Guys, it’s hiking weather. And we’ve got your step by step guide (along with some recommendations for cool products that have been sent our way!) to making your next trek a really freakin’ awesome day out on the trail.
1. Get up early.
Hikes are awesome in the morning … and you know what they say about the early bird and all. (Plus, you’re less likely to encounter any afternoon storms!)
2. Pack for the unexpected.
You probably already know to bring extra clothes, a first aid kit, map and compass (safety first!), but there are a few new goodies that landed on our radar that are worth making room in your pack for. The first: a portable water bottle that uses ultra filtration technology to remove viruses, bacteria, cysts and parasites to produce instant clean, drinkable water no matter where you get the water from. Called LIFESAVER, it pretty much is a lifesaver!
All you have to do is scoop water from any water source, then pump the LIFESAVER pressurization system and you’re ready to go. It removes a minimum of 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 99.9 percent of cysts — even from muddy, thick water.
And, in case you spill said water all over yourself or end up in a rain shower and all your stuff (including you) gets soaked, it might be a good idea to have a small NanoDry Trek Towel on hand, too.
3. Don’t forget your fuel.
Hiking makes you HUNGRY. And sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how long you’ll be on the trail for. So, food and water is the one thing you definitely don’t want to skimp on. Here are a few of our fave packaged snacks.
This line of packaged food is convenient, hearty, healthy and sustainable for the planet. Patagonia Provisions has everything from buffalo jerky to breakfast grains to nutrition bars to fully cooked wild sockeye salmon to grains. All of it is outdoor-friendly and shelf stable, meaning that you can either open and eat or open and add hot water and eat. It’s awesome. And delicious. Oh, and they even have BEER.
Clif Bars and hiking go together like sunshine and sunglasses, and its new Peanut Butter Banana With Dark Chocolate bars are ON POINT if you’re wanting a bar that is hearty. With 260 calories, 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, they’re also delicious. (We mean, who doesn’t love PB, banana and chocolate?!)
Want a bar that’s more like a sweet snack than a meal? Try Luna’s new low-sugar bars. Flavors like Salted Caramel Cashew and Cinnamon Almond Swirl deliver serious flavor (like dessert!) with 170 calories, 6 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and only 5 grams of sugar. Also, these are gluten-free and non-GMO.
If you’re just needing some energy to keep you on the move as you tackle those hills but don’t want to, like, eat eat (you know what we mean, right?), chomp on some Clif Bloks. These organic energy chews — in the new and exciting flavors of salted watermelon, spearmint and ginger ale — are easy on the stomach and deliver you the glucose your muscles need to keep pumping. And if you’re sweating up a storm, we really recommend the salted watermelon — it has twice the sodium!
Go ahead and smash these in your backpack before you hit the trail. With 14 grams of whey protein, one serving of real fruit, five grams of healthy fats and 180 calories, SmashPack Protein is awesome as a quick breakfast, snack or as a recovery snack post-hike. Super portable and also gluten-free!
4. As you lace up your shoes, set an intention.
What do you want to do on this hike? Really feel the burn? Notice all the beautiful things around you? Relax? Do a trail in your fastest time yet? Pick your goal.
5. Track your steps.
Whether you’re doing a little trail running or just want to see how many steps and miles you rack up on the trail, the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music is perf for that! It features a built-in heart rate monitor, GPS tracking (with distance, time, speed, pace and route) and space for more than 500 songs to jam along to with Bluetooth headphones (obviously, don’t play too loud — again, safety first on the trails!).
6. Enjoy the heck out of yourself.
It’s nature. It’s beautiful. And so are you.
What’s the most memorable hike you’ve been on? Man, I have SO many good hiking memories! —Jenn