Hiking 101

Hiking LadyIf you’re a seasoned hiker and backpacker, you know that the right preparation, apparel, and hiking gear can make a huge difference in how enjoyable your outdoor experiences are.

Boots that fit you, paired with the right socks and proper lacing technique will mean a blister free hike! A backpack that fits you and is worn properly will mean pain free shoulders. The right sunglasses will reduce glare, especially if you’re hiking near water or snow. And trekking poles could save you from knee pain!

As more women take up hiking and backpacking, manufacturers are getting clued in that they need to make Men’s gear and Women’s gear. Forget shrink it and pink it!

Read on and find out tips and recommendations on how to find the right hiking gear for you!


Adventure Apparel:Adventure Apparel

Everything you’ll need to get your closet ready for the trail. Information on hiking pants, tops, hats, outerwear, underwear, and sunglasses!

Backpacks:Backpacks Don’t want tired shoulders? Then make sure your backpack fits your body. Here I share tips on hydration waistpacks, hiking daypacks, and backpacks for overnight trips, and how to find one that is right for you!
Boots: Boots Hiking boots are the most important gear purchase you’ll ever make. In addition to traditional hiking boots, I have loads of information on all of the footwear you’ll need for your outdoor adventures: women’s water shoes, trail running shoes, hiking boots, backpacking boots, mountaineering boots, insoles, socks and sock liners, and down booties.
Emergency Gear: Emergency Gear What is a good, loud whistle to take along on the trail? How about a great first aid kit and emergency shelter? Hiking 101: Emergency Gear is your go-to resource!
Gaiters:Gaiters Want to know why hikers wear gaiters? And what features of gaiters I find important? Check out what I have to say about desert gaiters and snow gaiters.
Outdoor GPS Units: Outdoor GPS Units Outdoor GPS units are devices that can help find your location, plot a route, track your route, and provide statistics on direction and distance traveled. Don’t have one yet or upgrading your old one?  Check out my tips.
Headlamps: Headlamps


Setting up camp at dusk? Cooking after sunset? Hiking in the early morning or evening? Want to be safer in emergencies? Then you need a headlamp!
Maps: How Not to Get Lost!


Whenever I hit the trail, I always bring along my map and compass. Even if I have my GPS with me, I still rely on a traditional printed map and my trusty compass. What’s the Best Hiking Map – USGS Maps? Tom Harrison Maps? National Geographic Maps?


Pedometers: Headlamps If an outdoor GPS unit is out of your budget, and you want to spend $15 to $75 instead of $150-$400, check out pedometers. Plus, if you’re a runner, jogger, or walker who enjoys setting goals, a pedometer is definitely an item you’ll want to own! Learn about heart rate monitor pedometers, pedometer watches, and ones that can be attached to or worn inside your shoes for better measurement!
Roof Boxes: Roof Racks, Bars, Bags, and BoxesA Thule Roof Rack


If you find yourself with a growing family and needing more cargo space in your vehicle, then this is a must read piece.  Keep the car or SUV you already have and double your storage space!
Sleeping Bags: Sleeping Bags Since women are naturally colder than men (there are many scientific studies proving this), you want to buy a women’s specific bag with extra padding in the foot bed and where your hands rest, and be sure to study the temperature ratings. Content coming soon! In the meantime read my review of my Women’s Marmot Teton Sleeping Bag.
Sleeping Pads: Sleeping Pads Don’t sacrifice thickness for weight! Since the average women is shorter than the average man, you can save space and pack weight by buying a women’s specific sleeping pad. Content coming soon! In the meantime read my review of my Thermarest Trail Pro Sleeping Pad.
Snowshoes: Snowshoes One of my favorite ways to enjoy the beauty and bliss of wintertime is snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is essentially “hiking” in the wintertime, and you’ll need a pair of snowshoes to keep yourself afloat on the snow. Read more about snowshoes here, and learn about women’s specific snowshoes that will make it easier for you to maneuver through the snow.
 Trekking Poles: Trekking Poles You’ll want a pair of trekking poles if you want your knees to work when you’re older.
Water Treatment: Water Treatment If you enjoy backpacking, you’re going to need to treat your water. What option is right for you? Check out the Hiking Lady guide to Water Treatment to help you decide.






  1. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Keith, I presume you are referring to a PUR Hiker or Hiker Pro water filter, the ones that were sold in the 1990s? If so, I’d just replace the filter (assuming it is 20 years old!) and you can use it just fine, without the need for any tablets. The PUR business was sold to Katadyn, and they sell compatible filters. Here’s a link to the filter that will likely work for your unit. Hope that helps!

