Having hiked trails in New Hampshire, Vermont, Arizona and California this year, I have pretty much nailed down what I need to keep myself prepped and happy throughout a 3-5 hour journey. Here is my list:
1. Hiking sneakers or boots – Last spring, 4 of us climbed Mt. Monadnock, in New Hampshire, the first weekend the trail had opened after the record-breaking winter we had. Although it was 70 degrees outside, the trail still had a significant amount of snow and ice. Wearing regular sneakers, I must have wiped out 7 times on my way down the mountain, ouch! If there’s a chance of rain or snow on the trail, hiking sneakers will prevent you from slipping and falling. No rain or show – regular cross trainers will do the trick 🙂 Shown: Merrel Hiking Sneakers, Adidas Hiking Boots
2. Lightweight backpack – This is something I personally need! I always borrow one from a friend, but really need to invest at this point. I love this Osprey design.
3. Lunch/Snacks – I never know how hungry I am going to be on my hike, so I usually will pack a sandwich, and then a few high protein snacking items to share with friends.
- Turkey & lettuce sandwich on Ezekiel bread. The bread is a sprouted whole grain, so it doesn’t get soggy in your bag.
- Unsalted, raw trail mix
- Beef jerky (this kind is my fav)
- Think Thin bars (very high protein, low sugar)
4. Plastic bag for trash – Having someplace to put wrappers & leftover food is helpful. You can just toss the plastic bag into your pack and throw it away after you finish the hike.
5. Water – Always bring more than you think you’ll need! I like my water freezing, so I am obsessed with the Swell water bottles that keep your drink nice and cold for up to 24 hours.
6. Layers – Its always so much cooler at the top of the mountain, so its great to be able to take layers on and off as you need to. Someone once told me to avoid cotton materials, as it takes longer to dry if you get sweaty or run into a rain storm. On my hike last weekend, I wore a lulu running base layer along with a lightweight Patagonia fleecy zip up and was very comfortable throughout the day.
7. Sunglasses – I want these polarized shades for all of my outdoor workouts.
8. Sunscreen – Whether its sunny or not, UV rays are hitting that face of yours. Coola is a brand my cousins and I are addicted to.
9. Chapstick – Crucial, I promise. Make sure it has a little bit of SPF in there. Sunbum is a surf brand that will keep your lips moisturized and protected from the sun.
10. Hand wipes – I recently added this item to my hiking list, because its nice to clean the dirt off your hands before digging into lunch at the top of the mountain. You can find these Honest wipes are Target. They sell small packs of 10 for 99 cents, which you can toss into your backpack easily.
11. Flip flops or comfy sneakers for the ride home – After a long hike, my feet are achy and it feels SO good to take the hiking boots off!
12. Extra socks – Just in case you or someone else forgets to bring a pair.
That’s all! Do you recommend any other hiking essentials for a 3-5 hour day hike?