top of page

Short Day Hike Packing Guide

Although I love hiking 14ers, the majority of my hikes are on the beautiful shorter trails near my home. Even though I only plan to be out for 2-4 hours, I still carry some essential items. I have headed out in balmy weather with a beautiful forecast and to my surprise encountered unpredicted rain, wind and small snow flurries. So, it's good to be prepared. I I bring a day pack with water, cell phone, Garmin InReach, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, small first aid kit , a snack, raincoat, down jacket, hat, bear spray, headlamp, and a pocketknife. Lately I have become really addicted to using hiking poles (especially if there will be a lot of downhill sections). I wear good, lightweight, waterproof hiking boots (my personal preference is Merrell Moab) with smartwool socks. Also, dressing in layers is important since the weather can be unpredictable in Colorado. What works well for me is a long or short sleeve merino wool base layer (never cotton), and comfortable hiking pants. If it is a gravel trail, I often wear gaiters to keep pebbles out of my boots. Below are some gear items that I have tried, tested, and love.

Light weight hiking pants      
Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle Pants

Merino wool hiking shirt
Black Diamond Genesis Tech T-Shirt or 
Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer

Hiking boots
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots - Women's

Smartwool hiking socks
Smartwool Women Classic Hike Full Cushion Crew 

Gaiters (depending on trail)
Pike Trail Leg Gaiters – Waterproof and Adjustable 

Or REI Gaitors

Hiking poles
TrailBuddy Trekking Poles - Lightweight, Collapsible
FitBit or watch
Fitbit Versa 4 Fitness Smartwatch 

Polarized sunglasses
Suncloud Zephyr Polarized Sunglasses

Sunhat or baseball hat

Day Pack

Day pack (25-35L)
Osprey Sirus 24 Day Pack

Cell phone and charger
Garmin InReach and charger
Garmin inReach Explorer+, 
Garmin inReach Mini 2

Headlamp and spare batteries
Petzl ACTIK Headlamp - Compact  350 Lumen

Water Bladder 
Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir - 2 Liters 
Water Bottle

Nalgene Water Bottle - 32 fl. oz
Warm merino wool beanie
Smartwool Merino 250 Beanie

Puffy down jacket
REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0

North Face Shell  

Sunscreen SPF 30+
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer  SPF 60           
SPF 30+Lip Balm
SunBum SPF 30 Lip Bal

Hydration Tablets
NUUN Sport Hydration Tablets - 10 Servings
Energy Gummies
PROBAR Bolt Energy Chews

Swiss Army knife
Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife 
Map and compass
AOFAR Military Compass, AF-4580

Extra boot laces
DELELE  Heavy Duty Hiking Shoelaces
LuxoGear Emergency Whistles 
Toilet paper in ziplock bag
High energy snacks (trail mix, protein bars etc.)

Gear Gallery

bottom of page