14 Christmas Gifts Lady Hikers Will Love

I love recommending gifts to people! It’s like a fun little riddle, thinking of what a person with a certain set of tastes and interests would enjoy. All of these are things she will actually use hiking, and if not–they are things she deserves for being such a good outdoorsy girl.

This is part of my Christmas Gift Guides for Outdoorsy Women Series, so check out the other posts in this category as well.

Columbia Trail Leggings

Columbia Trail Leggings, columbia.com

Leggings are popular on the trial, and when I’m not in my Prana Halle pants (below) I can usually be found in something like this.

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Fitbit Charge Activity Tracker

Fitbit Charge Activity Tracker, Amazon.com

A Day Pack

My two recommendations:

Osprey Daylite Pack, Amazon.com (Has a hydration reservoir spot)

Osprey Tempest 9 Day Pack, Amazon.com

If you get her the Daylite pack you might want to consider getting her a Camelbak water reservoir.

I have to pee just looking at this, but it is seriously helpful on the trail. With a normal water bottle you don’t have to stop, take off your pack, get out the bottle, etc but with a Camelbak, you just pop the end of the hose in your mouth and keep on going.

 

Prana Halle Hiking Pant

Prana Halle Hiking Pant, Amazon.com

These are my absolute favorite hiking pants on earth. So comfortable and flattering.
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Etsy Mountains Are Calling Shirt

The Mountains are Calling Shirt, etsy.com

This is so cute!

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Hike More Worry Less Sweatshirt

Hike More Worry Less Sweatshirt, etsy.com

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YETI Rambler Bottle with a Texas-shaped Home Custom Decal

Yeti Rambler 36 oz., Amazon.com

Texas Home Custom Decal, Etsy.com

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Nikon DSLR

If she loves hiking, chances are she would love nice photos of the places she goes. I have a Nikon D3300 but have listed a few options for improving her photo game here.

Nikon D3300, Amazon.com

A D3300 is an investment but it is worth every penny for its photo quality.

Tamron Wide Angle Lens

Tamron Wide Angle Lens, Amazon.com

A wide angle lens makes a huge difference when taking landscape shots, and will make her photos look truly professional.

Canon Powershot SX410

Canon Powershot SX410, Amazon.com

Aukey iPhone Wide Angle Lens Clip

Aukey iPhone Wide Angle Lens Clip, Amazon.com

This is an inexpensive option perfect as a stocking stuffer!

Marmot Precip Rain Jacket

Marmot Precip Rain Jacket, Amazon.com

Top Pick by Outdoor Gear Lab and a totally essential piece for a hiker.

Alternate Option: Arcteryx Zeta LT Jacket, Amazon.com (<–excellent quality and very pro looking)

Salomon Women’s X Ultra Prime Hiking Shoe

Salomon X Ultra Shoe, Amazon.com

This is a GREAT trail hiking shoe made by a reputable brand.

Prana La Viva Trucker Hat

Prana La Viva Trucker Hat, Amazon.com

These are perfect for the trail and come in a dozen other colors!

DeLorme InReach Satellite Messenger

DeLorme InReach Satellite Messenger, Amazon.com

If you love her, you probably worry about her going out alone and something happening to her, right? (Have you seen 127 Hours?!) This gadget allows her to send texts or emails with GPS coordinates and trigger an SOS if needed.

Unfortunately my brother did not let me use this to send an emergency signal for a masseuse and some pizza when we were backpacking this summer. Jerk.

Texas State Parks Pass / National Parks Pass

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

A Walk in the Woods, Amazon.com

This is one of my favorite books! Read my review.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Amazon.com

Another book about hiking. I have a love hate relationship with this book but its one any woman hiker should read. Lots of relatable moments in there.

Read my review here.

 

That’s all for now. Good luck shopping and Merry Christmas!

Affiliate links used, but I would recommend these products anyways!

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3 Hiking Shoes Perfect for Girl Hikers

SHOES. One of my favorite topics. (And literature, world affairs, and politics, of course.) One of the most common questions I get from girls who hike is what hiking shoes I recommend. The world of outdoor shoes is vast, and it’s hard to tell online or after 15 minutes in a store what will be comfortable over miles and miles of trail.

But this list is pretty bulletproof. I have tested these shoes and feel very confident recommending them to you! I own two of these and my mother owns the other, which I proceed to steal from her whenever I get the chance.

FYI my post How To Pick the Perfect Hiking Shoes is a helpful guide for sizing and selection.

