Day hiking is an outdoor activity where individuals or groups walk on trails during the day without setting up camp for overnight stays. Hikers are able to access more trails and parks by walking during the day rather than planning multi-day trips in one park or area. This approach to hiking is favored by casual hikers as well as outdoor enthusiasts who might be concerned about trail safety. An important issue in day hiking is the excessive heat and glare from the sun. Day hikers can pack lightly for their excursions by eliminating sleeping bags, tents, and flashlights.
Local, regional, and national parks sometimes offer limited access to hiking trails. These limits include no nighttime or weekend hours where hikers might be endangered on the trail. A park might also schedule trail maintenance and repair during off-season weekend hours. Day hiking allows an individual to walk miles through a park generally without limitations. Outdoor lovers can travel to several parks within a region to conduct day hikes instead of focusing on a single park.
Campers and hikers can encounter myriad dangers when walking outdoor trails. These dangers include flooded passes, broken bridges, and falling trees. Hikers passing through unknown terrain might be unfamiliar with insects, spiders, and animals along trails. Day hiking has gained popularity among travelers who want to stay safe while observing nature. This type of hiking also allows an outdoor enthusiast to view forests, canyons, and mountains along a trail.
The biggest concerns that emerge during day hiking may include sun burn, eye damage, and dehydration. Hikers can eliminate a majority of sunburn by wearing lightweight sweatshirts and long-sleeved shirts as well as pants that cover oft-burned areas. Another way to avoid sunburn while day hiking is to apply sunblock regularly throughout the walk. Sun glasses and a brimmed hat can keep a hiker from confronting glare and sunlight during a daytime excursion. Dehydration created during a day hike can be eliminated with regular breaks for drinks from a water bottle or water pack.
The packing list for day hiking can be relatively short depending on the length of walk and weather. Hikers need to include a first-aid kit and insect repellent necessary to avoid basic health problems. A rain jacket, umbrella, and an extra pair of clothes are helpful in case of a sudden downpour. Day hikers might also need matches, dining utensils, and food to prepare lunch on the trail. Travelers far from home can include cell or satellite phones in their backpacks in case of emergencies on the trail.