Northern California can be beautiful. It still hasn’t moved above my preference for Oregon, but sometimes it’s pretty amazing, especially when I get to go outside for a hiking adventure and experience nature first hand. Recently, it has been raining off and on. Over the last month everything has turned green.
Spring is my absolute favorite time of year because of the cooler weather, beauty and chances I have to get outside. Last weekend I went on a hike with my husband and his parents who were down visiting for his 30th birthday! Woohoo! We had a great time on this little trail found between Willits and Fort Bragg on the Northern California Coast.
Since now is perfect hiking weather I’m sharing my hiking essentials.
5 Hiking Essentials
Water. An absolute must! I went on a hike in Kauai 5 years ago and only had one tiny water bottle. It was 8 miles in crazy heat and humidity. I was so thirsty by the end! Don’t underestimate your need to bring along plenty of water. It’s worth carrying. Plus, there are great hydration packs out there that make it easy to bring along water. Camelbak and Ultimate Direction are a few of my favorites.
Walking Stick. My husband’s parents brought us each a walking stick. I had never even thought of using one before, but oh my goodness, I could go so fast! It’s amazing what that little stick can do. Plus, it’s extra protection for who knows what – fending off crazy animals or people?
Not only that but you can really push off with it and spring off the ground. I probably had too much fun hiking with this stick. New favorite toy.
Shoes with good traction. I only brought my running shoes and they were made for the road so traction was a bit of an issue on this hilly hike. REI has a great selection of hiking shoes. Get a pair, they are worth every penny. They grip the ground and offer protection from the elements – like rocks and water.
Dress in Layers. Always layer up when hiking, especially in the woods or mountains. Temperatures and climates can change suddenly. My go-to layers are from Tasc Performance. Check out their wool and bamboo base layers. The fleece I am wearing in the photo is the Northstar fleece. It’s so soft on the inside and incredibly warm. Plus, the bamboo fabric blend keeps stink at bay.
Snacks. Yep, it’s easy to get the munchies on a hike. My favorite at the moment are the PRO BAR Meal bars in chocolate coconut. They are like cookies, but actually healthy. They are packed with good calories to keep you fueled up and at your best.
Bonus (extra but you probably want it): Bring a Camera. You never know what you might find out on the trail. Bring along a camera or at the very least your cell phone so you can snap a few pics on the go! The waterfall pictured below was definitely worth a photo.
These are all pretty basic essentials that make a world of difference in your enjoyment of a hike. Take a few minutes to plan ahead before you head out on a hike and you will be able to truly enjoy every second. I am looking forward to many more trips around Northern California this Spring!
Have any hiking must-haves I should know about? Share them with me in the comments.