REI Sales Manager Adam

Day Hiking Checklist with REI and Columbia

Have you ever gone day hiking? Been on any sort of expedition? Well, I will be embarking on my first of this type next week, but thanks to REI and Columbia, I am confident I have all I need!

Day Hiking Checklist REI

REI and Columbia

Imagine having a personal shopper with all the knowledge you need to get through a day hike or two. When I went to REI recently, this is just what I had. Colby and I walked around every part of the REI store learning and exploring the world of outdoors. Adam, the incredible Sales Manager that assisted us, knew everything we needed to know about the trip and was ready to show us around. With his wisdom and expertise, he gave us his recommendations based on our itinerary and then it was all up to me.

REI and Columbia hiking gear

Columbia was nice enough to send several items for me to pick up at REI as well. I tried on every piece to make sure each item I chose was exactly the fit I would need while hiking, biking or climbing. Adam was diligent in sharing about the materials and products found in the REI world. All very interesting and enlightening. Colby and I both walked away with a wealth of information we were completely aware of before. Could not have asked for better customer service as we shopped the store.

REI Sales Manager Adam

After trying on everything, it was time to sort through and determine which pieces would best fit the needs of the #ALEx14 expedition. Did I mention how amazing Adam was yet? Seriously, Y’all. Friendly, helpful and knew exactly what he was talking about. He even laid out each outfit according to my itinerary so I could take pictures to remember. Plus, he showed me how to pack my suitcase and backpack for maximum space. Not to mention, he read my blog prior to my visit to find out more about me to help in the process. Told ya… incredible! Plus, before leaving he gave me his card in case I needed to ask him questions or needed a refresher in packing. Ha!

REI fitting room

Day Hiking Checklist

Speaking of packing, REI and Columbia both made sure I had all the clothing I needed for this fabulous expedition. In fact, here is my Day Packing Checklist to help you on your next hike:

Hiking gear

Field Gear

  • Backpack… with inner hydration pocket REI has backpacks made for both men and women. I LOVE that the Traverse 30 Pack I bought comes with an emergency whistle as well.
  • Reservoir – The CamelBak Antidote reservoir will easily slip into my backpack and offer hands-free hydration on the expedition.
  • Minimalist Daypack – The Flash 18 Pack I got offers a drawstring closure, inner zip pockets for valuables or keys, a tool loop, and removable sternum strap and waistbelt. Perfect to roll up and fit into another bag for travel days.
  • Trekking Poles – REI Carbon Power Lock Women’s Trekking Poles have EVA foam grips that are contoured to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand. They are light to carry and help with stability on soft terrain.
  • Gloves – Keep your fingers warm while you’re hiking. Plus, with the REI Tech-Compatible Liner Gloves, you can still use your smartphone’s touchscreen. I also grabbed a pair of biking gloves for our ride through the park.

Columbia outerwear


  • Rain Pants – REI Chinuka Rain Pants have an advanced waterproof/breathable REI Elements® shell to keep the rain out. Plus, they are made to easily slip over boots and other clothes.
  • Rain Jacket – Columbia sent the Arcadia™ II Jacket which is built to shield you from the rain and snow to keep you nice and dry on the hike.
  • Jacket – When it’s not raining, you will still need to stay warm. The Mighty Lite™ III Jacket from Columbia is one of my favorite pieces. The heat thermal reflective lining and insulation kept me warm the moment I slipped it on. It will be perfect for those cold nights!
  • Sun Hat with Brim – Columbia’s Goddess™ II Booney hat will be ideal for keeping the sun off my face and neck, and out of my eyes.

lightweight hiking shirts


  • Wicking Top and Bottom – The REI Midweight Long Underwear Tights and Shirt work as a base layer to keep you warm on cold nights… and days.
  • Hiking Pants – I went with both the Mistral Pants and Northway Convertible Pants. The Mistral pants are ideal for every day activities while hiking. The convertible pants are perfect for days when you  may be hiking with changing temperatures. Just unzip and you have capris/shorts. Columbia also sent a great pair of Anytime Outdoor™ Boot Cut Pants for more layering options.
  • Hiking Shorts – In this case, Columbia sent the cutest pair of skorts. The Armadale II Skort is a fun way to add a little femininity to the outdoors!
  • Biking Shorts – Okay, I did not understand the need for BIKING shorts until I tried them on. Now I get it. If you are going to be biking for any distance, these are a must. The Novara Mia Gel Double Bike Shorts have a gel-padded chamois that absorbs shock to keep you comfy on your ride.
  • T-Shirts – Remember your elements. No cotton. And you will want to layer. The REI Fleet Shirt perfectly fits the requirements and is comfortable and lightweight.
  • Long Sleeve Shirt – The Layer First™ Half Zip Knit Shirt from Columbia provides protection from the sun and elements. Additionally, it is made from wicking fabric to absorb any moisture.
  • Underwear – Back to the no cotton! The Patagonia Active Mesh Boy Shorts are excellent since they are made from moisture-wicking fabric. Plus, Adam said you can wash and dry them in your sink if needed. Cool!
  • Hoodie – Okay, this may just be on my list, but I need a hoodie. I may have picked up two. The REI Sports Hoodie and Wilds Hoodie will both be part of my layers this expedition.
  • Wool Socks – The fabric is breathable and stretches for durability. Not to mention, the they are comfortable and help regulate temperature and odor.

wool socks


  • Water-friendly shoes – Columbia sent the Powervent shoes which are quick-drying and ventilated to keep you cool and dry. They fit wonderfully.
  • Hiking shoes – The Conspiracy Razor Leather shoes, also from Columbia, are extremely flexible and full of support for multi-activity days.

wicking underwear

Other Gear

  • Bug Spray
  • Antiseptic
  • Flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Lip Balm
  • Snacks

Whew. And I am sure that is not extensive. I know there are more items I am surely missing. The list will also change depending on the type of expedition you are taking. Temperature, terrain and other variables will grow or shorten your checklist.

What is a must-have on your day hiking checklist?

A HUGE thank you to both REI and Columbia for sponsoring the items I needed for the #ALEx14 Expedition. Be sure to follow the hashtag to see the items put to use!