to feel groggy.
Drinks You Can Drink:
- Fruit Juice
Drinks to Avoid:
Things To Pack In Your Backpack For A Hike The Night Before
There are a few items you should pack in your backpack the night before to ensure that you do not forget anything important.
First of all, make sure that you have packed everything into your bag and then tried it on so that there is no confusion when morning comes around.
Some essential things to remember include:
1. First Aid Kit
You never know what might happen on the hike so it is important to be prepared.
It would be a good idea to have everything you need in one spot for convenience.
Some things that are useful include:
- Band-Aids or Moleskin if you tend to get blisters easily
- Tweezers and Nail Clippers to remove stingers
- Alcohol swabs to disinfect any scratches you might get from branches and twigs
- Roll of Gauze in case there is a large cut that needs stitches or if someone else gets injured
- Painkillers such as Ibuprofen for headaches caused by dehydration or pain that comes with physical activity.
Also include some hand sanitizer and wipes in case you need to wash your hands.
If there is a possibility of encountering an animal, it may be wise for you to have some type of bear spray or mace just in case.
Also, keep these items handy so that they are easily accessible if needed quickly while on the hike.
I personally have this first aid kit I carry every time I go out hiking.
2. Protection Against The Sun
It is important that you have some sort of type of protection against the sun.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Sunscreen – The higher SPF, the better so it can protect your skin from being burned and also shield yourself from getting too much UV rays.
- Insect Repellant – You should definitely have some type of protection against mosquitos or bugs since they can carry diseases.
- Hat – It is also wise for some people to bring a hat in case there is no tree cover where you are hiking.
- Sunglasses – The sun can be harsh on your eyes so you should have some eye protection.
This is especially useful if you know that there will be a lot of direct sunlight.
3. Navigation Tools
It is very helpful to have some navigation tools with you in case something goes wrong.
Some basic things that are useful include:
- Compass – A compass can help guide you when you get lost so it may be smart to bring one just in case if your phone dies or the battery runs out.
- GPS Device – If you have a GPS device, this can be helpful if your phone dies or the battery runs out.
- GPS App – With a GPS app, you can use your phone’s internal GPS to navigate back home or at least find the closest town.
- Maps – If you have a map of the area where you are hiking, it may be useful in case there is no service on your phone so that way you know what paths will lead back to safety.
Make sure that you have a few options to navigate back home or at least find other people in case your phone dies.
4. Headlight Or Flashlight
It is important to have some sort of light source since it can get dark very quickly.
Some suggestions include:
- Headlight – A headlamp is useful because you may need your hands free for certain activities on the hike so this way you can wear a headlight and still use your hands freely.
- Flashlight – It is also smart to have a flashlight if you may need your hands free for certain activities on the hike.
You don’t need both, I personally just use this tactical flashlight which is pretty bright.
5. Extra Pair Of Clothing
It may be smart to bring an extra pair of clothing on the hike.
Some examples include:
- Extra shirt – You never know what might happen so you will want to have something else in case your first shirt gets wet or dirty.
- Jacket – It can get cold especially at night, so it is good practice to bring a jacket just in case.
- Extra pair of socks – If you are doing a long hike, it is smart to have an extra pair of socks so that way your feet can stay dry and clean for longer periods of time.
I personally recommend getting some quality hiking socks as they are not just moisture-wicking, they actually protect your toes too!
6. Fire Starter Kit
It is wise to have a fire starter kit with you in case things get cold.
Some helpful items include:
- Lighter – A lighter can be useful for lighting up small fires and starting larger ones especially if there are dry twigs around you.
- Matches – Matches may be an easier way to start a fire since they are smaller and easier for you to hold onto.
I personally use this Optic Fire Starter Kit which is much better than a lighter or a match stick. However, you can opt for any one of these 3.
You should always prepare some food in case you get hungry along the way or if you are temporarily lost for some time.
Few good food items include:
Check out this guide I made on Best Day Hike Lunch Ideas to see more foods that might interest you!
It is important to bring enough water with you on the hike. You don’t want to be dehydrated on a hike because it can be fatal sometimes.
Some examples are:
- Water Bottle – A water bottle can be helpful if there isn’t any fresh running water around where you are hiking.
