Preparing For a Day Hike in Newfoundland and Labrador

Hiking near the Dungeon Provincial Park in Bonavista 

With over 200 hiking and walking trails scattered across Newfoundland & Labrador, you can be sure to find a footpath that suits your fancy. From an afternoon stroll in and around one of the province’s many community trails, to a brisk day hike over a scenic coastal path, here you’ll be awed by the cultural spirit and rugged beauty of the place that surrounds you.

But before you venture off for the day, there are a few hikers’ tips that you should keep in mind. While a daypack with a camera and a bottle of water may be a no-brainer, items that account for things like changing weather and terrain may not be so obvious. That’s why below we have compiled a list of tips and must-have items to help you when preparing for your day hike in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Dress for the weather (all four seasons)

It’s no secret that the weather in Newfoundland & Labrador can range from mildly surprising to downright unpredictable. That’s one of the reasons why it is recommended to dress in layers while hiking, regardless of the season. A few clothing items that may come in handy include:

  • rain/wind shell
  • insulating fleece
  • extra pair of warm socks
  • long sleeve shirt

In the summer months, a sun-blocking hat is recommended, and in the spring and fall a warm toque and gloves are good items to have on hand. Regardless of the time of year, wear sunscreen, and in the warmer months bug spray may come in handy, especially on backcountry trails.

Wear comfortable shoes

Donning appropriate footwear is one of the most important pieces of advice we can give hikers. Flip flops are essentially non-optional on any hiking or walking trail, so bring a pair of comfortable hiking or walking shoes. Light low-cut shoes are appropriate for community or easy coastal trails. For longer, more strenuous, day hikes, try a pair of mid- or high-cut (waterproof) hiking boots.

Bring a snack or lunch

If you are venturing out for the day, you’ll want to stay fuelled and energized during your hike. Be sure to pack some energy food, such as bars or trail mix, and a lunch for longer day hikes. Some tourism operators offer hikers’ lunches, so be sure to ask around.

Pack it in, pack it out

Many people visit Newfoundland & Labrador to connect with the unspoiled wilderness and nature. So please remember to take your trash with you, to help keep our unspoiled natural surroundings, well, unspoiled.

Safety first

Safety should always be the number one priority for any hiker. Before you go, familiarize yourself with the difficulty level and distance of the trail. You should also check the weather before you leave and allow yourself enough time for hiking and stopping for pictures and snacks. Ensure that you know the trail heads and arrange for rides in between if necessary. For longer day hikes, a basic first aid kit is recommended with some basic care items as well as any necessary tools and supplies.

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