I love reading other people’s hiking gear lists! So I thought I’d give it a shot! This is my main gear for day hiking with mini reviews, pictured are most of my my favorite clothing items that have a great synergy when layering. The North Face is prob my favorite because their sizing is consistent, and their wicking and fast drying is awesome. I am a solid size medium, and their medium always fits, making it easy to order online.
1- Vasque St. Elias GTX-– I need to write a full review on these, but, these are my golden slippers, the traction is unbeatable, and great balance. Also good with my plantar fasciitis flare ups. My old Salomons were great, but had lousy traction on steep downhills, and felt clumsy. These also come in Wide sizes. I wear a 9Wide, but since I have a narrow heel, I use an overhand tying method, and heel cups to fill up the volume, and keep them tight enough to prevent my foot from sliding forward. These boots make me want to ZOOM!
2-Osprey Tempest 20 Back Pack– Love this pack, full review below.
3- Angel Cola Crazy Colored Hiking Pants –These are midweight, Asian made and run small so size up. I just love the style, .and they offer a bit more thickness than running tights, I wear them mostly in cooler weather.
4 –The North Face Mirabelle Shirt – Long sleeve with thumbholes that are comfortable enough to use all the time for extra warmth, or to block some sun from my hands.I have in all 3 colors, this is lightweight, long sleeve, wicking, and has flash dry.
5-ExOfficio Micria Tank – Flattering, wicking, fast drying, odor resistant. I have this in a couple colors.
6- The North Face Canyonwall Jacket – I LOVE this jacket, it is a fabric wind resistant jacket, windwall fleece, a technical hardface fleece, that is durable enough to wear bouldering, or in my case hiking with a playful dog. It is rated at at 0-20 CFM (0 CFM is 100% windproof) I find this perfect, and often wear it out around town, it blocks most wind, yet is BREATHABLE. I hope to get it in other colors too.
7- The North Face Dynamix Hooodie – This is from their mountain athletics line, that has tougher fabrics, weather and water resistant at critical points.
8-The North Face Motivation Leggings – Wicking, Quick drying, compressive, durable. Leggings are my new thing, as it gets hotter I still wear pants and I never wear shorts, I’m somewhat allergic to the sun and have horrible allergies, IE too much stuff on my legs will give me hives. I also like to tuck leggings into my hiking socks in heavy tick season. I reach for these over and over. Plus the bright colors make it easier to find ticks that have tried to tag along.
9- Silly Bandanna –The Neck needs sun protection too, also, covers the area of V Cut Shirts.
1-Smart Wool Sock Liners – Wow, I bought these for longer hikes since my boots are all leather, and I worried about my feet getting too hot, but these add a whole other level of comfort. First time using sock liners, and I feel like a fool for not using them long before now. What happens is that when you bump rocks or tree roots, and your foot moves a bit, instead of the Boot rubbing against your sock and foot, it rubs against your sock and sock liner. Even though I don’t get blisters, because I have bunions and funny shaped feet, I’ve always had hot spots. Sock liners eliminated this. Many people wear sock liners to eliminate blisters.
2-Smart Wool Hiking Socks –I prefer the medium cushion, but also wear the Light Hiking Socks too. And I wear Smartwool PHD with my work boots. These all come in fun colors. I also have a few pairs of Thorlo Hiking socks. which are really great too, but don’t fit me as well as the Smartwool do. I have tried many other brands, and these tow brands are the best for me.
Sun protection is very important to me. Using a high UPF sunscreen really is rather a hassle as many need to be applied every 90 mins to 2 hours. And that is also expensive.
1- Sun Eclipse Arm Sleeves–The spot that the sun gets me the most, is my arms, my forearms will itch like crazy just from the sun being on them for a few minutes, it is not a sun burn, but the sun itself can send my arms into a hive cycle. These are UPF 50, and I got them in pink polka dot.
2-Columbia Silver Ridge Rip Stop Button Down Plaid UPF30 Shirt –Tags that came with it said UPF40Light and breezy, I wear this over a tank or one of the Mirabelle shirts. I wear a large in this, medium was too tight on my chest.
3-Columbia Silver Ridge UPF 40 Button Down Pink –tags that came with this one said UPF50. Also light and breezy, as above I ordered a large cuz medium was tight on my chest.
4-OutDoor Research Sun Hat Pink Candy/Dark grey – UPF 30, Love this little lightweight breathable hat, no matter how I stuff it in the pack, the brim stays solid and true. A sunhat has made a huge difference for me, keeps me much cooler.
5- Solbar Suncreen Zinc— If I do use sunscreen, this is my choice as it is great for sensitive skin. Last year I ended up with itchy arms, that turned into hives. The popular sunscreen products I was using made it worse.
