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Must-Haves for a Fall Family Hike

by Angelique Platas

Oct 11, 2017

Alena Ozerova | Dreamstime


Safety is paramount on a hike — even a quick trek outside with the family. Packing a small bag with practical must-have items on the trail that can double as safety features is a great way to pack light, smart and have peace of mind once out and about.


Stay Hydrated

You will need to pack a few water bottles for your hike, so make sure one of them is a LifeSaver. The all-in-one LifeSaver bottle purifies contaminated water from lakes, streams and even puddles. Without using added chemicals or water-purifying kit tools the newest LifeSaver bottle, Legend, boasts safety features including an automatic Failsafe alert prompting users to replace the cartridge, strong outer shell, durable carry and is BPA- and BPS-free. One unique aspect of the water-purifying bottle is it doesn’t require any measuring or wait time while filtering out bacteria, viruses and parasites. Prices range from $90–125 per bottle, depending on the size.

sister gives brother first-aid kit on hike

Photo: Robertprzybysz | Dreamstime


Stay Safe

First-aid kits are a must on any hiking trip. From minor cuts and bruises to more dramatic accidents, having a go-to pack filled with medicine, bandages and gauze can be a handy tool. Check out REI’s full list of suggested packs, or mix and match your own custom kit specific to your families’ needs.


Be Prepared

Having a flashlight with backup batteries and enough food and snacks for the day (and then some) is an easy way to have the essentials without adding too much to your pack. Be sure to have a few handy tools for just-in-case situations like an all-purpose kit or a Swiss Army knife. Newer models have a lighter, flashlight and tire pressure gauge, which can come in handy for a variety of circumstances.


Stay Dry

Having gear for all weather possibilities can help save you and your family from an impromptu downpour or change of weather. Pack portable ponchos, hand warmers for cold weather, clean socks and any other light and quick items you can change into in surprise conditions. With a few well-packed small towels, you can quickly dry off weather-proof gear after rainfall and carry on with your hike. Check out Eastern Mountain Sport’s list of tents and shelters to quickly assemble and retreat from the weather.


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