My everyday hiking essentials

Hello and sorry for the hiatus last week! Work has been extremely busy, so I disconnected from technology at home for a while. It wasn’t great for my blogging schedule, but my sanity was at sake.

I got a couple questions about my favorite hiking gear on my Salt Lake City and Zion National Park posts, so I’m sharing them today. This post will be helpful if you’re like me: an average person who loves to hike on vacation and looking for basic items — hydration backpacks, shoes, socks, hats. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Small hydration backpack
I love my Outdoor backpack. It’s small yet functional, has lots of pockets and comes with a 2-liter bladder. (Side note: who decided to name it a bladder?!) It buckles at the chest and waist for added support. And perhaps most importantly, the price is right at around $30. With the bladder full, I can still fit snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, hat, gloves, long-sleeved shirt, and an extra water bottle.


You can see from the photo it’s a pretty small pack.

Water-resistant pants
Nothing is worse than hiking in cold, wet pants. You need these Women’s Guide Pro water-resistant pants from Eddie Bauer. They are stretchy, UPF 50 sun protection, sort of stylish and of course, repel water. The only downside is they are thin, and you may need an extra layer beneath them if it’s cold. In the picture below from San Juan Island, I actually had leggings on underneath, which worked out great.


Hiking shoe
I am a person with perpetual foot problems and rarely meet a shoe that doesn’t give me blisters or makes my feet hurt. With that in mind, I sought out a lightweight, comfortable hiking shoe. Waterproof was also important. My Ahnu hiking shoes check all the boxes and make it easy to traverse rocks and other uneven surfaces. No blisters and I can go 7-8 miles before my feet start to hurt, which may sound silly, but it’s a win for me.

Sometimes you want a hat that won’t blow off your head with a big gust of wind, right? I found this bucket hat from REI that offers more coverage than a baseball hat, has an adjustable chin strap, and is moisture wicking with UPF 30 sun protection, too! I got it in an olive green color and feel like it’s an acceptable level of dorky.


My all-time favorite sneakers are Asics GT-2000s. I’ve worn this Asics model for nearly 10 years through a variety of activities — elliptical, walking, running, weight lifting and hiking. I even wore them for the Observation Point hike at Zion with no issues. I find they run a little small and typically go up half a size.

Wearing the right socks can make or break your experience. My favorites are the CoolMax Ultralight Hiking Ankle Socks from REI. They are super soft, lightweight, seamless, moisture-wicking and smooth like butter, if that makes any sense. No blisters or sock slippage, either!

Tell me in the comments: What hiking gear is a must for you?

There are some affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own.



Hiking Essentials that you need!


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About Stephanie @ Seeking Stephanie Travel Blog

Travel gives me an extra skip in my step to push through the workweek. Exploring new places through outdoor spaces, food, animals and music are just a few of my favorite things.