We're halfway through the week, yipee!
If you've read my blog for awhile, you know that Cam and I love hiking! Fortunately, we've lived in some beautiful parts of the country with great trails, but just because you don't live in the mountains doesn't mean you can't get out where you live. Fall is one of the best times to plan a day hike and enjoy the natural beauty in your area. That's why I thought it would be the perfect time for me to share some of my favorite hiking essentials:
Good hiking boots
This is probably the most important thing to invest in if you plan on hiking regularly. Sure, you can wear tennis shoes but a good hiking boot is going to give your feet more support, keep them better protected on rough terrain, and depending on the pair you chose, keep them dry. I have these Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots and I love them. They're a great mid-height that helps provide support for my ankles, the rubber on the toe helps protect my feet with rocks and stumps on the trail. I also love that they're waterproof because we often end up crossing over creeks/streams, and they're hold up hiking in the snow (provided it's not super deep). I like Keens because they tend to run wider and fit my feet, but there are lots of great brands out there. I'd highly suggest going to an outdoor store like REI and trying on a few different styles to figure out what works best for you!
Good hiking socks
A quality pair of socks is going to help ensure that your hiking boots are comfortable over the course of your hike. My favorite socks? Smartwool. They make a variety of cuts and styles for hiking with varying amounts of cushioning--I personally wear these, these, or these.
Their hydration packs are the the perfect way to stay hydrated when you're out on the trail by allowing you to carry and have easy access to a lot of water, along with giving you room to hold the things you'll need throughout the day. I have this model of CamelBak (in chocolate) and I really like the fit as it doesn't chafe my arms when we're hiking. (Cam has this model) What do I put in my pack for a day hike besides water? Snacks (more on that later), sunscreen, bug spray, a small first aid kit, bear spray (if you're in an area where you might need it!), toilet paper/hand sanitizer (just in case), and a collapsible water bowl for Lola.
Often when we start a hike in the morning it will be chilly, especially in the fall. That's why it's really important to wear layers that you can remove once it warms up later in the day. Often I'll start out wearing a headband and light gloves along with a fleece the morning, and then wear a light hoodie (I have the Columbia hoodie pictured above in black that I love and wear hiking all the time!) and tank top underneath (this one from lululemon is my new favorite). As I get warm hiking, I can remove the layers I need and then once we get to the summit it's usually cool and windy, so it's nice to have layers to put back on.
The most important thing to pack! I talked about some of our favorite snacks on my Paleo page, but we typically try to bring fruit when we hike, along with some source of protein for lunch, whether that's hard-boiled eggs, leftover chicken, jerky, or whatever we have in the fridge. We also love the Happy Trekking Trail Mix from Trader Joes, along with LaraBars--our favorite thing to bring on hikes!
So there you have it! Those are the things I typically bring on the day hikes that Cam and I do, and hopefully this list might be helpful for anyone who is interested in getting out and doing some hiking this fall. I'm looking forward to getting out and doing a few more hikes before the snow flies! Xoxo