The Spring season is here, which means it's time to dust off your warm weather hiking gear. Heading out for a spring trail is a delightful way to explore nature with friends and family, or even by yourself. Whether you want to go deep into the mountains or stay closer to home, the places to go are numerous; many state and national parks offer broad networks for trails, as does national forest land.
Through the winter you may have been keeping up on staying fit for hiking, but have you sat down and gone through your gear to make sure it's ready for the season? This is actually a really important part of making sure you're properly prepared for your day hikes, weekend backpacking trips, or even a longer distance thru hike you may have planned.
To determine what you need to bring on a spring trail, think about how far you plan to hike, how remote the location is and what the weather forecast has in store. In general, the longer and/or more remote the hike is and the more inclement the weather, the more clothing, gear, food and water you’re going to want. If you’re just getting into day trail, be sure to read our Hiking for Beginners article before you head out.
The 10 Essentials
You may already know the 10 Essentials for every outdoor adventure, including hydration, nutrition, navigation, emergency shelter, layers, illumination (headlamp or flashlight), firestarter, first-aid kit, repair kit, and sun protection. Here’s a detailed list of what to pack to assure your safety while hiking.
- Compass, and the knowledge to use one
- Warm clothing, including upper and lower body layers
- Warm hat
- Extra food and water
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First aid kit and repair kit
- Waterproof and windproof upper and lower body layers
- Pocket knife
Once you packed the essentials, follow this checklist for all other gear needs. Some items you may not need depending on whether you are day hiking or doing an overnight.
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping bag stuff sack
- Sleeping pad
- Small stuff sacks as needed
- Trash Compactor Bags (a heavy-duty version of a trash bag that can waterproof the inside of your pack!)
- Water bottles
- Water treatment methods (we advise carrying a filter and iodine tablets as a backup)
- Camp Kitchen Gear
- Lip Balm
- Toothbrush and environmentally friendly toothpaste
- Moist towelettes
- Hand sanitizer
- Prescribed medications as needed
- Hiking boots
- Camp shoes
- Shorts or long pants depending on the season and preference
- Long underwear
- Warm jacket
- UPF 50+T-shirt for men / UPF 50+T-shirt for women
- Sun hat
- Rain jacket and rain pants
Comfortable Outwear to Put on Your Spring Hiking Gear list
To stay comfortable on a chilly hike, choose a spring hiking outfit that will layer easily to provide at least 3 layers between you and the cold spring drizzle.
Base layer: no need for long underwear, but don a pair of leggings and a well fitted sports bra. If you aren't prone to feeling the chill of spring on your lower body, skip the leggings.
Mid layer: a long sleeve wicking shirt and water repellent nylon pants. Depending on temperature, a pull over fleece top in a mid-range weight is also great to handy in your pack.
Outer layer: a water proof jacket and rain pants should ride along in your backpack until you need them. See above recommendations for great layering choices!
Enjoy your spring hikes!
That's the bottom line to preparing a spring hiking gear list, isn't it?
To be prepared once you leave home!
Enjoy the changeable weather, the fresh green sprouts of life, and the sounds & smells of Nature waking up after a long sleep.
Laugh at the mud on your pants as you splash through trail puddles.
Seriously, go right through them with the best boots on your feet
Staying on trail no matter what cuts down on trail erosion (and makes you feel like a super woman or man).
This spring hiking gear list and suggestions will keep you comfy.
Check out some your favorite gears from TBMPOY here.