Sample Day Hike Plan

Trail map showing campsites, pit stops, supply points, and possible bailouts for each day of a hike.

Whenever venturing out into the wilderness, I have a plan.  My plan details the “who, what, where, why, when, and how” of my trip.  I always leave my plan with a responsible friend at home, with instructions on what to do if I don’t return. Putting together a trekking plan is an important part of any trip into the wilderness, no matter the length.

When planning a trip for others, I try to put extra details into the plan and distribute it to the group as early as I can. This helps the participants prepare themselves physically and mentally for the activity ahead. It is important for every member of a group to consider whether the trip is right for them, and to have their own basic personal supplies. It is important for a group to have appropriate group supplies.

Below is a sample day hike plan that I have put together for an upcoming Boy Scout Hike.

Sample Day Hike Plan

Trip Organizer: Jason Taormina


Depart Time/Date:

Return Time/Date:

Route Description, maps, and elevation profiles:


We intend to hike from the Mohican Center to the Delaware Water Gap.  We will hike along the Appalachian Trail.


Length: 10.3 Miles

Elevation Gain North to South: 1,215 (118/mile)

Ground Conditions: Rocky, Rooty, Ice/Snow Possible

Historic Extreme High: 87 F

Average High Temp for March: 44 F

Average Low Temp for March: 24 F

Historic Extreme Low: -3 F

Sunrise: 7:03 AM

Sunset: 7:12 PM

Plan of Day:

6:15 AM – Meet at Scout Building

6:30 AM – Depart Scout Building

8:00 AM – Arrive at Delaware Water Gap, Drop off 1 car

8:45 AM – Arrive at Mohican Outdoor Center

9:00 AM – Begin Hike

Expected hiking speed will be 2 MPH for a total of 5 hours of hiking.  Allowing for many short breaks and a period for lunch, total time on trail should be 7 hours.

4:00 PM – Finish Hike at DWG

4:15 PM – Adults go back to Mohican Center for Cars

5:30 PM – Adults return from Mohican Center with Cars

6:00 PM – Pizza for dinner nearby

7:00 PM – Return to Rochelle Park

8:30 PM – Arrive at Scout Building


  • Wool Socks
  • Hiking pants – No Sweat Pants. Preferably No Jeans.
  • Synthetic Underwear
  • Long Sleeve Base Layer Shirt – like Underarmor
  • 1 or 2 layers of fleece or wool midlayers
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Thin wool or fleece gloves
  • hat with sun visor
  • pullover fleece or wool hat
  • Sturdy hiking boots


Personal Supplies

o   Pair of Extra Wool Socks

o   1 extra midlayer

o   Heavier gloves or mittens

o   Flashlight

o   Pocketknife or multi-tool

o   Snacks: 1/4 gallon ziplock bag of trail mix, apples, granola bars…

o   Lunch: Sandwich, pepperoni, dried sausage, cheese, carrots, celery sticks

o   2 Liters of water

o   Poncho

o   Sunglasses + Sunscreen

o   4 x plastic grocery bags

o   8 feet of light rope

o   Toilet Paper

o   Whistle or bell

Group Supplies

o   Map

o   Compass

o   First Aid Kit

o   Fire Starting Kit

o   Repair Kit

o   Trowel

o   8×10 lightweight tarp

o   Water Filtration Kit 


This will be a long hike with limited opportunities for bailout. The hike will begin steeply uphill and then continue uphil graduatlly for 4 miles before leveling off and eventually beginning a long descent.  Only boys whoare in good physical condition and have previously completed a 5+ mile hike should consider this hike.  Improper physical or mental preparation could lead to injury or illness while hiking.


  • Begin physical preparation now: At least three times per week, walk a mile and do some combination of squats, push ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks.
  • Gear Inspection: all boy should present their gear at the troop meeting before the hike.
  • Sleep: each participant should aim for 8-9 hours of sleep for 5 nights before the hike
  • The body is 80% water and this level must be maintained.  Water is essential for maintaining healthy body functions  All participants should begin pre-hydrating 3 days before the hike. pre-hydrating consists of 3 to 4 quarts of water per day.
  • All participants should clip their toenails and wash their feet with rubbing alcohol the night before the hike
  • Breakfast: Each participant should rise early and eat a healthy breakfast consisting of protein and vegetables the day of the hike
View from the Appalachian Trail along the Ridge in Worthington State Forest.
View from the Appalachian Trail along the Ridge in Worthington State Forest.

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