- What to Pack for a Day Hike – A Checklist Made by a Ditzy Hiker
- 2. Always Pack Extra
- 3. Don’t Pack Food that Spoils Easily or Emits a Strong Smell
- 4. Respect Hiking Etiquette
- 5. Lose the Headphones
- WHAT BEAUTY ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR HIKING
- Day Hiking Essentials: The Gear You Need to Hit the Trail
- 1) Backpack
- 2) The Right Hiking Layers
- 3) Sun Protection
- 4) Map / Navigational Tools
- 5) LOTS of Water
- 6) Energizing Snacks
- 7) First Aid Emergency Kit
- 8) Flashlight or Headlamp
- 9) A Multi-Tool & Mini Repair Kit
- 10) Trekking Poles
- Tell us what are your day hiking essentials? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments below!
- Skin Care For Hikers: Tips For Women On The Trail
- Why skin care for hikers is important
- Coping with irritating sweat
- Mop it up
- Insect bites and stings
- Itch relief
- Botanically based skin insults
- Ultraviolet radiation exposure
- Already in the ouch zone?
- Embedded dirt
- Chafing problems: important skin care for hikers
- Blisters – ugh!
- What about cosmetics for the trail?
- Skin care for hikers:what did I miss?
What to Pack for a Day Hike – A Checklist Made by a Ditzy Hiker
What to Pack for a Day Hike – A Checklist Made by a Ditzy Hiker
A backpacker must always be prepared. Especially a restless one. This is why this checklist came to life. To teach new backpackers what to pack for a day hike and remind the experienced ones what not to forget while stuffing their backpacks.
Much to my shame, I recently discovered that there isn’t much of a difference between packing your hiking backpack for the first time and the hundredth time. As the title of this article states, I can be very ditzy at times, and, if I don’t have an actual checklist next to me while packing, a lot of necessary items can and will be left behind.
So here’s what to pack for a day hike – a checklist for all restless backpackers!
Before writing this article and taking upon me the responsibility of teaching others what to pack for a day hike, I took a small walk down memory lane and tried to remember what I often forgot to pack/missed on hikes.
I also contacted a couple of friends that are as restless as I am to make sure I won’t forget to add an essential item on the list.
Some of you may say that it’s not really possible to forget your boots or your pants when going backpacking. However, it is important what type of boots, pants, shirts, even socks you wear during a hike.
For example, while everyone loves the comforting feel of a cotton shirt, it’s actually not the best choice when it comes to hiking.
That’s because cotton absorbs your sweat, leaving you a moist, uncomfortable blob halfway through the hike. And believe you and me, it’s hard to enjoy the wild beauty around you when you’re sweaty and cold at the same time.
The same thing goes for socks. Pants policy, on the other hand, it a little bit looser (hahaha) in the sense that, if you don’t own a waterproof pair of comfortable pants that don’t restrict motion, you can always go for a pair of tights.
So, it’s better to prepare all your gear (including what doesn’t go into the backpack) in advance. That way you’ll be ready to go in the morning without having to rummage through your things, looking for THAT pair of pants or shirt. It happened to the best of us, I’m sure.
|Hiking backpack||Hiking sandals/ shoes|
|Moisture-wicking t-shirt||Extra t-shirt|
|Hiking socks||Cap/ bandana/ summer hat|
|Moisture wicking underwear||Trekking pole(s)|
|Hiking backpack||Hiking boots|
|Warm jacket||Thermal undershirt|
|Thermal leggings||Warm pants|
|Thermal socks||Extra socks|
|Fleece or wool hat||Gloves|
|Moisture-wicking underwear||Trekking pole(s)|
Toiletries are an essential part of this day hiking checklist as you don’t want to be caught off guard and in desperate need of wet wipes, sunscreen or other very easily forgettable items.
|Toilet paper||Wet wipes|
|Insect repellent||SPF lip balm|
No matter how short the hike, be it a day, a week, a month, it is always best to have at least a mini first aid kit in hand. Always take into consideration the fact that nature, while extremely beautiful, can also be very ruthless.
|Bandages||Alcohol or sanitary wipes|
|Blister treatments||Imodium tablets|
|Ibuprofen||Antihistamine cream and tablets|
|Iodine or disinfectant||Any personal medicine|
Usually, day hikes are planned around a short, marked trail that takes less than 10 hours (or as long as there is natural light) to navigate from point A to point B and back to the start.
An experienced hiker can (although it is not encouraged) find their way only by following the special markings. However, never leave home without a map.
|Photo/video camera||Cell phone|
|Solar power charger or external battery||Map|
Before sprucing up the details of your next day hike, please remember to keep in mind that hiking a mountain is no walk in a park (literally) and even short trails can pose hidden dangers. Here’s a list of things every restless backpacker should keep in mind before planning their next vacation.