  2. Keith says:

    I have an older PUR water filter used only once very recently. Is it ok to use this only or does it need to be used in conjunction with chlorine dioxide tabs? I hike mainly in the SE USA and take water from flowing stream and springs.

  3. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi LM,
    Thank you for your comments and insight. I definitely agree that it is harder and harder to find unique brands and products in stores, and that is why many people have turned to online shopping. What has happened is that the online world has taken over, and people can find better deals at Amazon, REI, EMS, etc. online than they can find in the store. Often times there are online only coupons, and usually the availability of products are far broader than they are in stores. I for one buy all of my shoes and hiking boots from Zappos because of their free return policy. Since I often will order a narrow width, I know that they won’t be available in any stores. It is sad that Sports Authority is closing. Here in California we also recently lost Sports Chalet. I sure hope that there are as many people participating in outdoor activities and sports! I think they are, they are just finding the unique brands they want online.
    Happy trails!

  4. LM says:

    This is slightly off topic here, but I just got news that The Sports Authority is going to close all their stores meaning that they are going out of business. I heard that all stores would be closed by August 2016.
    I sort-of saw it coming because I shop at that large Sports Authority store at Northern Boulevard , Queens , New York ,and more often than not, I just walked in , and there were so few if any other people shopping. I noticed this for a long time.
    However, I have observed the same of most of Modell’s stores but Modell’s has even opened some new stores in New York in recent months.
    I think that Sports Authority was so much better and I wondered why they did not have more stores in Manhattan ( where I live).

    Sports Authority had so much more variety than Modell’s.
    Sports Authority had bikes, tents and sleeping mats for camping,fishing poles and better kinds of athletic and hiking clothes.
    Modell’s seems to have mostly clothing and equipment for Basketball, Baseball, and Football. They have a bit of merchandise for tennis, hockey and a few other sports . They mostly seem to display very “Urban ” and “Street smart” and ghettoized styles of T-shirts and shorts and especially basketball sneakers which I guess is mostly because that is the way the manufacturers make them.
    Of course no matter what store I shopped at, it was often hard for me to find the athletic clothing I needed since most styles have tacky colors. Manufacturers just don’t much consider older people who want to play sports or be athletic, or people who just don’t care for the horrifically flamboyant styles that exist in clothes for jogging, running, yoga etc.

    Sports Authority sold clothing from more obscure or less advertised companies such as Alpine Design and Columbia.
    Modell”s has mainly only Nike, Under Armour, Addidas, and Asics. All of which mostly have slightly different versions of the same styles. They are very much like each other.

    Without a greater variety of brands, it is harder to find what you may need and like.
    The closing of Sports Authority is especially sad since it follows on the heels of the closing of the only two Eastern Mountain Sports Stores in New York City.
    You can only shop Eastern Mountain Sports online now.

    I am not too sure what is going on. Are fewer people engaging in athletic activity or sports?
    Heck, no one need to be aiming to become a top marathon runner, or climb Mount Everest, or play in the major leagues to buy athletic clothing and gear.

    Anyone have other words about this?

  5. Lisa says:

    Dear Hiking Lady, your blog is so adorable! The post you have shared is so informative and worth reading! Enjoy reading so much! Thank you for devoting your time in sharing with us the useful information for hiking lover.

  6. Hiking Lady says:

    Thanks Andra. I’m a big fan of Jennifer Pharr Davis, and I’m so happy to hear that she has endorsed your products! Happy trails, and keep up the good work developing products for “hiking ladies” :).

  7. Trek Everest says:

    Great blog! Its great reading through. Huge bunch of useful information on hiking. It’s always wise decision to check back or tick the check-list of full preparation prior to embarking on hiking holidays.

  8. Melissa says:

    Thank you for your amazingly helpful site! Recently have been getting into hiking and it’s wonderful–for body, mind & soul. You are an inspiration to everyone (in particular, to women). Thank you for devoting your time to this website–it’s such a great assistance!

  9. Ann Stires says:

    I am preparing form my first big hike in 2014. My daughter and I will be hiking down the Grand Canyon, staying 2 nights then hiking out. This site is extremely helpful….thank you….

  10. I love reading your blog. That is very nice blog with lots of useful information. Before going on hiking always check you things. These tips are really helpful for beginner and for experienced.

  11. This post is very helpful! Thank you for posting tips and recommendations for the gears that are necessary when going outdoors. I will keep this list for future reference.:)

  12. Sharon Rogers says:

    What an amazing site you have with Hiking Lady. So helpful for someone who is new. My boyfriend and I are hiking and lovin it.
    Thank you

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