6- Not Pictured Tifosi Alpe 2.0 Polarized Sunglasses with grippy nose pads and temple ends – Eyes are important too. The sun here in California can be brutal even without snow or water reflecting it. Some sunglasses steam up even in hot weather if you are hiking uphill or at a super fast pace, which is annoying, so far not these. Also, sometimes I buy gradient lenses for hiking so when I go through shady patches, I can still see tree roots and rocks on the trail pretty well.
Cooler Weather Items not pictured
For the most part, everything in my first photo can be layered for the warmth I need 80% of the year in The Bay Area. I do have some heavier base layer shirts that I use, but nothing that I love. I also lost a warmer jacket this year, and plan to replace it with The North Face Apex Bionic maybe the style with the hood. This jacket is windproof.
1-Merrell Haven Long Softshell jacket — With M Select Regulate. For some days, I just want a bit extra coverage, this hits me at mid thigh, and it has fabric that adjusts to your temperature called Merrell M Select Regulate. It also has a two way zipper for when you need more leg room to climb. Looks very flattering. I wear it from 40 degrees to 60ish. it seems like there are newer versions of this now, even though I just bought it last year.
Non Clothing Items
Anker Astro Portable charger – I can’t believe how fast this charges my phone, and it also seems to hold it’s energy for a month or so when it has been used.
Sol Emergency Blanket – Just good to have, besides warmth, can make shelter, or use it as a sling, or to carry my small dog.
GSI Lightweight Kettle –Used for the first time on my Uvas camping trip, can’t believe how fast it boils. Big enough to store my Primus Camp Stove in it.
Primus Classic Trail Stove — See above. Not completely lightweight, but good for a beginner like me who is not doing ultra light weight backpacking.
Benchmade Steigerwalt Design Torrent – The guy who sold this to me said I could punch it through the trunk of a car. This knife has taken a beating, and hasn’t been treated as nice as a good knife should be, but it has held up awesomely. I’ve used it to cut rope, cut the straps of a bag caught in the motorcycle chain, cut food, cut fruit, open boxes, whittel plastic away to make an item fit in a slot, and more.
The Osprey Tempest 20 is a pretty amazing backpack. It had the best reviews of all the women’s day hiking/smaller backpacks that I researched, and I bought it even though it has a water bladder compartment, which I wasn’t looking for.
Besides being super comfy, What sold me on it was the hip belt that is wide at the sides with 2 stretchy pockets big enough for my Galaxy s6 cell phone, or dog snacks, or dog waste bags, or small camera or snacks for myself–it really depends what I am hiking that day, and what gear Chico is using. It has a zippered top stash pocket with a key ring holder, and 2 side pockets for water bottles or whatever that are also highly adjustable. I haven’t used the water bladder feature yet, as you have to order one separately and haven’t felt pressed to do so, but have used the space to put clothing items in or my hat. The Zipper pulls are amazing! No fumbling around, can grasp these with gloves, or wet hands.
It has an outside super stretchy mesh pocket that I can stash a jacket in, snacks, and often use to hold my devices while using the solar charger. It also has a pocket on the shoulder strap that is prob for the bladder tube, but I use for chapstick. It has bungee loop for holding trekker poles which I plan to get one day…and it looks like 2 loops on the bottom that would fit a small roll. For bikers it has a helmet lid lock, and a spot for a blinky light.
It also has:
- Lightweight Osprey AirScape™ back panel features molded foam ridges with air channels and a vertical “air chimney” covered in airy mesh for ventilation
which wasn’t a selling point for me, but has been awesome in this hotter than usual Northern California Summer, it has kept my back cooler than my last few back packs in 80+ degree weather, and haven’t had that super icky I’m super sweaty on my back feeling when I take the back pack off yet. Many hikes, this is the only place I feel sweaty.
It comes in 3 colors and 2 frame sizes : XS/S and S/M..I am 5 ‘7 and got the Small/Medium which is 1lb 7 ozs and 1220 cubic inches, it is panel loading…as a dog owner top loading just doesn’t work for me. The only downside for me, is that it only has one zippered pocket inside and doesn’t have the organization pockets that the Osprey Nova does. I am looking around to see if I can buy something. This might seem like an odd thing to want, but besides my things, I need to carry a bunch of little dog stuff like a bear bell, first aid stuff, dog boots or socks, tiny air horn, etc. I also usually carry an extra leash in case we find a lost dog…but these are items that I rarely need to use, thankfully, so haven’t really noticed that lack of an organization pocket. And it’s true that Chico has his own dog pack, but we don’t always use it so I like to keep these kind of items in my pack, and just put water in his usually.
It is super adjustable…You can keep it snug with the waist and chest straps, but what I really love, is that even without using these the pack doesn’t slide around on me. I don’t really care to use chest straps, as it always makes me feel like my boobs are all one can see. At the end of the hike, the biggest difference might just be how I feel when I take it off, which is I don’t feel like I wore back pack all day.