Before setting out, share your route with a close friend and/or family member and ask them to check on you. Seeing as you’re leaving for a day hike, ask them to call the authorities if you’re not back/haven’t checked in by nightfall.
2. Always Pack Extra
I’m not saying you should pack your entire wardrobe with you, but it’s not at all pleasant (not to mention healthy) to hike in wet clothes after being surprised by a short b rain. Or accidentally falling in a river. Or simply sweating through your clothes. You never know when you need an extra shirt.
3. Don’t Pack Food that Spoils Easily or Emits a Strong Smell
Canned food and trail mix is the best way to go. However, exceptions can be made during a day hike if you’re not particularly fond of anything that comes a can (college ruined it for me).
If you want to pack anything else, opt for sandwiches with hard cheese, hard-boiled eggs, or smoked meat. However, if you do that, do keep in mind that walking in the sun can (and more often than not will) spoil food.
Also, don’t forget that you’re sharing your walk with a lot of wild animals. Some may even be attracted to the smell of that delicious baloney sandwich.
4. Respect Hiking Etiquette
There’s a lot to say here, but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible.
- Don’t litter.
- When nature calls, get off the beaten path and don’t leave toiletries behind. Put them in a bag and dispose of them properly.
- Be mindful of the environment and watch your every step. You never know when you could stumble upon an egg, a very small creature, or a very fragile plant.
- Respect other hikers by keeping a safe distance.
5. Lose the Headphones
If you’re planning a trip all by yourself, try not to use technology except when you really have to. Nature is a spectacle in itself, try to enjoy the way the sun shines through the leaves, the song of the birds, and the smell of the forest.
Also, do keep in mind that wearing headphones while hiking is the equivalent of snuffing one of your senses. And I don’t think I can stress this enough, you need to keep your wits about you while exploring the great outdoors.
Hiking, even for a day, can be quite the endeavor if you’re not properly equipped or prepared for this adventure. In the hopes that our little guide helped you learn what to pack for a day hike, we leave you with another challenge.
Take our quiz and find out if you’re a camper or a glamper and tell us your results in the comments section below.
WHAT BEAUTY ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR HIKING
Hiking is fun, adventurous and a space in nature where you can still have luscious locks, a dewy complexion and a pop of colour on your lips or toes (or both!).
It all comes down to preparation and knowing how to only take the essentials to still look and feel good.
It’s very easy to fill up your pack with too many products and leave no room for other things (such as food and water), but here is what goes into my hiking pack to keep me feeling and looking good:
If you only take one product in your pack, I’d recommend sunscreen, with a minimum of 30+ protection. Along with protecting you from the elements, it also moisturises.
I tend to buy a large tube, as I use a lot of sunscreen and it’s great to be able to share it with other fellow hikers if they have run out or forgotten their sunscreen.
Mecca Cosmetica have a great sunscreen To Save Face 30+ and the NIVEA Ultra Sport Cooling Sunscreen Spray 50+ is fantastic.
BB creams are becoming more popular as people are wanting an alternative to heavy liquid foundation.
This product is perfect for hiking, as you can still have a light coverage but your face won’t feel sticky when you start to build up a sweat from hiking.
BB creams are also very moisturising, which is great when you are doing a workout hiking. I’m in love with the Benefit big easy bb cream. It’s lightweight and a super soft finish to your skin.
A hint of bronzer on your face is perfect for a sunkissed look. One sweep across the cheeks, over the forehead and down the nose is all you need.
Depending on the climate and intensity of your hike, you definitely don’t want too much, as you may also go a little red in the face if you work up a sweat.
I’m in love with Drew Barrymore’s FLOWER beauty range and the Glow Baby Glow bronzer duo is perfect. If you want a touch of colour on your eyes, you can use your bronzer instead of packing eye shadow.
I love a pop of colour on the lips no matter the occasion and hiking is still an occasion for wearing lip colour. I trekked for 5 days throughout the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory and was inspired by a lovely, adventurous lady who put on her bold red lipstick every day.
It was great to see someone with a love for makeup applying her red lipstick each morning before her hike. This was coupled with a very stylish hiking attire.
The FLOWER beauty lip and cheek chubby glides onto your lips and the colour range is gorgeous! If you’re not wanting a strong colour, pack a tinted lip balm, so you still keep your lips soft and moisturised and the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm is a winner.
Your hands are exposed to sun and wind when hiking, unless it’s cold and you’re wearing gloves. A hydrating hand and cuticle cream will be a saviour for your hands and nails.
The Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream stays in my bag for hikes and I take it to work. It has lucious Sweet Almond Oil and Cocoa Seed Butter to keep hands and nails moisturised.
