National Take a Hike day is observed annually on November 17.  With over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there is no lack of opportunity to take hike.

Events around the country are scheduled today to celebrate Take a Hike Day.  Hiking can burn between 400-550 calories per hour.  What better way to get a head start on all those ‘other’ holiday temptations and observe Take a Hike Day?  Be sure to wear good shoes, take a snack and bring a buddy, but get out there and enjoy the fresh air, scenery and get a little exercise to boot!


Take a nice hike and use #NationalTakeAHikeDay to post on social media.


Within our research we were unable to find a creator for National Take a Hike Day.

What to pack for a hike: 10 essential items

1. Hydration

It’s easy to become dehydrated during a hike, especially if you’re hiking in warm weather, so bring plenty of water. You can also pack a water filter or purifying tablets if you’ll be near a water source.

2. Nutrition

Hiking requires a lot of energy, so you’ll burn calories quickly and will need to refuel. You’ll have to carry your food, so pack nourishing, lightweight snacks like granola bars, trail mix, nuts or dried fruit.

3. First-aid kit

Bring along a small first-aid kit even on short hikes. At a minimum, the kit should contain bandages, antiseptic, tape and painkillers like aspirin.

4. Navigation

Bring along a detailed map and a compass to help you navigate, and keep your map in a sealable plastic bag to protect it from the rain. Before you head out on your adventure, make sure you know how to use the map and compass.

5. Sun protection

It’s easy to burn even on cloudy days, so apply sunscreen before you head outdoors and bring some with you. Also, sunglasses are important, especially if you’re hiking in snow or above the treeline.


A note on spray sunscreens: The FDA has requested additional data to establish effectiveness and to determine whether spray sunscreens present a safety concern. According to Consumer Reports, the particular concern is the possibility that people might accidentally inhale the ingredients, a risk that’s greatest in children. The group recommends not using sprays on children, unless no other product is available.

How to apply

  • Apply sunscreen around 30 minutes before being in the sun for best absorption by the skin; it will be less likely to wash off when you perspire.
  • Shake well before use to mix particles that might not be mixed well in the container.
  • Make sure to apply an ample amount. Basically, use one ounce (equal to about a handful) to cover your entire body. Apply thickly and thoroughly.
  • Use on all parts of your skin exposed to the sun, including the ears, back, shoulders, and the back of the knees and legs. Don’t forget beneath straps!
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours — and more if you’re sweating or getting in and out of the water.
  • Try a sunscreen with different chemicals if your skin reacts badly to one that you are using.
  • Use a water-based sunscreen if you have oily skin or are prone to acne.
  • Some sunscreen ingredients can degrade over time, so check the expiration date.

6. Insulation

Weather can change quickly, especially if you’re hiking in the mountains, so dress appropriately and bring rain gear and items you can add for warmth.

7. Illumination

It gets dark in the woods, so pack a light source like a flashlight or a headlamp, as well as some extra batteries.

people sitting by campfire8. Fire starter

You may not expect to build a fire, but bring along waterproof matches just in case. If you’re hiking in a rain-prone area, pack a chemical fire starter or even some dryer lint to use in case you can only find wet kindling.

check out the DIY fire starters tutorials at the bottom of the page


F-Bomb Firestarter by Shift Studios @ Etsy($2/each)



Qwicklite @ KIOSK ($12/5 oz bag)



9. Pocketknife or multiuse tool

These simple tools can be used for everything from cutting bandages to repairing gear, so pack one just in case.

10. Backpack

You’ll need something to carry all these supplies. Look for a waterproof pack with a hip belt to help support the pack’s weight. It’s important to find a pack that fits you well and can hold all your supplies, so do your research or visit an outdoors store where employees can help you get properly fitted.