In August I co-led a Grand Canyon Yoga rafting and yoga retreat.
To prepare for it - Erin and I hiked a ton in 2019. We hiked nearly every weekend in the summer. And yes - it's hot in Phoenix in the summer.
Because we hiked so much, we learned through repetition what we really wanted with us on our hikes.
And because some people started asking, I wanted to share what I tend to bring on our day hikes.
- Hiking Shoes - I'm currently using a pair of the Merrell Moab 2 Vegan Hiking shoes. In the past I've used the Salomon trail running shoes. I like both. I prefer trail running type shoes to high top hiking boots. I like that they take up less room and they weigh less. When hiking in the desert, make sure your soles have sufficient tread. Depending on the trail you are hiking - there can be a good amount of loose gravel. You want a good grip to avoid having your feet slide out from under you on a downhill. The top of the shoes can look great but if the treads are worn out they won't do much good.
- Hat - I use an Outdoor Research Helios sun hat. There is an inverse relationship between the amount of protection a sun hat provides and how it looks. I don't love how sun hats look on me but I prefer not having to put sunscreen all over my neck and head. So I use a sunhat.
- Pack - I use a Patagonia Refugio 28L day pack. It's the same pack I use for carrying my laptop around town - so it's kind of a hybrid pack. It works for both outdoors and just getting stuff around. You can get lighter and better packs more suited for day hiking if you want just have a dedicated pack for that purpose.
- Hydration - Erin and I both invested in the Osprey 3 Liter hydration reservoir. You can get by with water bottles as well. Whatever you choose make sure to bring more water than you think. For longer day hikes in the summer I'll bring a full 3 liters. If you realize you have more than you need while hiking you can always dump some out or share some with someone who didn't bring enough.
- First Aid Kit - I never used to carry one. Then Erin got one and on the first hike with it I put my hand on a small cactus hidden in a rock crevice. I used the tweezers in that kit to pull out the 30 tiny cactus spines from my hand. Now I carry a small first aid kit with tweezers.
- Food/Snacks - Typically we bring a bar or an apple with almond butter. Sometimes something more substantial if we'll be hiking for more than 3 hours. One of my favorite things about hiking is eating a packed lunch with a great view. The Tom's Thumb hike is perfect for this.
- Miscellaneous - Sunscreen, wallet, fully charged phone, change of clothes for after the hike, extra food/water in a cooler in the car for after the hike.
What did I miss on my list? What's in your pack for day hikes that you can't live without?
Some of our hikes in 2019 included Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, Humphrey's Peak, Bear Mountain, Tom's Thumb, Fat Man's Pass in South Mountain, and more.
If you want to join us on one of our hikes in 2020 let me know in the comments below and I'll get you added to my hiking email list.