- Lemonade or Fruit Juice – Sometimes when you are hiking, the best way to stay hydrated is by bringing some lemonade or fruit juice with you.
- Water Filter – If there isn’t any freshwater around where you are hiking, it may be smart to bring a water filter so that way you can purify lake or stream waters.
9. Shelter / Tent / Bivy Sack
If you are planning on hiking far out, it may be smart to prepare a shelter in case the weather gets bad.
Some good choices include:
- Sleeping Bag – A sleeping bag can keep you warm when there is no fire around or if teepeeing so that way your body heat doesn’t escape too quickly.
- Tarp – If you are hiking far away, it may be smart to bring a tarp so that way you can use it as an extra shelter.
- Bivy Sack – A bivy sack is small and easy to carry but can provide enough shelter for one person if needed.
This is only for if you’re going far out hiking although I believe it’s better to be safe than sorry.
A knife can be useful in case you need to cut something like a branch or start a fire.
Some examples include:
- Pocket Knife – A pocket knife is small and easy to carry around so it will not weigh you down too much.
- Multi-tool – If your hike includes needing to use tools, then maybe getting one of these multi-tools can be helpful.
- Swiss Army Knife – A Swiss Army Knife is definitely the most useful knife you could bring along on a hike because it has so many tools in one.
11. Extra Insoles
I personally like to have an extra pair of insoles and I even wear them in my hiking shoes in order to protect my toes and feet while hiking.
This one is more option but, I highly recommend you try out SoulInsole since they are one of the best insoles you can get out there AND it’s a great tool to avoid pain and injury in your toes and feet!
I actually made a guide on how to protect your toes while hiking downhill here!
12. Hygiene Products
Having hygiene products with you is important in case something happens during your hike.
They are definitely not the most important things to have but it’s smart to bring them just in case they can be helpful!
Some examples of hygiene items include:
- Toilet Paper – Toilet paper might be one of the more useful tools when hiking because it can be used to wipe your butt or face in case you need it.
- Tissue Paper – Tissue paper is good for when there isn’t any toilet paper around where you are hiking. It’s also helpful if your nose gets runny while out on the trail!
13. Quality Backpack
In order to carry all these, I highly recommend a quality backpack that is specifically designed for outdoor hiking and camping.
This is the one I personally use, it’s called the Assault pack.
4 Tips On Preparing For A Hike The Night Before
Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for a hike the night before:
1. Check the Weather
Check the weather to make sure it won’t rain during your hike.
This is definitely the most important thing to do because if it rains, then you are going to have a bad time.
It’s also good to check out what type of clothing will be best for your hike too!
If it gets cold out later on the day, you want to be prepared for this by packing extra clothing in case it gets cold.
2. Lay Out Your Clothes
Layout everything that you’ll be bringing with you on your hike the night before.
Also having all of this laid out can help prevent time wastage during the morning and you’ll be less likely to forget anything!
That way, when it’s time for your hike in the morning, everything will already be laid out and ready.
All I usually do is lay all of my clothes on a chair or on top of my bed so that way they are easily accessible before I go to sleep.
3. Pack a Healthy Snack
Pack a healthy snack that you can eat before your hike in case there isn’t anything around.
This is important because, if you don’t have any food with you and it’s going to be a while until the next time you get something to eat…you might as well go hungry!
4. Get a Good Nights Sleep
Get a good nights sleep so that you’re well-rested and ready for your hike the next morning.
This is important because if you don’t get a good night’s rest, then this might affect your mood or even how energetic you are to start off with!
I know from experience how much sleep can make a difference when going out hiking.
I sometimes don’t get the best night’s sleep, and it really shows when I’m hiking.
It feels like all of my energy is just drained out on me! So make sure you’re well-rested before going to bed for your hike.
So these are the main things to keep in mind the day before going on a hike.
I hope you enjoyed my article and that it was helpful!
Let’s see if we can help everyone prepare for their next hiking trip! (Share it if you can!)
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Hey, I am the founder of Outside Origin! I love hiking in my spare time and have gone to various different hikes. You can check out our about us section to learn more about what our team and I do over at Outside Origin.