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Summer Hiking Apparel for Women

Royal Robbins logoLooking for some functional and stylish hiking apparel for your upcoming summer hikes? Royal Robbins has a new collection for 2015, and I’ve had the chance to test out some of the line.

Royal Robbins was one of the pioneers of American rock climbing, and if you ever head to Yosemite National Park, you’ll hear his name quite a bit. He is a legend, and in 1968 founded this apparel company with his wife. Since then, the company continues to develop stylish and functional outdoor clothing. They have a broad line of lifestyle apparel as well as more technical, on-trail styles.

Royal Robbins apparel

Hiking Lady testing the Royal Robbins 2015 Discovery Pants and Pack N’ Go Jacket

Royal Robbins has a wide range of hiking and lifestyle apparel. The 2015 women’s hiking apparel is functional and comfortable (and looks good!) on the trail. Plus their 2015 collection includes several new dresses, skirts, and tops for summer that will keep heads turning on your in-town adventures. Some of my favorites from their spring/summer 2015 women’s collection are:

  • Pack N’Go Jacket: A lightweight jacket that blocks wind, has a two-way zipper, and UPF 30+ protection (see why UPF sun protection is very important). If you’re on a day hike and there’s a chance of wind or chilly temperatures, then this is a very stylish and practical jacket. I particularly like the adjustable cuffs (see picture)
  • Royal Robbins Pack N' Go Jacket

    Adjustable cuffs on the Royal Robbins Pack N’ Go Jacket

    Royal Robbins Backcountry Short

    Royal Robbins Backcountry Short

  • Backcountry short. These shorts are very comfortable. They are shorter than the Backcountry Walker short (these come to the mid thigh), and are good for a hot summer day. I like the large back pockets as well as zippered front pocket. Because they are made of a special nylon called “Laundered Supplex nylon”, they feel almost like cotton and they don’t wrinkle. I know…I have worn my test pair several times and washed them and they hold up very well. Be sure to wear insect repellent if you’re wearing shorts in mosquito country!
  • Noe S/S top. A flattering adjustable sleeve (sleeveless or cap sleeve) top that is made of extremely soft rayon. It is a good travel top that can be easily dressed up or down. The shoulder buttons make it better suited for town than on the trail (a backpack will rub on the shoulder buttons).
  • Discovery Pant. I love these pants! These are my new go-to hiking pants because they are comfortable, wicking, fashionable, and functional. Hiking Lady reader Karen recently asked about a pair of black hiking pants for her daughter working on turtle research in Costa Rica, and these pants are what I recommended to her (see Ask Hiking Lady: Black Hiking Pants?). Note, they come in taupe as well, and the best part is that they come in lengths, so if you’re petite, you won’t need to spend more money or time on hemming this pair.
  • Royal Robbins Discovery Pants

    Wearing the 2015 Royal Robbins Discovery Pants

Stay comfortable and fashionable this spring and summer, and check out Royal Robbins’ 2015 line. Thank you to Royal Robbins for providing samples of their women’s hiking collection for testing by Hiking Lady, and for sponsoring the May 2015 Hiking Lady contest. Enter for a chance to win a pair of my new favorite hiking pants, the Discovery Pants, in your size!

2 Essentials All Hikers Need to Stay Protected from the Sun!

Sun protection for hikersWhat are the 2 things all hikers need to stay protected from the sun’s harmful rays?

Over 90% of all skin cancers are because of sun exposure, and I don’t want to be another skin cancer victim. Plus, UV rays are especially high in areas where I like to explore: snow, sand, water, and high altitudes!

  1. A UPF rated broad brimmed hiking hat
  2. Broad spectrum sun block

Hiking Lady’s Favorite Essential Sun Protection Gear:

Wallaroo Capetown Hat Wallaroo Capetown Hat: Australian’s know the importance of UV protection due to the harsh rays in the land down under. It’s no wonder that they developed a very practical yet stylish UPF 50+ rated hat, the Wallaroo Capetown. It is very lightweight, has a 3 inch brim in front, and 4.25 inch brim in the back, providing excellent coverage of your face and neck from the sun. The chin strap helps keep it in place on windy hikes. Learn more about these hats at wallaroohats.com.
trilipiderm Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with Vitamin D trilipiderm Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with Vitamin D: This sunblock goes on smoothly and it doesn’t make you smell like you’re headed to the beach. What is nice is that it also has Vitamin D, which apparently can help restore the Vitamin D that your body needs to remain healthy, all while blocking out most UVA and UVB rays. Learn more about trilipiderm at trilipiderm.com.

Learn all you need to know at Hiking 101

Thule Introduces Technical Backpack Collection

Thule Guidepost BackpackMany of you know the Thule brand from their iconic roof rack car accessories, introduced seventy years ago. With the focus on design and comfort, Thule is introducing the Thule Technical Backpack Collection. They have spent three years putting their packs through rigorous testing, which will now be hitting the market for hikers and backpackers.

This is quite exciting, given Thule’s expertise in outdoor travel and dedication to smart design. What are these backpack lines all about?

