05.31.17 - Mountain Tested Hiking Accessories
How do I keep comfortable while hiking? Bugs, sweat, sunscreen, hiking packs, thirst, hunger, heat, wind, sun - the elements can sometimes be out of your favor. So, can we keep this fun?
Short answer: Pack light, shield your skin, bring a visor and WATER.
Yup, no doubt about it- hiking is so much better when you're comfortable and prepared. Here's a list of the top 5 "Hiking Essentials" that we have found make the trip to the summit that much better.
1. The Totally Tubular®
The Totally Tubular® is totally down for anything. It can be a headband, a neck gaiter, a hat, a do-rag, a pillow case for camping, sweatband around your wrist, hair elastic, a hood, a neck cape, a balaclava (you get the picture...)
With sweat-wicking Comfort Shell™ fabric and UPF 50+ Sun Protection, there aren't many things to fear when you're covered by one of these must-have outdoor accessories. The Totally Tubular® is simple in concept with wide, varying and multi-dimensional uses: it's a fabric tube (literally) for your head, neck and face. It wicks sweat, shields from wind & weather, protects from sunburn and provides cooling shade from the heat above. We love it for the longer hikes since it's like packing 4 products in 1; you can use it as a headband, a neck gaiter, a balaclava, a turban, a facemask or a balaclava,. This high tech neck gaiter comes in two weights - Lightweight & Ultra Lightweight. The UPF 50+ sun protection factors are unwavering on every weight and style of this dreamy product. While you'll find endless patterns and colors to choose from, each of them do a great job of keep you moving in comfort on the trail without adding any extra baggage to your hiking pack.
What to pack:
2. Big Brims. Big, Big brims.
Big brims mean big relief when it comes to the sunburn you were never expecting to get while on the trail. The sun can be sneaky while you hike, hitting you from multiple angles as you wind up the beaten path towards the top. Once you summit, don't forget- you're up there soaking it all in and taking pictures for as long as you want; time that with the wrong hour of the afternoon and you have yourself a humbling souvenir to show off to everyone on your cheeks. Cover up, you'll thank yourself. We picked a few hats that will do the trick no matter what time of day it is & listed them for you to look at below:
What to pack:
A good ball cap will shield your eyes from the sun while letting your head breathe in comfort. We know a thing or two about changing weather, and how a cap can be fitting for a multitude of weird-climate changes when you need protection from sun, wind and rain the most.
Choices for the best hiking caps range from convenient to total utility. Folding bills can make them pocket-packable, 100% nylon also helps keep their weight down and adds to their water-resistance. Be sure to look out for caps with mesh sides and/or backs, so that you don't end up working up too much of a sweat while you're on the way to the top.
What to pack:
Step after step, breath after breath, you're slowly getting somewhere in the woods and above the tree line before you know it. There's something else you're working on, too: maintaining your body temperature! Working up a sweat is all a part of the hike. While it feels great to recognize how hard your body is working while you're on the trail - sweat consistently on your hairline and face is never a good feeling. Since you're always wearing sunscreen (right?) - it's also a recipe for disaster if any gets into your eyes. Last, but never the least, sweat is a mosquito attractant... need we say more?
Solutions are abound, however: Headbands. They wick up sweat, are lightweight and look great on everyone. Peruse a few choices we found below and maybe you'll find yourself keeping dry by the summit.
What to pack:
5. Easy Extras
So, no, we don't mean a super fancy hiking pack or a hydration system meant for interstellar travel. We simply mean stuff to carry along that will provide extra benefits without any cons. Lightweight & space-saving water bottles, utensils and blankets can make the difference between a quick turn-around at the top or a nice time to hang out and enjoy the view.