Originally Posted July 2020
I'm so excited for our first extended hiking season adventure!!! I have to say, this trip has been about three years in the making. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm constantly planning my next adventure and scouting out alpine lakes around the world. Well, this particular trip has been in the works for quite a few years now! I'm finally making it down south to Telluride and the San Juan Mountains! Sadly, I could easily make this a two week trip, so I'm cramming as much as humanly possible in this relatively short 4 day, 3 night trip. That being said, I should mention that it's a 6.5 hour drive down there, so that's where a lot of our time is going (sadly).
When I'm packing for an extended hiking trip, I take DAYS to prepare. I feel like a squirrel gathering food and supplies. My countertop as become my storage area for all of our non-refrigerated snacks. Luckily, I tend to have a lot of the things we take with us on hand anyway, so I don't need to do too much extra shopping. Here's the full list of food I'm packing:
A Dozen Eggs (for two of us - not just me!)
2 Blocks of Cheese
Dave's Killer Bread - The Good Seed
365 Unsweetened Creamy Peanut Butter
Fage 2% Greek Yogurt
Salsa and Guacamole
Whole Foods Cranberry Walnut Bread
Packs of Mixed Nuts
Cheez-Its (essential for ALL road trips)
Variety of Meat Sticks (Country Archer, Sprouts, Fatty)
Variety of Bars (Larabars, Clif bars, Bobo's)
Dark Chocolate-Covered Blueberries
Sparkling Water - Grapefruit
I only mentioned the names of items I tend to be particular about; I am not affiliated with or paid to promote/endorse any of these brands. These are the brands I actually choose and love!
In addition to food, there are a few supplements I like to take with me on my adventures:
Precision Hydration Electrolyte Tablets - I like these SPECIFICALLY because of their higher electrolyte content. They're amazing and effective within fifteen minutes of using them. Great for higher altitude and longer hikes - especially in the summer.
Emergen-C Immune+ Packets - I always take these on trips just in case I need a health boost!
PowerPak - Before I started using the electrolyte tablets, I put one of these in my morning glass of water before every hike. I tend to prefer these for an all-around boost. They have less sugar than the Emergen-C Packets (win!) and less electrolytes than the tablets. Now, I use these and Emergen-Cs pretty interchangeably.
Ashwagandha - This is a supplement I take daily because of its benefits as an adaptogen.
Now, let's talk about gear...
This is going to vary for each individual and for each trip. Factors to consider will be location, weather, trail conditions, and personal preference.
I'm taking my CamelBak hydration pack from AGES ago, because I love it and it's still in great shape. It does with me on all of my adventures! Since I'm not concerned about snow/ice, I'm leaving my microspikes at home, and I'm not bringing any other kind of traction. My Salomon hiking shoes are grippy enough for me. The only real piece of gear I'm going to be using are my trekking poles. I don't usually use them, but I like to have them on hand for longer hikes. I used to think they were silly, but I found they allowed me to keep my legs a lot fresher over the course of longer treks. It's amazing how much they help! So, I use them anytime I want to offload my legs a bit or if I want some added stabilization on rocky or winter terrain. Finally, I think I am going to bring my can of bear spray - it just seems like NOT bringing it would be the one time I encounter a situation where I might need it.
Clothing ultimately depends on personal needs/preferences and weather. It looks like we'll be starting each day early to avoid the rain/storms in the afternoons, and it's still pretty cool in the mornings. In the summers, I prefer to hike in my Nike tank tops and athletic shorts (with zippered pockets - preferred); however, I always wear and pack layers. So, I'm bringing pants to wear over my shorts, leggings, long-sleeve performance t-shirts, a performance pullover, a thin puff vest, a Columbia fleece zip-up, a Columbia down jacket, fleece gloves, a hat, and a rain poncho. Also, since there's possibly spring run-off and rain, I have extra socks in case my hiking socks get wet.
I don't like carrying a heavy pack, so I like thin, wicking layers that pack down pretty small.
As for hydration, I have a 2.5L hydration pack for my backpack, but I usually only fill it about 1.5-2L. In addition to the hydration pack, I take a 20oz Ecovessel water bottle with electrolytes. Between these two things, I have enough water for my hikes. That being said, this is going to vary GREATLY for each person. The newer you are to hiking, the more water I'd recommend bringing. I spent last year trail running and hiking with minimal water to decrease added weight in my pack. This is NOT something I recommend to anyone; this was my own personal preference and it took my body time to get used to it. When in doubt, err on the side of being over-prepared!
Finally, I'll address the final things I keep in my hiking pack that haven't already been addressed...
Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion
Portable Battery Pack
Snacks (Usually meat sticks, a bar, and a sandwich)
I hope this detailed packing list gives you an idea of some of the stuff you might want to bring with you! If it were icy on the trails, I would add spikes to my gear, and if I was hiking earlier/later, I would bring a headlamp. Other than that, my hiking trip packing list stays pretty much the same across adventures.
Hope this helps! :)