After a lifelong time of hiking and recent canyoneering trip I have rounded up my favorite and best hiking gear for females. It’s been tested in all elements. From clothes, to backpacks, gear and tools. These are a great place to start if you are new or want to build up your gear!
Feeling confident in hiking is important and that comes down to field skill + survival methods which I wholeheartedly believe are first and foremost the most important in going. You can read a great article on that here. Go with someone who knows what they are doing and you trust.
TIP: I love using onX for my location and GPS. You can download the app straight to your phone!
This article is about all the things you may need to feel confident in your attire, backpack, and gear!
The best clothes for hiking for women or girls:
As some of you know, feeling not only cute in your outfit but able to actually perform well in such makes everything more enjoyable. I’ve been on both ends: Cute but uncomfortable when hiking, always having to pull my pants up, legs chaffing, wrong socks, freezing, too hot, etc, etc. OR able to move, hike and go but look like I had been living in the woods for the last 7 years.
Let me be the first to tell you – depending on what you are doing the latter may be inevitable LOL, and honestly, at that point in your adventure, there are no f*cks given. The pictures I have of me bahahaha.
But let’s do what we can to be excited to go and feel like a rockstar doing it:
Needing a good pair of non-see-through Leggings that also are high-waisted and cute? THESE are them! Reviews compare them to Lululemon’s. I can say taking them through Redrock narrows, rappelling in them, workouts, and everyday wear. They are insanely good. Did I mention they are less than $30? Oh, and to my fellow shorties out there – this 25″ size is perfect!
Maybe you aren’t into leggings or just need a little more to your pants. I get it, I do the same. These Preacher Pants or their Ridge Pants are perfect! Let me tell you, they have the stretching power/comfort of leggings, wahoo. Come in all kinds of colors and I’ve put them through the wringer. Great for layering or on their own in high temps. They make women’s but I always go for the men’s.
Socks – get wool socks this is important to help with breathability and drying out. Think ahead, make sure they aren’t going to be slipping all day. Get some that cover your damn heel. These are good for trail running shoes.
Speaking of shoes, I use and love these trail running shoes for a trail hike or something that won’t require a lot of ankle support. They work great for me in the desert and during my warm-weather hikes, plus super durable. I recently used these on our canyoneering trip and they did fantastic. I use these for shed hunting when not in the snow too!
When it’s colder my Merrell’s are the way to go and have higher ankle support. Great brand for all year round if you get the appropriate shoe. I currently only have the insulated ones of these, and do they work!
I like a versatile top think something with a) built-in bra or a crop sports top. These are my current fave crop tanks, have them in every color. Something easy to strip down to. OR b) just a good old-fashioned t-shirt and a sports bra to be in, if it gets too hot. When it comes to layering or needing a little extra for warmth, I hands down recommend a merino wool top. P.S. it has thumb holes.
Shorts, because it gets hot. Is there anything better than shorts and a hoodie? You feel me? I really love these shorts because they are from amazon, look good, feel good and hold it in. This brand also makes running shorts.
If you aren’t into spankies (ever seen “Bring it on”? I will always call them thanks to that movie and my cheer/gymnastic days) You cannot go wrong with Old Navy’s running shorts, they are flattering, airy and not so snug, plus cute! Honestly, all their activewear has been awesome and suuppper affordable, when they have sales. LOAD UP!
Flannels, Hoodies, and Jackets. Honestly, you probably already have a fave in one or all of those. Go with what you love! I love a good high-quality flannel when hiking in the spring, plus it makes for easy wrapping around your waist for the on/off again that tends to happen. I suggest a good puffy jacket that can squish down into your pack too. Trust me you’ll be grateful. You know I love me a heated jacket!
Pack a Hat, protect yourself from the sun, wind, etc. You can’t go wrong with a good ol fashioned trucker hat.
Sunnies, cause you are outside. These are polarized (and cute) which is incredible outdoors, you won’t find yourself pulling them on and off as the clouds roll by and you can see into the water much clearer. Another round cute version.
Things to consider when dressing for hiking – check the weather (duh). If leaving early in the morning plan on possibly needing to strip down as the day goes on or vice versa if going into the evening/night. What type of trails or terrain are you going to be hiking. Consider your shoes and possibly gaiters if going through brush/mud.
LOVING ALL THIS? LISTEN TO ALL OUR ADVENTURES ON OUR EPISODES HERE, OR ON APPLE PODCAST, SPOTIFY, AMAZON MUSIC, AUDIBLE, IHEARTRADIO, SAMSUNG OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST PLAYER.
This really depends on what you will be doing. Will you be doing this often? Going for a little hike where maybe you just need water and a few things? Or will you be doing more backcountry long hikes where a hybrid pack would suit you better?
This CamelBak is the route I would go for just a hydration pack/Daypack, regardless if you just wanted just water, I truly believe no matter how far you are going you should always have a few survival gear with you and obviously room for snacks. It has both without being bulky.
If you are wanting something a little more budget friendly? This Hydration pack is under $30 and has raving reviews.
TIP: Always keep in mind how far you will be going and how much water you will need! The rule of thumb is to carry 1 liter of water for every 2 hours of hiking.
This is the backpack that I (Brittney Long) use, the women’s Mystery Ranch Metcalf. I cannot say enough good things about this pack. I used it on our 4 day backcountry/canyoneering trip through Robber’s Roost in Utah. It did it’s job and then some. Was comfortable over the 25+ miles. It also does fantastic for just day hikes. I love that versatility. I practically have two packs in one.
Above you see it more day pack, the top actually comes off and makes its own pack if I wanted. Then below in the video, you will watch me take it to all its large glory. — That’s what she said!
This is a great mid-range backpack for backpacking that could fit your camp for a couple of days. It’s under $100 on Amazon, has awesome reviews and one of my friends used it and was happy with it!
What things or gear to pack in your backpack when hiking:
If you have a backpack and haven’t cleaned it out recently, here is your reminder! Download the episode, or read it and do it with Britt here! A lot of this is already outline there but for good measure.
- Water Bladder
- Water Filter system
- Instant Coffee
- JetBoil Propane
- Walking sticks
- Thermacell – Ya want this! It’s a portable mosquito repeller.
- Mosquito repellant, if you aren’t getting the above
- First Aide Kit
- We keep pain, allergy meds, blister kit etc in here too.
- Fishing line and hooks
- Light weight gloves for mornings/evenings
- Pyro putty – Waterproof fire starter
- Toilet Paper or Dude Wipes
- Menstrual cup (I have a designated one for my pack)
- or scent free tampons (these can be used as water filters too!)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Solar Battery Pack for Charging
- Throw tarp – Used for rain tarp, blanket or ground tarp
- Hiking poles, if needed
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