Merrell Siren Sport Waterproof

Perfect for: day hikes

I love these Merrell’s so very much. They’ve seen me through a month backpacking through Europe and a week hiking in the Canadian Rockies, and many mountain and trail adventures that followed, and I’ve never been uncomfortable in them. The sole is very sturdy and has lasted for ages.

 

Merrell Siren Sport, Amazon.com (several colors available)

Waterproof version: Merrell Siren Sport Waterproof (<– Recommended for longer hikes/backpacking trips)

Salomon Ellipse GTX

Perfect for: day hikes

This is another one of my favorites. Holly wore these here, hiking in Peru. They are waterproof.

Salomon Ellipse GTX, Amazon.com

Another great Salomon option: X Ultra 2, Amazon.com

Lowa Renegate GTX

Perfect for: longer day hikes (over 5 miles), backpacking

These are my latest favorite purchase and they come in about 99 different colors, so it was hard to choose. (But those who know me well will not be surprised to learn I ended up with purple.) They are SO comfortable, I wore them all over the eastern Sierra mountains this summer backpacking with my brother and husband. My feet couldn’t have been happier, despite the long days and rocky terrain.

Lowa Renegade GTX Hiking Boot, Amazon.com

(A larger color selection can be found on their website.)

Highly recommend!!

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6 Things to Always Pack in Your Day Pack

This post is part of my Girl’s Guide to Day Hiking, which I hope inspires you to head to a nearby trail and enjoy the great outdoors!

Below you will find a list of what I have found essential to take in my day pack for every hike.

Day Pack Recommendations

Water

An average person should drink about 2 liters of water per day, so if you are going on a half-day hike, take about 1 liter of water in your day pack.

Water Bottle Recommendations

  • Nalgene 1 Liter bottle, Amazon.com
  • Get something with a wide opening at the top so you can easily fit ice in

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Snack

 

Even if you don’t feel hungry, a little fuel will help you get through the last part of the hike. Alternatively, depending on your schedule, you could pack a picnic and stop at a scenic point for lunch!

Snack Recommendations

 

  • Luna bars, Lara bars, Kind bars, and Clif bars are great. My favorites are Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick bar, Clif Mint Chocolate Builder’s bar, Blueberry Vanilla & Cashew Kind bar and Blueberry Muffin Lara Bar. So yummy!
  • Aaricka and Ha from my Girl’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park say fruit and beef jerky are the way to go because they love the salty and sweet combination.

Camera

You know if you don’t take a camera, you will see a bear, right? 🙂 Nature seems to know when you forget your camera.

Camera Recommendations

Sunscreen

A few hours on the trail can be very intense on your skin! I keep a few bottles in my day pack ready to go.

Sunscreen Recommendations

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Chap Stick

The dry air and dust always seem to parch my lips when I’m out hiking, and so I always keep vaseline handy because it provides a thick protective coat and is the only brand my lips don’t get addicted to.

Chap Stick Recommendations

Hand Wipes

I like having these around before eating on the trail (and especially after using a park restroom.) While Purell cleanses, it doesn’t get the dirt off, so I stick to wipes for the great out of doors.

(These come in handy for a host of other outdoor activities including hunting and fishing.)

A few other things I’ve often found valuable:

  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing
  • Dog gear! If you’re hiking with your dog, don’t count on him finding a creek somewhere along the trail. Bring a separate water bowl or bottle, as well as the plastic baggies that keep the trail tidy.

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What to Wear on a Day Hike

Day hiking is one of my favorite ways to work out and experience the outdoors. If you haven’t already seen my post, Why Hiking is the Best Hobby, I encourage you to check it out!

Below is a list of basic clothing and accessories for day hikes. Many of these things may already be in your closet!

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View of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, 2016

General Advice

  • Wear materials that wick sweat and dry quickly. (Polyester and synthetic blends are perfect.)
  • When you want to take a break, you will be sitting either on the ground, a stump, or a rock, so be sure to wear something that you wouldn’t mind getting snagged.

Top

Any short-sleeved or sleeveless top will do for day hikes, especially those made of quick dry material.

Top Recommendations:

Motus Crew

Shorts or Pants

Running shorts or spandex shorts work just fine, as will capri-length leggings. For pants, I would encourage lightweight hiking pants over anything else because they are more breathable and comfortable.

I personally swear by prAna, a women’s outdoor clothing brand, when it comes to hiking. (And life in general! I wear their things on a regular basis when in town!) Their fabrics hold up so well and they offer a more feminine cut than other brands.

Shorts and Pants Recommendations:

No denim, y’all! This is very uncomfortable on the trail.