I put it on my lips, thinking it was my lip balm and it was great! It didn’t taste bitter at all.
For multi day hikes, a little can of dry shampoo works wonders.
I was a little dubious using it the first time as I try to have chemical free products, but I must say, my hair felt so soft and clean after I used it, it’s now a regular product in my beauty bag.
Bumble and Bumble have a great dry shampoo range and Batiste Dry Shampoo is great as they do travel size option which is perfect for your hiking beauty bag.
I always carry a deodorant, especially when I know I’ll be doing a challenging hike or hiking on a hot and humid day. I’ve been using the Dove Antiperspirant Roll-On Original for many years and will continue to do so. It’s not a strong smelling deodorant and works really well for me.
A tiny perfume packed in your beauty bag is nice to add. A natural scent with floral or woody notes is great for the outdoors.
I am obsessed with Jo Malone and I have multiple colognes in the 30ml size, which is the perfect size to take hiking. The Wild Bluebell is my absolute favourite at the moment.
Love and Toast also do beautiful perfumes and their little luxe sizes are easy to pack. The Mandarin Tea is in my beauty bag right now.
Nail clippers may fall under the first aid kit, but I’ve included it in my beauty bag essentials as it’s important to have neat nails on your hike. If you are gripping on to rocks or branches during your hike, you may easily break a nail.
I always have short nails, so I’m not at risk of chipping nails, however if a little splinter gets stuck under the nail (ouch!) then you may need to use them to cut back your nail to get the splinter out.
The Body Shop have a great set of nail clippers.
I am ok with going without a wash for a couple of days, however for longer multi day hikes, I to have a wash.
It’s nice to freshen up and I try to avoid wet wipes (due to the environmental impact they cause), therefore I pack a body wash which is environmentally friendly, especially if I don’t have access to a shower and am putting my water and body wash into the ground.
I currently have the Sea to Summit Body Wash in my beauty bag and it’s fantastic. It’s airline friendly, therefore if you are travelling overseas for your hiking, you can take it on carry on.
After a wash, it’s always great to finish with a body moisturiser. It will keep your skin soft and moisturised throughout your hike. As with the body wash, it’s a product I’d only take if hiking for more than a couple of days. A favourite I am currently using is the Kiehl’s Creme de Corps moisturiser.
Day Hiking Essentials: The Gear You Need to Hit the Trail
You’re ready for an epic day hike. Not only have you picked out the trail but you’ve done your research and know all the important details distance, conditions, elevation, and logistics of the hike.
After checking the weather and getting the stoke level high, it’s time to gear up.
The only problem is that you aren’t exactly sure what day hiking essentials you should pack to keep you safe on the trail?
If you’ve ever thought this to yourself then you are certainly not alone.
There are dozens of day hiking gear lists on the internet to answer this exact question, but what we’ve found is that many of these Day Hiking Essentials Gear Lists have a bunch of items that most hikers never take with them on the trail.
So how is our day hiking essentials list different? This is the practical stuff we at Bearfoot Theory actually use on our day hikes. Nothing more and nothing less.
First thing you’ll need for your day hike is a decent backpack. You can get away with using an old JanSport from your closet if you are packing light, but if you are serious about hiking, you’ll want something a little more robust.
For size, a typical day hiking pack will range from 20-35 liters. This is enough to hold your extra layers and all of the other day hiking essentials that we talk about below. Other features you’ll be looking for when you choose a day pack are:
- Interior pocket for a water bladder (which makes drinking easier)
- A hip belt that will place the load on your hips rather than your shoulders
- A sternum strap which prevents the pack from shifting when you are hiking
Your best bet is to try a pack on in the store to make sure it’s a good fit for your torso and body type. Here are a few of my favorite day-packs that I’ve used over the years:
- Osprey Mira 22 Hydration Pack – This pack is a great all-around day pack and I took a similar Osprey Hydration Pack with me to Everest Basecamp and to Canada last summer. It’s got a 2.5-liter hydration reservoir, lots of pockets, and a comfortable hip belt.
- Mindshift Gear Rotation 180 Horizon 34 Backack – This is the best camera backpack I’ve come across for hiking and other outdoor actvities. If you are a photographer who is sick of taking off your pack every time you want to snap a photo, this pack is for you. The part of the bag that holds your camera and lens rotates around to the front of your body, while the pack stays in place. It makes it very easy to access and takes a lot of pressure off of your neck if you are used to hiking with your camera swinging across your body. I used the Mindshift Gear Rotation Pack all ski season this winter and can’t wait to hike with it more this summer.
