The Summer Hike Starter Pack
Created with Merrell
Spending time outdoors and staying active are two forms of self-care. Combine them into one and you have the ultimate feel-good experience: hiking. If you’re hitting the trails for the first time in a long time, it’s worth investing in a few basics – we’ve rounded up our favorites here.
Comfort is key. Designed specifically for the female foot, the Bravada 2 provides the right support for long hikes. The deep tread provides ample grip that keeps you from slipping on dusty or wet trails. And they are made with recycled materials and a rock plate, which protects the hiker from sharp and uneven stones.
The first step to success in any outdoor activity: apply sunscreen. For hikes, opt for a model that is resistant to water and perspiration for better protection. We love this 100% mineral SPF 30 lotion from Supergoop because it checks those boxes, and it’s also formulated with skin-nourishing ingredients to hydrate the skin. You’ll want to bring it with you and reapply it on longer rides.
A first aid kit
Filled with bandages, moleskin, hydrocortisone cream, and more, this kit packs the basics together in one compact pouch. Enjoy the great outdoors knowing a blister or scratch can be treated on the go.
The Swiss Army Knife
A pocket knife is an invaluable tool that gives you extra functionality as you embark on a new trail. What you will use it for: open food packaging and cut out the moleskin from your first aid kit, if necessary. This one is small and light.
For when nature calls
We’ve all done the awkward shake-and-dry dance. An ecological and comfortable alternative: a reusable microfiber pee wipe. Kula Cloth is an antimicrobial wipe that is odor resistant, stain resistant and extremely absorbent. Simply attach it to your backpack and close it after use.
The trail mix is nice to have on hand for shorter hikes so you have something to snack on if you need a quick fix. This recipe without a recipe features pistachios, cherries, chocolate, cashews, and cardamom, and it’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
You have all the materials ready. Now you just need a place to keep it organized and easy to access. The Merrell Crest Eco Dye Sling Backpack is equipped with all the right pockets and compartments. EVA foam shoulder straps and back panel, plus additional compression straps, provide extra comfort so you won’t feel weighed down, even if you’re carrying a larger reusable water bottle.
Hiking Project is a free hiking guide that includes all the best hikes to explore near you. We love downloading it because it shows your location on the trails even when you’ve lost cell signal.
We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to only suggest things we like and think you might too. We also like transparency, so full disclosure: we may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you buy through the external links on this page (including links to Amazon).