WHAT’S IN YOUR DAY PACK? 2019 edition

The ever-evolving day pack list!

As of December 2019, here is the current description of the day pack I carry on all our winter hiking and snowshoeing adventures….even if I am hiking only for an hour or so on a local trails, the consequences of getting injured can be severe. In winter conditions, the dangers of injury and hypothermia can set in quickly, so I prefer to be well-prepared!

orange pack 1b

My hunter-orange pack…great for visibility on shared use trails. It has lashing straps and gear ties for snowshoes. and side sleeves for poles when not in use.

Contents: This is a pretty standard image of contents, however, it can vary. The extra clothes I carry may vary, the amount of edibles may vary, and  sometimes gear gets shared with my husband and his day pack. A few of the items in my pack have changed since these photos, as described in the narrative below.

orange winter pack collage

  1. First Aid Kit ( for dog and human), dog booties for covering bandages, vet warp, dog wilderness first aid book
  2. OllyDog water bottle (you and dog can use same bottle,without sharing slime!), or H204K9 bottle
  3. Bendable splint, emergency stove and waterproof matches, ace bandages, 7mm line, extra leash
  4. poop bags
  5. Fire kit, RX for me, dog and human treats, eGear emergency kit, with emergency blanket , bivy sack,and other stuff, compass, emergency contact info. I no longer carry a triangular tarp that was carried in event of an emergency dog carry; I now carry a GO PRO FIDO AIRLIFT emergency dog sling. https://www.fidoprotection.com

dog sling

6. (side zip pocket) Ice Picks, candy bar, hand warmers, extra glove liners, multi-tool. I also have a small container of emergency snowshoe/spike repair stuff ( wire, nuts, bolts, tape,flex-ties)

7. (Top outside pocket) Dog fleece booties, paw wax,dog treats

8. (side zip pocket) headlamp with extra batteries, rain/snow hi-viz cover for pack

9. Clipped to accessory loops/lash straps: Whistle, gear-ties,  carabiner,  microspikes,           snowshoes, extra pole basket

I am ready for just about anything, but I have found that the most important item to bring with you on the trails is Common Sense!

November 2017: Dogs are looking forward to winter hiking and snowshoeing!

winter pack 4



Winter 2014-2015 pack,described as below:

pack collage 2015

This view of the pack shows the gear ties and carabiners I use to attach snowshoes to the pack….I usually have my micro-spikes attached to the front strap, even when I am using snowshoes. Terrain and conditions can be very variable!

We have noticed that on many blogs, and social media sites, the authors often ask “what’s in your pack?”, or “What’s in your pocket?”. The respondents then explain , and often show with photos, the answer to those questions. Recently, a facebook dog hiker and paddler asked about the contents of folks’ first aid kits….we answered, and decided we’d open my day pack, and document it’s innards! So here is

Chapter 1–The Winter Day Pack  (winter 2014-15)

This sums up the winter pack; we also carry a cell-phone, use TrailNote notification system, and have a map of our destination. I also carry a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries, especially Nov-January, when it gets dark at 4-5 pm…..Camera is usually with us as well! I have also purchased an inexpensive, bright orange, waterproof pack cover….When it is snowing heavily, the pack and its contents can get very wet (even though you can see that most items are packed in plastic)…the bright color also helps us be seen in low-light situations….really do not want to get hit from behind by a skier, or a snowmachine! I also carry ice-fishing safety spikes ( the kind you wear through your sleeves), for times we may be crossing frozen lakes.


LL Bean day pack, red for visibility; attached is an orange emergency bandana/nose wiper, and a whistle. Dogs are trained to come to the whistle when on the trail, but also for classic emergency use. H204K9 water bottle and my H20 bottle in side pouches.


Tissues, and emergency rations for people and dogs!

Multi-Tool, and RX for me!

Multi-Tool, and RX for me!

Compass, emergency contact information, and wind chill chart ( not that we really want to know!)

Compass, emergency contact information, and wind chill chart ( not that we really want to know!)

Rain fly, folded to about 8in.x 8 in. Great to sit on int eh snow, oor to make an emergency sling/stretcher for the dogs.

Rain fly, folded to about 8in.x 8 in. Great to sit on in the snow, or to make an emergency sling/stretcher for the dogs.


Extra leash for dogs, and 20 feet of 7mm climbing rope

Dog first aid kit ( incl. vet wrap,pliers,superglue, pencil, duct tape,bandages,pantyhose for muzzle,antiseptics)

Dog first aid kit ( incl. vet wrap,pliers,superglue, pencil, tick puller, duct tape,bandages,pantyhose for muzzle,antiseptics,benadryl,peroxide for vomiting) We also carry paw wax and booties, in case the dogs get cold feet. Cordura booties are kept for first aid purposes, in case we have to bandage a paw….


Fire stuff–ever read “To Build a Fire” by Jack London? Swedish fire knife, waterproof matches, and firestarters.


All purpose commercially made emergency kit–with reflectors,glow sticks, some FA materials. It is small and light to carry, and we can put emergency blanket in there as well.

2 thoughts on “WHAT’S IN YOUR DAY PACK? 2019 edition

  1. Good Morning. We met at UNH Paddle event, John and I ( Bob Amiro ) are with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. We talked about first aid kits.Some of my suggestion’s as a lab owner an aluminium warm wrap (space blanket ), dental floss, Tea bag, sugar, Tampon, rolled up news paper ( good for a cast cut in small sections for dog legs) Tick remover, any meds the dog might need if stuck over night, A small tarp for shelter, these are just extra from what you carry in yours. We really enjoyed your two pups
    Robert Amiro

    • Thanks, Bob..the only things I do not carry that you mentioned are tea bag, tampon, and dental floss ( I now have dental floss in my kit!). I also now have an emergency bivy sack, that is nice and small and compact! It was rally enjoyable sharing ideas with you guys..I appreciate all the hard work you do! We met up with the ACA (NY section) canoeing safety guys this past weekend, and learned more from them,too. Hope you have a great summer season!

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