by Carolyn Dragon
Before heading for the hills, here are a few things to make your hike most enjoyable.
- Know where you are going! – Plan your hike. Carry a compass and a map. Learn how to use both.
- Outdoors means elemental protection — Protect your skin and eyes from the sun (sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses). From head to toe prepare for waterproof — not water “resistant”, waterproof – rain jacket with hood, pit zips and sealed seams and zippers; waterproof boots, hiking shoes or trail runners — depending on your hike intensity, terrain, waterproof pants (easy to pull over pants and boots!) and a waterproof daypack or backpack.
- Layer up for greatest comfort – Starting with your toes, comfortable, padded merino wool or tech material socks (never cotton). Flexible, moisture wicking pants with snap and/or zipper pockets for essentials — shorts or hiking skirt if weather permits or additional base layer if chilly weather. On top a comfortable sports bra, wicking t-shirt (remember no cotton) and a long sleeve layer — again merino wool or wicking tech material. Add a fleece vest or jacket if colder (check to make sure it all fits under your waterproof layers)
- Hydrate and Eat– Plan to drink about 32 oz of water every 2 hours of your hike. Carry easy to reach water bottles and add a hydration pack (3 liters) and fill according to your plans. For food, eat what your body enjoys for clean and healthy fuel — nuts, dried fruit, energy bar, jerky.
- Illumination and unexpectedness – Bring along a flashlight and a basic first aid kit — check before and after each hike that the flashlight and kit are working properly and have all the essentials — this isn’t a place to skimp on fresh batteries and supplies.
I am very fortunate to be a “green vest” at REI — an employee working part-time, largely in clothing, footwear and travel. REI has an incredible Labor Day sale going on now with some of my favorites for hiking. See the links below and enjoy your hike!
La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX Hiking Shoes – Women’s
I wore these on Women’s Quest Peru Adventure — LOVE THEM!
Smartwool Hiking Socks – Women’s
I am a Smartwool addict. I wear them all year round from head to toe
REI Co-op Flash 22 Pack
Love my REI Flash Pack — I use it as my daily “handbag” and drop in water bottles and hydration pack for hiking.