Last summer for my birthday, Aaron and I when on an 11-mile hike in the Smoky Mountains National Park. I didn’t have on the right sock, shoes, or warm outerwear. It was a disaster. If you want to read the full experience I wrote about it in a blog post; Birthday Weekend. That hike took weeks for my feet to recover. I swore if I made it to the bottom of that mountain, I would spend any amount of money to have the proper hiking gear for future hikes. I’ve compiled a His & Her list of hiking essentials for anyone looking to gear up for their next adventure.
Hiking Essentials for Her
- Women’s Tops – Hiking tops with build-in bras make packing that much easier. I like the ease of packing one top, rather than a top and a sports bra for a hiking trip.
- Rain Jacket – Aaron bought me this rain jacket in a different color years ago. I wear it almost every time it rains. It’s easy to pack and comes in a bunch of different colors.
- Booney Hat – I always have a layer of sunscreen on my neck and face. I wear my booney hat when there will be a lot of direct sun along the trail.
- Bike Shorts – I was late to the game on this trend. I prefer to wear bike shorts instead of long leggings or baggy shorts when I can. I especially love the pockets that are big enough to hold my phone.
- CamelBak – This CamelBak is perfect for carrying water. It’s not heavy when full and there is a small pocket for your ID and chapstick.
- Burt’s Bees – I always need a chapstick handy when hiking to keep my lips from becoming too dry. My go-to is the original flavor.
- Chaco Sandles – I cannot say enough good things about my Chaco Sandles. I have them in lavender and tan. I wore these everywhere on our Hawaii trip and my feet were supported and blister-free the entire time.
- Nike Sneakers – I’ve had these sneakers for years. They have healed up amazingly. In a world full of flashy sneakers, I tend to stick to the simple but stylish black and white style.
- Hiking Socks – Learned the importance of hiking socks last summer. Do yourself a favor, wear the proper socks. Your feet will thank you.
- Tripod for Phone – I didn’t hike all this way to not take a selfie. There isn’t always someone around to take your picture at the top of the trail. I’ve taken countless pictures with this tripod.
- 1st Aid Kit – Scraps, bumps, and blisters happen. I like to have a small first aid kit with me to help protect myself when small accidents happen.
Hiking Essentials for Him
- Dry fit Shirts – These shirts wicked away sweat and kept Aaron cool on every hike. They come in a pack of three.
- Backpack – We’ve had this backpack for years. Osprey backpacks are durable, come in many different colors, and have just the right amount of pockets. It carries extra water, snacks, and my tripod most of the time.
- Backpack Reservoir – The Osprey backpack does not come with a water reservoir. It does have a pocket in the back where one can be added.
- Men’s Shorts – Aaron’s favorite shorts, not just for hiking but for everyday life. He lives in these shorts.
- Body Glide – What’s worst than a blister? Chafing. Prevent that by applying body glide before each hike.
- Hydro Flask Water Bottle – We keep this in the backpack when we want a sip of cool water. The backpack reservoirs are great for containing large amounts of water. The Hydro flask keeps water cold throughout the entire hike.
- Chaco Sandles – Aaron is the one who introduced me to Chaco sandals. Now we’re always matching in our footwear while exploring the woods.
- Men’s Shoes – Aaron was skeptical to buy these before our trip. He gave them high praise after we hiked the entire day on the island of Hawai’i.
- Ball Cap – As I mentioned before, sunscreen is always a great first step. Wearing a hat is a must if you are going to be in the direct sun throughout the hike.
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