The Thule Technical Backpack Collection:

  • Thule Capstone: Gender specific day packs that range from 22L to 50L, with a “MicroAdjust suspension system” that apparently will enable hikers to fit the backpacks to their body profile, and provide for adjustments during hiking.
  • Thule Capstone hiking backpacks

    Thule Capstone hiking backpacks



  • Thule Guidepost: Gender specific backpacking packs in 65L and 75L with a highly customizable suspension system, pivoting hipbelt, and patent-pending Lid-to-Daypack Summit Pack. I love summit packs, so I am very excited to try out this feature!
    Thule Guidepost backpacking packs

    Thule Guidepost backpacking packs

    Summit pack

    Summit pack

As you can see, the prices are steep, but in line with some Gregory and Osprey backpacking packs. If the technical features are as advertised, then it could be well worth it.

Stay tuned! I have the opportunity to test the Thule Guidepost women’s specific backpacking early this summer, and will keep you posted as to my experiences with the backpack.

Happy trails!

10 Things All Hikers and Campers Must Know About Campfire Safety

Smokey Bear fire safetyIt’s that time of year again, fire season! That means a good reminder about fire safety is in order for all of you hikers and campers out there!

10 Campfire Safety Tips:

  1. Find out if the campground allows campfires!
  2. Know the weather conditions and forecast. If windy conditions are in the forecast, be sure use extra caution and check with the campground manager or ranger.
  3. Pick a good site for your campfire. Always use a firepit, if available. If the campsite allows fires and there are not firepits, find a spot free of dry debris, low hanging overhead branches, or any other flammable objects. Keep your fire at least 15 feet away from your tent and anything else that could be a fire hazard. Also, be sure the area around the fire is watered down, and keep it watered down.
  4. Prepare your campfire site. It needs to only have gravel or dirt for a minimum of ten feet in every direction. No firepit? Then get a burn barrel, BBQ pit, or build a small pit with gravel around it.
  5. Look up! Heat travels up, and well above the flames of your campfire. Therefore, double check and make sure there isn’t anything above your fire site (trees, power lines, etc.).
  6. Practice match safety. The match that you use to start the fire needs to be doused with water to make sure it is dead before you toss it.
  7. Skip the lighter fluids. Don’t use lighter fluids, gas, or fuel to keep the fire going.
  8. Keep it small. Keep your fire under control. Smaller is better.
  9. Attend to your fire! If the fire is burning, you have to stay at the site. Even if little embers are still burning, you have to stick around.
  10. Put out the fire. You think the fire is out? Well, you better check again. Drown the fire with water, turn over the embers, and drown it again. Repeat. Then repeat again. Then repeat a couple more times for good measure!

Be fire safe an have fun camping and hiking this summer! For more tips, check out the Smokey Bear website!

How Much Water Do You Need to Drink?

CamelBak's Hydration Calculator

CamelBak’s Hydration Calculator

You need to stay hydrated while you’re hiking. Insufficient hydration can lead to dehydration, which then can lead to low blood pressure, rapid heart beat, fever, shriveled skin, and more. Needless to say, lets just focus on the positive here and work on staying properly hydrated on the trail!

How Much Water to Drink?

Determining how much water you need to drink isn’t always easy to compute. The simple answer is to drink a lot and listen to your body, but when going on a long hike or even a backpacking trip, it may not be feasible to take a lot of water with you, and planning well is crucial.

CamelBak has developed a calculator online, that serves as a guideline for your hydration needs. For example, if you enter into the CamelBak Hydration Calculator system that you are a 5’5″ female, who weighs 130 pounds and is 40 years old, and provide some information about your typical sweating and urination as well as information about your hiking activity and weather conditions, their formula will spit out some recommendations. By taking into account your physical parameters, the level of intensity of your outdoor activity, and the environmental conditions of your activity, the calculator makes a recommendation on the total amount of water you’ll need for your activity and how much you should drink per hour. CamelBak’s system is not perfect, and you need to calculate your personal sweat rate for even better accuracy. Nonetheless, it is a nice starting point!

Gear to Help You Stay Hydrated

CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle (NEW!): The CamelBak Eddy water bottle is a convenient size to keep in the outer pocket of your backpack. I use mine regularly, both while hiking and in the car. The flip, bite, and sip technology means no tipping is required, making it very safe for drinking and driving :).
CamelBak Antidote Bladder CamelBak Antidote Bladder: A hydration bladder is a must have for all hikers, and it is the easiest way I have found to stay hydrated. The convenience of having hands-free access to your water without having to pick up a bottle or open your backpack helps you stay hydrated.
CamelBak Antidote Bladder SteriPEN Adventurer Opti: Are you going hiking somewhere near a water source? Headed out backpacking for multiple days and want to make sure that the water you find in the wilderness is safe to drink? My water treatment method of choice is the SteriPEN Adventurer Opti. It is compact, easy to use, and you can have the peace of mind knowing that when you refill your water bottle or hydration bladder out in the wilderness that the water you’re drinking is safe.

Lastly, CamelBak has developed a flow meter, however, the reviews are extremely negative. I am hesitant to purchase one because of the bad reviews, but the concept is great. Hopefully CamelBak will update their Flow Meter Hydration Gauge to be more accurate!

CamelBak Flow Meter

The CamelBak Flow Meter is a great concept, but apparently it isn’t very accurate. Hopefully CamelBak will update their flow meter! It would be a great way to monitor your water intake during outdoor activity.

The bottom line: Fill up your water bottles and your hydration bladder, and always take extra water with you. Stayed hydrated is the best way to stay healthy and feeling great.

Happy trails!