Who says you need reservations before you start planning date night? Believe it or not, the outdoors can be quite romantic. Imagine sitting on an overlook as the sun sets with the nearest city miles and miles away, holding hands with your honey and breathing in the sweet summer air. Now’s the perfect time to reconnect with your SO by getting some quality alone time, sans screen time distractions. But before you embark on your one-of-a-kind summer date night, make sure he’s ready with these 21 hiking essentials.
1. Even if your fella is more of a baseball hat kinda guy, outdoor adventures call for serious sun protection. A BioWorld canvas hat is the perfect option, with mesh sides designed to keep him cool before the temps really start to rise.
2. Sawyer Premium Sunblock with Insect Repellent is your must-have duo. Say buh-bye to sun burns and bug bites — you’re covered.
3. Especially for the boo-boo prone hiker, the Adventure Medical Kit is always a smart addition to your day pack. Have no fear: knee scrapes are no longer a date-breaker.
4. Day hikes are what Pacific Trail cargo shorts were made for. Khakis with multiple pockets means more storage for the things he’ll reach for most – beyond grabbing your hand for a surprise detour.
5. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean he should skimp on the socks. A nice pair of Dickies socks will make sure his tootsies stay blister free while you roam the woods together.
6. For those times he thinks he knows the way, but actually doesn’t, a Brunton Get Back Mini GPS will get you back on track.
7. If you’ve already agreed to ditch the smartphones and hike technology-free, a trail map of surrounding lakes can be your guide. Bonus: jot down your favorite views so you’ll know what to visit again next year.
8. Even though you checked your weather app like a billion times before the hike, the Geckobrands Waterproof Backpack will ensure everything else stays dry. Now watch out for puddles!
9. Don’t let a grumbling tummy slow you down. For those marathon hikes make sure you pack a protein-packed Clif Bar. Because you should never be hangry on date night.
10. A Swiss Army Knife to your guy’s hiking attire is the statement necklace to your girl’s night out. It’s the must-have accessory that pulls it all together.
11. You never know what you’ll want to explore, so bring along the Life Gear 80 Lumen Glow Headlamp. Just watch out for wild life…
12. Sun’s out doesn’t always mean guns out. Make sure his shoulders are protected from the sun and breeze with a classic Field and Stream button down.
13. If your hike winds through open prairies as much as it does wooded forests, you’ll want to make sure you each have a pair of UV-protecting sunnies. Leave the aviators at home, kiddos, you want something that’ll stand up to the elements.
14. Clouds roll in. It’s cold. It’s rainy. Why did you two decide to go hiking again? When the hike takes a turn for the unexpected, the Ultimate Survival Wet Fire Starter will provide a soothing moment of warmth.
15. Make sure you stay hydrated with the handy Sawyer Mini Water Filter. Plan your route along a lake or river for easy water access and you can leave the water weights behind.
16. As much as you love to dance in the rain (cue “Livin La Vida Loca”), he probably wants to stay dry. This packable rain jacket will do the trick.
17. From pants to shorts, in no time flat. A buckle clip belt on the Pacific Trail convertible pants with a zip at the knees will take him from cool mornings to hot afternoons and back.
18. Like any good scout, make sure you’re always prepared with an Ultimate Survival Technologies Base All Weather Tarp.
19. If your honey likes to steal kisses along your route, make sure your lips are covered. Thank you, Blistex. Chapped lips, no more.
20. If fishing isn’t his forte, lean on a Mountain House Freeze-Dried Chili Mac with Beef Pouch for a romantic bonfire-lit dinner for two.
21. This may be the one time your fella gets excited about shoes. A good pair of Lake & Trail Midland hiking boots guarantees a quick getaway when a bear approaches (just kidding—it was only a shadow) or at the least, gives him great traction for those uphill stretches of trail.
This summer, trade candle light for lightning bugs by exploring the great outdoors together. Whether you’re headed across the state or just outside city limits, there’s nothing like packing a bag and hitting the trail to bring the two of you even closer together.