Hiya friends! It’s Thursday so you know what that means! It is my absolute “favorite” day of the week…to hate.
Now I don’t know about you, but once the weather floats right about 60 degrees I get absolute Spring fever. Windows rolled down, iced coffee in hand, and shedding my Winter coat faster than you can say PSEUDOPSEUDOHYPOPARATHYROIDISM.
(It takes me a while to get my coat off. Especially in a car. Awk-ward.)
I take every opportunity to spend as much time outside as I can once the weather gets warmer. It’s like in school when the teacher would tell you the class was reading outside today. DAY MADE.
It could be going for a walk with my best gal pals…
Getting some miles in on the bike…
Or one of my favorite warm weather activities, Hiking.
I love hiking because it is probably the best workout around. Not only are you getting your heart pumping with all the climbing, but also using every muscle in your body at the same time. No matter how many runs I go on, hiking always seems to kick my butt. Plus, you get the most amazing views that no gym could ever give you.
Now obviously hiking isn’t just a walk in the park 😉
..and maybe your new to it’s glory. And that’s why I’m gunna help you out. After seeing some poor souls who think they can hike a 3,000 foot mountain in flip flops, jeans, and a baby carriage ( I wish I was kidding), I thought I would share my essentials for Spring hiking.
Before you even think your 2 for $5 Old Navy flip flops are gunna cut it for the trails, just stop. A good pair of hiking boots are your first priority. Depending on the type of hiking you are doing will determine the type of boot you will need, but all boots should fit correctly, have enough traction, and support your ankles. These are important especially in the Spring when trails and rocks can be slippery from melting snow. Having a good fit, a good grip, and the correct height will help protect your ankles and prevent slips and falls. Check with your local outdoor equipment store such to get the right type of boot for all your hiking needs.
Just like ogres, hikers should be made up of lots of layers. No matter how warm it is you can expect the top of a mountain to be chilly and windy. Top that with a sweat soaked t-shirt and you have a perfect recipe for numb limbs or a good dose of hypothermia if you’re that (un)lucky. FYI, this hike started warm and sunny at the bottom, and ended up looking like a scene from ‘The Fog” at the top. You just never know!
I like to layer depending on the weather for that day with a tank top, long sleeve shirt, and pack a windbreaker. If it is a chillier day I’ll swap my longs sleeve for a sweatshirt. This way I can take a layer off if it gets too hot, and have plenty of layers for when I know I will freeze at the top.
Food & Water.
So this may be a no brainer but my foodie brain couldn’t leave this one out. Packing enough water and snacks/lunch is essential. Even if you think you can make it without, it is always best to be prepared in case anything happens or you end up on the wrong trail or no trail at all. I use my camelbak water backpack since it carries about 2 liters of water and plenty of pockets and zips to hold my windbreaker, keys, phone, and food.
Speaking of food, nothing helps celebrate reaching the top and fueling for the second half of the trip (yes you do have to make it down, too) than some glorious eats. 9 times out of 10 my go-to hike lunch is a classic pb & banana sandwich on whole wheat bread. It’s the perfect blend of carbs and protein to fuel your body and give you a quick boost as well as long-lasting energy so you can feel your legs turn to jell-o by the end.
I usually wash it down with one of my energy bites for a sweet treat and punch of sugar to get me going. Don’t worry though, no added sugar here. Just pure natural goodness. SPOILER ALERT! Be on the lookout for a new recipe!
As much as I can’t stand seeing people break out their cell phones during a hike, I ALWAYS have mine stashed in my bag. If you get injured or lost (hopefully not alone!) it is good to have a cell phone to call for help. You’d be surprised what kind of signal you get at higher altitudes. Just make sure it is fully charged before heading out, and don’t check-in on Facebook when you reach the top. Just don’t.
Yes. Here’s hoping you won’t need it but the saying “when nature calls” didn’t come out of nowhere. In case nature does give you a booty call (oh, I’m too much) a roll of Charmin is a lot less of a burden than hoping you don’t pick up some poison ivy in the process. Let’s just say that hike down is gunna seem a lot longer. Instead of a commercial brand though, opt for a biodegradable variety.
So there you have my quick and dirty must have list for a successful hike. Don’t forget to pack a some a long nap afterwards, too. You deserve it.
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What do you pack for a hike?
What’s your favorite outdoor activity?