Do i need a backpack for a short hike?

Do i need a backpack for a short hike
by svetlanasokolova

Now that people are more into traveling and outdoors, short hikes are in the game, and not only that but also one of the most done outdoor activities nowadays around the world. When I started hiking I used to go on short hikes every weekend with my dad. The best thing about short hikes is that you don’t need a lot of gear, money, and expertise to conquer them, it is very easy and mostly safe for beginner hikers. Further, short hikes are differentiated based on length, sometimes short hikes are too short(less than a mile from the initial point) while others are a little bit longer. Besides that, I have seen a lot of beginner or hobby hikers who are confused about what they need to carry on a short hike. Recently, my friend who is new to this, asked me do I need a backpack for a short hike?

Well, he lives in the USA and he wants to adopt hiking as his outdoor activity for his health and mind. This rings the bell in my head and I thought there may be so many people who don’t know the answer to this question. Well, if you are one then don’t worry, today I will make this confusion clear ones and all. 

Do i need a backpack for a short hike? 

Well, it depends on the length and the time of the hike. If the hike is merely less than a mile then there is no need to give pain to your shoulders by carrying a backpack. Then you just need bottled water and hiking boots.

Besides that, if the hike is longer than a mile or the difficulty level is high in that you need some extra gear with you and to store that you need to carry a backpack. On the other hand, if a short hike is a day hike then you will need a backpack to store the essentials for your hike.

For a short hike you don’t need a big bag packed, choose a nice backpack between 15Liter to 25 liters and you are good to go. 

Is hiking backpack necessary for short hikes? 

Well, as discussed above it depends. But it’s your choice if you want to carry a backpack with your not. But some short hikes are difficult and you still need some gear with you, and for that, you need a backpack.

Moreover, sometimes the short hike consumes a lot of energy, especially if it is inclined. So, you need food, water to get you energized.

I would suggest you carry a backpack because it gives you safety from losing anything. There is a higher chance of losing something unconsciously on the trail when you carry it in your hands like a phone or sunglasses. So to be on the safe side, it’s best to carry a backpack.

Best daypack hiking bags for short hikes 

There are lots of high-quality daypack backpacks in the market that you can try. If you already have a day backpack then there is no need to buy any.

But, if you don’t have any backpack and need a high-quality backpack for short hikes that can last you years then this list is for you. These are my picks but if you have any better options in your mind then go with that. 

For short hikes you need a small backpack and backpack that is light and can last you long because short hikes are done most often and because of that these backpacks are used most. 

Osprey Talon 22L

One of the best backpacks for short hikes that I recommend to you if you love short hikes. This company makes a lot of high-quality backpacks but this is one of the best that is great for short hikes. 

The best thing about Osprey talon

Multiple exterior pouches

While this is a small bag still you get a lot of space for your small items on the exterior side of the bag. This is best as you don’t need to put down the bag again and again while you are hiking. 

pouches on the side

Pouches on the side help you to put a water bottle and extra items. You can easily put a 1 litre bottle at the side and it will stay in position regardless of uneven movements. 

Pouches on the straps

It has pouches on the shoulder straps of the bag where you can store glasses or things you need frequently. 

Pouches on the waist straps

It also has pouches on the waist straps where you can store small items like bandages, moisturizers, or sunscreen. 

Shoulder straps

Shoulder straps are one of the main highlights of the bag.  These are wide adjustable straps to prevent any ache in the shoulders. 

Shoulder straps also have an extra feature which is a whistle attached to it. Now, I don’t know what it is for. But you put it to good use. I use it when I hike with my dog. 

Strap at the bottom

Unlike regular daypack backpacks, it has straps at the bottom. This will reduce the pressure on your shoulders and also keep the backpack attached to your body and the bag will not strike on your back when you move. 

Compress straps at the bottom to hold the gear and prevent it from moving. Though it does not have compression straps at the top which is a mini-feature this bag is lacking. 


It also has an extra attachment in the front of the bag. You can attach anything to it rope, helmet, or other gears. 

Extra exterior space for water

The best thing is it has an extra pouch or space at the top of the bag for water. Yes, you can store extra water here and there is no need to open your backpack again and again. 

Salmon XA 15

Salmon is a small daypack backpack for short hikes. The bag is entirely made of polyamide except the back and lining which is made of polyester. This is an amazing light bag for short hikes. 

Best things about salmon XA 15

Multiple front pouches or pockets

This bag is designed with a customer mindset. It has easy access to front pockets on the straps of the bag. These pockets are expandable and you can out any gear here or snacks to eat during your hike. 

Shoulder straps

As discussed above the shoulder straps of the bag are too comfortable as they are made of 3D air mesh. This design helps the air to flow through the straps, isn’t it a great piece of design? 

Super light

This bag is super light and makes your trip easy and less tiring. It weighs less than a pound. With that, you also get a lot of design. 

But unlike the osprey talon, it doesn’t have an attachment in the front. But after all, it’s not a necessity in a short hike. 

Osprey escapist 18 L

The light version of osprey talon 22, is also one of the best short hikes backpacks that will survey you well. 

The best thing about 18 L osprey talon

Rain cover

Yes, it has its rain cover which is the best thing, especially when you are hiking the trail where weather is unpredictable. This also ensures you don’t have to stop your hike during a mild rain. 

Hydration bladder

Yes, it has a hydration bladder in it. 

Big pocket in front

It has a big pocket in the front which is expandable. You can put any gear in that for quick purposes. 

Along with that it also has a very fine back cover which is breathable and doesn’t make your back wet. 

What should I pack for a short hike in a backpack? 

Water bottle

The water bottle is the obvious thing you need to carry with you on short hikes. 


If your hike is a little bit longer or the time to complete it takes time then it’s always best to take snacks with yourself on your trip


This is very important mainly in summer, you don’t need any burn your skin, so carrying sunscreen is always a good idea. 

Extra items


This is basically for the situation if you are climbing. 

Beer spray 

Always carry animal spray with you to avoid any difficult situation on the trail. Don’t take this lightly, you never know so always be on the safe side. 

Chilli spray

This is very important as it is very rare but thieves are everywhere and there are times when people get robbed while hiking. There is no chance that you can fight all of them, so carry a chili spray with you.