Hiking gear is a very personal thing for people who are REALLY into hiking. Now let me say that I do not look super sexy when going out for a hike. If you do look super sexy... you are probably not going to get very far :) I have always hiked but not as seriously as the last few years. Last year, Mark and I did the Haute Route where we took on the 110 mile hike from Chamonix to Zermatt. I received the packing list and immediately freaked out! It was SO intimidating to look at a list that included head lamps and rain pants but let me tell you, I was happy to have all of it! Today, I'm going to share my hiking gear tips and picks from this experience.
Can you just go hike in sneakers and Lululemon? YES! However….If you get into weather or are doing hikes with varying terrain, I wouldn’t recommend it.
My #1 favorite buy is my raincoat. I finally broke down and bought a Marmot Gortex jacket… This thing can save your life albeit expensive. It protects against rain but also wind which can almost be worse sometimes.
I also got a pair of Gortex rain pants by Arcteryx. These go over your hiking pants and will also save you in rain, wind or snow… Now that being said, you really only need these if you are are a hard core hiker and are familiar with hiking in all conditions (I throw them in my pack for hikes over 5 hours just in case). When you are hiking in the Alps, it can go from sunny and 80 to snowing and 30 in a matter of 30 minutes (this actually happened to us in August, can you believe that?!).
My best hiking pant purchase was a pair from Mammut - these were perfect mainly for the longer and colder days.
And I also developed a new crush on this trip... I have have fallen in love with my Icebreaker and Smartwool Merino wool tops! I have tanks, short, and also long sleeved options now. These will keep you cool or warm and don’t stink like the synthetic fabrics (ughh!).
Hiking Boots are especially personal, so find a pair with ankle support that you love, and BREAK THEM IN BEFORE ANY TRIP. If you ever see 2 dorky looking people walking around Dallas in hiking boots with a pack it is probably Mark and I. We always break in our boots on flat ground first and THEN start doing some ascents and decents with them.
Compeed is the best blister stuff on the planet and is now available in the US. BUY it and carry it with you.
Also, always keep duct tape in your pack… You never know when you might need to repair some equipment or even tape your feet if you get a hot spot or blister. I wrap a little on my hiking poles for safe keeping.
Hiking Poles will keep you from falling off a mountain… Highly recommend! They basically turn you into a 4 legged animal and are super helpful on downhills. You may look silly on instagram, but at least you'll survive to read the comments.
Sun Gloves are another thing I love especially with the poles, but I cannot stress enough...
Wear a HAT! Do not ruin your skin in the sun (you can't get that back, girl...). I recommend a ball cap if it isn’t a crazy hiking day and a really dorky looking sun hat if it is sunny and or raining. Trust me, they're worth it, and they even come with rain covers.
I bought a new backpack last year and it is the best! It is made by Osprey and it comes in different sizes depending on your body and has a built in rain cover. If you're on the hunt for a good pack- Go to REI.. They will fit you, and they know what they are doing. **Also ask them to adjust it to you specifically. It makes a big difference when you have a full pack on a long day.
These are just my hiking go-tos. What kinds of hiking gear do you like to bring with you? Anything I missed on my hiking trip?
Let me know what I should bring next time in the comments below.