Fall has arrived and it is the best time of year to get outside and hike. Find the closest trail to you and get out and enjoy some fall colors. Kick the leaves around, breath in the fresh air and enjoy the temperatures before it's freezing again. We have put together some recommendations on our favorite hiking gear and stuff that our friends use. As always, if you have any questions or think we are missing anything, please let us know.
A Good Backpack - Dakine is a great brand that lasts a long time and is durable, but lightweight. Plus, they have some awesome designs. Here is a link to one similar to the one pictured.
Large Water Bottle - I don't love metal water bottles or the camelbacks (although they get great reviews.) A good quart sized Nalgene is good for me for hikes. I make sure to drink a few glasses of water in the morning before a hike and then refill shortly after the hike and I'm OK. If you are going for more than just a few hours, you may want to plan on packing extra water.
Shoes with good traction - I wear my old Adidas cross trainers that have great traction on the bottom, but I'll be shopping for an upgrade soon since those have lasted over 5 years. For men, I've heard great things about Merrell shoes. Many people get boots for the extra ankle support, but I have never found a pair that is comfortable enough to go the distance. The most important thing is traction on the bottom so you don't slip as you are crossing different surfaces.
Socks - I always pack an extra pair of socks. If your feet get wet or cold, this can save you. If you are going to buy the "expensive" version of anything on this list, I would say to buy the expensive socks. They still won't be that much money and they will take care of those toes. Very important stuff.
Hiking Poles - I don't own a pair of these, but i wanted to include them. If you are going to be hiking in the mountains, these can really come in handy. I like to have my hands free to climb rocks and use my camera. Poles are helpful if you are carrying a big pack or if you have balance issues. They act as extra support. Here is a link to some that are adjustable and light weight if you want to try them out.
Layers - I always pack a sweatshirt or light jacket, unless it's the middle of summer. You never know what the weather will do. Patagonia and Marmot are two of our favorite brands to find lightweight hoodies and jackets to layer.
Pants - There are hiking pants made specifically for this activity. My suggestion is wear pants that dry quickly, are comfortable and are a little thick so you can walk through taller plants and not have anything poking you.
Trail Map - Chances are, your phone will not get signal out in nature. Even if it does, it's always fun to go on an adventure without being connected. You can find trail maps to print off on most park websites and if you are visiting a National Park, you can visit the information center to get maps of the parks.
Extras - Sunblock, bug repellant bracelets (I love these) and snacks. I always keep a few bars in my pack. Also, pack your camera if you want to capture some of the beautiful nature you're going to dive into.
Happy trails to you!