What To Wear
Layers, layers, layers! Always pack in layers and prepare for rain! A good rule of thumb is that you want to be a little chilly when you leave the parking lot. You are going to work up a sweat hiking and start to shead layers so don’t put on too much!
So I have been in Colorado for 7 years and I just got my first pair of hiking boots. So you can totally hike in tennis shoes! There are two types of hiking shoes/boots low top and high top. For weak ankles and more support – high top boots. I was totally fine for 7 years in low tops but when I went to buy my first hiking boots, I wanted something with a lot of support. I just hiked my second 14er in these Vas
Chacos – There are few things in life as satisfying as taking off your shoes after a hike and slipping into your Chacos. Chacos, Tevas, sandals whatever bring them your sweaty feet will thank you. And in a pinch you can totally hike in them. I have now done two hikes in socks and chaos.
Pants/Leggings – Unless its super cold I’m wearing legging capris. I have yet to invest in hiking pants but after a few chilly hikes this year, I am ready. I’ll keep you posted on what I choose.
Shorts – I mean Nike shorts are pretty great but there are some better hiking options. I personally love Patagonia Quick Dry Shorts. I got my first pair summer before 9th grade, 4 pairs actually all before a backpacking trip in Colorado and I still wear two of them! They are super comfortable and like the names says quick dry! Get caught in the rain or decided to go for a swim these shorts will be competently dry in a matter of minutes.
Skort – The Patagonia Skort is great for hiking and then grabbing a beer in town. It’s a stylish yet practical look that take you from any outdoor activity to one in town. I purchased a green one last summer and would love to get a black one this year.
Hiking Skirt – I know this sounds totally impractical and ridiculous at first, but then you realize why you would want one. Hiking skirts are typically worn in the winter over leggings to keep your thighs and butt warm. Genius! Sometimes leggings aren’t cutting it and a down hiking skirt is exactly what you need to keep your bum stay warm.
Layers! I always wear a tank and bring a long sleeve pullover just in case. Mountaintops can be windy and a light pullover will keep you comfortable. In the winter I have slightly thicker pullovers but tent to reach for a thicker jacket than be stuck with a heavy long sleeve shirt.
Layers, layers layers! Lots of different jacket options but I highly suggest always bringing a rain or wind jacket. At high altitudes, a storm can develop in minutes with no warning so be prepared for rain. The Patagonia Houdini jacket folds up into a tiny ball and protects you from the elements. I like hiking in Vests as well to keep my core warm but not get too hot.
I really love thick socks but they aren’t great for hiking. Thin hiking socks are ideal. But really you want to wear the best size for your shoes. For my hiking boots its thin for my tennis shoes I like thick socks.
Depending upon the length of the hike I suggest taking a hydration backpack. Who wants to walk with a water bottle in your hand when you can carry in on your back. Skip down to the bottom to see what I always have in my hiking backpack.
Bring a hat! It will keep the sun off your face and neck and keep you warm in the winter.
Wide Brim Hat – Heads get sweaty in hats so I look for a wide brim sturdy hat that is vented. Sturdy is key, you don’t want a floppy hat getting in your face the entire time your hiking. Floppy hats totally cut off your pretrial vision and cause you to walk into things and people. Trust me, I know.
Baseball Hat– Baseball is a great alternative to a wide brim hat just be sure to lather that sunscreen on the back of your neck.
Beanie – If it’s really cold or windy, you are gonna wish you had a beanie. Especially to keep your ears warm. If I am even thinking it will be cold I pack one.
Sunglasses & Croakies
Pretty self-explanatory. I prefer something without the little nose pads so I can pull my hair back with them. Aviators no, wayfarers yes.
We just got our trecking poles at Walmart for our last hike and they are life changing! Why have we not been hiking with these before?! Our Walmart poles were only and work great.
What To Take In Your Hiking Bag
Tissues – Wind and cold will eventually cause a runny nose and you will probably need to take a pit stop on the trail
Sunscreen – Bring SUNSCREEN
First Aid Kit + Meds – Because when a sinus headache strikes! Allergy meds, Advil and band-aids. Also any other required medication and if you got an EpiPen to bring it.
Snacks – RXBars is our current favorite! Apples, clementines/cuties or some GORP are other great snack options. As you know sometimes I am packing a cheese plate so I bring a little lunch bag with an ice pack to keep my cheese cool.
Chapstick – Grab some with SPF to keep your lips protected from the sun
Water – I typically have a hydration pack but for longer hikes, I might fill up two water bottles as well. Even longer hikes we use our to purify any drinking water we may need. Don’t forget to bring enough water for your pups as well.
Beer or Canned Wine – Is there really anything better than a cold one altering reaching your destination or when you get back to the car to take a load off. No, not really, well besides the chaos the cold drink is the next best thing
Now that you have your gear nailed down its time to go hiking! Head to my Outdoors section to read about my favorite hikes!