Packing List: Summer Hiking In Colorado

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I’m headed to Colorado in the morning. Yahoo!

I love Colorado. My family and I will be spending the weekend hiking through Rocky Mountain National Park, which is near and dear to our hearts. It is where my parents and brother first learned to backpack on summer vacations and where I first camped as a child.

It’s supposed to get down into the 50’s at night, which will be a nice break from the summer heat here in Texas.

Here’s what I’m packing. Disclaimer: Not a paid advertisement. 

Sunscreen. This brand has lived up to its promise of “no breakouts” thus far.

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A warm jacket. I particularly love this Omni-Shield Columbia puffer.

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It is the inner lining of a ski jacket I acquired recently, which I wore during 17 degree weather in Breckenridge this past year.  The “omni-shield” reflective interior combined with the down stuffing keeps you very warm. I also love the stretchy cuffs and thumbholes

Half zip. The one below is by Hot Chilly’s.

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Layering is key when you’re hiking in the mountains. The weather conditions can change quickly, and even though it may be a warm day when you start your hike, the conditions up at the top of the mountain may be very different.

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I have used this top for many different sports. Made of polyester, it dries quickly and keeps you warm, but not too warm.

Hiking pants. I swear by these Prana Halle pants.

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They keep you cool in hot weather. With leggings, they can be warm in cold weather. They are stretchy but not too stretchy–they have enough structure to still support and hide whatever needs to be supported or hidden. Additionally, they are thick enough to not get torn sitting on a rock or log.

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They also roll up and snap at the ankles.

Shorts. I just got these Columbia shorts and they’re comfortable, stretchy, and cute.

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Hat. I’m packing a Tilley Hat, which float, are highly durable, and have one simple loop for a neckstrap that can be easily tucked up into the hat.

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My Tilley has gone everywhere with me and never disappointed.

Other basics on the list:

Small daypack for day hikes to carry your camera, water, sunscreen, snack, and other miscellaneous items. This does not have to be fancy, I just recommend getting one as light as possible. You really feel every ounce of weight on the trail.

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Simple cotton tees. My go-to for day hikes.

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Rain jacket. Lightweight is better. Mine is by Patagonia.

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Hiking shoes. I use Merrell Siren Sport most of the time.

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These are lined in Gore-tex, making them waterproof, and have kept me comfortable and dry through the Swiss Alps, streets of Europe, Canadian Rockies, and throughout Texas.

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Last but not least, a wire-free sports bra.

A friend of mine recently was hiking above treeline on a Colorado mountain with her hiking group, when bolts of lighting began to strike all around them. Everyone started racing down the mountain at full speed. Suddenly, the woman ten steps behind my friend got struck by a bolt of lightning. It was very sad and my heart goes out to her family.  Ever since hearing that story, I’ve opted to avoid carrying metal on my person as much as possible when hiking in the mountains.

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Just have to add the basic necessities like a blow dryer and toiletries and that’s a wrap.

We’re staying with some friends who live near Estes Park and they say they’ve seen black bears on the porch at night.  It’s probably good that we’re leaving Trooper at home.

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