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Shoes

Tennis shoes work fine for day hikes. If you are going to hike periodically and want to invest in shoes more suited to this activity, I recommend getting trail running shoes. I have used the following shoes with great success and they rank very highly by gear review sites.

Shoe Recommendations:

Note: go a half size up for most comfort

Hiking boots are even more stable and are great for longer hikes. Try the Lowa Renegade GTX–these are mine and I love them.

For further guidance on picking the right shoe, check out my post, How to Pick the Perfect Hiking Shoes.

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Lindsey in Salomon trail running shoes, Big Bend, 2016

Socks

Regular athletic socks work fine! If you’re going to buy hiking socks, I love the Darn Tough brand.

Sock Recommendations:

Darn Tough Socks

I recommend light or medium cushion for hiking. When hiking in Texas, go with light. Medium is too hot.

Rain Jacket or Poncho

Having a rain jacket or poncho is essential in the mountains. Rain comes frequently and unexpectedly you don’t want to be caught without it.

Now, if you are hiking in Texas, where it doesn’t rain as often, a rain jacket is not imperative unless rain is in the forecast.

Rain Jacket Recommendations:

Day Pack

Carry a small backpack with you (see What to Pack in Your Day Pack for guidance) on each day hike. This is for water, sunscreen, etc.

Day Pack Recommendations:

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Hat

The sun can be brutal and you’ll want a hat to keep it off your face, so be sure to bring a baseball cap or wide brimmed hat with you.

You can never go wrong with a hat made by Tilley Endurables (I’m kind of addicted to mine…).

Trucker hats are also wildly popular on the trail.

Hat Recommendations

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Sunglasses

Any sunglasses will do, but if you want to get technical, polarized sunglasses are great at cutting out the glare of sunny outdoor landscapes.

Sunglass Recommendations

That about covers the basics! If you are hiking in the dead of winter, you will need to add layers, but this should do for the rest of the year.

Happy hiking, ladies.

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Why Hiking is the Best Hobby

Hiking is a wonderful hobby. You don’t have to pack for an overnight excursion and you don’t have to go far outside the city limits, but you still get to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature. All while getting exercise! Just to elaborate a little more on this, today I wanted to share other reasons why this is such a great activity.

1. Hiking is great exercise.

First and foremost, the exercise!

Nature is so much prettier than a gym. Stretch your legs on long walks over flat terrain, or do interval training over varied terrain. Or, up the difficulty and run on trails. I love getting my 10,000 steps in every day with a walk down to the creek by our house. Even though it is in the middle of the city, it’s my time to commune with nature.

2. You can take your dog.

And don’t our four legged friends make life more fun? Most parks allow dogs on leashes.

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I have a feeling our pups prefer hikes with mom over mom going to the gym, too.

3. Hiking is great for many ages and stages in life.

From flat boardwalks to wide winding paths, to rocky slopes, there is a trail for every man, woman, and child on earth!

  • Trail maps are available at all state parks and online for most county or city parks, and the ease of the hike is often indicated.
  • Use www.alltrails.com to find more specific trail info.

One thing I love about nature is that everyone can enjoy it in some way–whether it’s the sights, sounds, hard trails or easy trails, we can all partake in its beauty.

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4. The beauty, fresh air, and peace and quiet is rejuvenating.

We should all stop every now and then to appreciate beauty, and nature is one of the most beautiful masterpieces we could ever find. Like gazing out at the ocean or at a mountain view, simply being away from the hustle and bustle of the city is soothing.

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5. Only takes an hour or two.

Thanks to the convenience of trails located in or near the city, you can fit this into a normal day.

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6. It doesn’t require any special equipment.

Hiking does not require an investment in fancy clothing, bags, or attire. (Though if you want to invest, Whit’s Wilderness certainly can tell you how!) As long as you have tennis shoes, you can go hiking. Wear your work out clothes, or khaki shorts, tee shirt, and ball cap and you’re set.

In that vein,

7. It’s affordable.

Most park entry fees are under $10, or at the very least under $20, and some parks are entirely free. You will spend less on this than you would on a yoga class…and come out just as refreshed.

8. Day hikes can be done within city limits or only a few miles outside of the city.

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Hill Country outside of Austin

9. It’s fun and healthy for kids to get outside and see the natural world with all of its curiosities.

Nature is a great teacher and has plenty to spark your kid’s curiosity. (Even if mom has to help point those things out sometimes!) The great outdoors are their own children’s museum and playground in one, and there is so much to learn and do.

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At the very least, it tuckers them out!

10. The views can’t be beat.

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The higher you climb, the better the view, as they say.

Happy hiking, ladies!

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