- Osprey Raven 14 – This is a much smaller pack that I use for biking and dayhikes when I don’t need to bring a ton of extra gear. It’s a frameless bag with an awesome mesh back panel for ventilation. My favorite thing about this pack is the separate compartment for the included 3-liter hydration reservoir that makes it very easy to refill your water. It also has a few different pockets for snacks, a small camera, and extra layers.
2) The Right Hiking Layers
Some of the most important gear is the kind that you wear! No matter what season you’re hiking in, wearing layers out on the trail is important for both comfort and safety reasons.
Start with a sweat-wicking base layer, wool, that’s breathable and regulates body temperature. Avoid cotton layers. In the cold, wet cotton doesn’t provide insulation, and in the heat it traps warmth, so try to steer clear of this material if you can.
Layer a t-shirt on top in the summer and heavier long-sleeve shirts for the summer.
Always pack a lightweight raincoat that you can stuff in your pack and a hat and gloves if you think it might get chilly. Some hikers swear by bandanas or a buff, which are multi-purpose items that work well for wiping off sweat, protecting you from the sun, or keeping your neck warm if it gets cold.
On your feet, choose a pair of sturdy hiking boots and wool socks that can handle whatever kind of terrain you’re hiking. Go for lightweight trail shoes if it’s an easy or moderate trail and protect your ankles on tougher, more challenging surfaces with high-rise, thick-soled boots.
3) Sun Protection
To shield your skin from the sun while you’re hiking, bring along a bottle of sunscreen that is at least UPF 30 and won’t come off when you sweat. Also pack a breathable brimmed hat and sunglasses that aren’t fragile enough to break for eye and face protection, too.
While these might be obvious for hot and sunny hikes, it’s not as commonly known that going for a hike in the snow on a sunny day can also cause sunburn from “snow blindness”. During winter hikes the sun reflects off the snow and sends some pretty strong rays back at you.
Sun protection is a day hiking essential that will help you to prevent injury. Here are some of our favorite essentials for sun protection:
4) Map / Navigational Tools
There are alot of great websites and apps for finding trails. We highly encourage you to have a few of these downloaded on your phone. For navigation, Gaia is one of our favorite GPS apps that allows you to see your location in real time on your phone.
While many people rely solely on their smart phone’s advanced GPS to navigate on a trail, it’s important to have a good backup.
In the outdoors, there are plenty of places where there is no WiFi connection or cell reception and un a map or a compass, the battery can die.
If you happen to get lost and find yourself with a dead smartphone then that could be a real safety concern. So, always pack the appropriate waterproof and tear-proof map, plus, a compass to help you find your way.
If you want to opt for a navigational tool a handheld GPS, then go for it! There are a lot of great options out there, the Garmin InReach, which is sturdy enough to take with you and also serves as a backcountry communication device….But either way remember to bring your map, so you don’t have to rely solely on battery-operated gear.
5) LOTS of Water
Your body needs water to function at its very best. Bringing extra water, and even a water purifier for long hikes, in case you run out is a really important day hiking essential to have while you’re out there bagging peaks. In any weather, staying well hydrated can help you avoid dehydration or even altitude sickness, but moreover, it simply helps you feel good and have fun.
Many daypacks have space for a hydration reservoir which can be filled with water and allows you to drink from an attached tube. Since it’s nestled in between you and the pack, it’s easy to carry and is a great option for staying hydrated on-the-go. An alternative to a hydration reservoir is storing one or two lightweight water bottles in the side pockets of your backpack for easy access.
6) Energizing Snacks
Bring enough food for the day to stay full and keep your energy up, plus extra to be safe. Nutritional snacks that are packed with protein and fiber are best, so grab some granola bars, jerky, sturdy fruits and veggies apples or carrots that won’t get squished in your bag are great. Or even bring a good ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
It’s important always to make sure you have enough food, but the point of having extra is really in case of an emergency. You’ll also be burning more calories than you might be used to. So, don’t skip this step and load up on the food.
7) First Aid Emergency Kit
It’s a good idea to invest in a portable and lightweight first aid kit that you can always keep in your backpack with your other day hiking essentials. While it’s unly that you will have an emergency, things blisters, cramps, and minor cuts can happen.
The Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight/Watertight .7 First Aid Kit is a pre-made first aid kit that has the basics for dealing with minor injuries.
If you go this route, make sure you are familiar with what’s in it, and adapt the kit to your personal medical needs as necessary.
We also recommend throwing a lighter or waterproof matches into your first aid kit in case you get caught after dark and need to build a fire, as well as a small whistle that you can use to garner attention in an emergency.
8) Flashlight or Headlamp
In case that you get caught on the trail after dark, you’ll want a source of light to help you find your way back to the trailhead. Carry a headlamp with you for hands-free light or a small and lightweight flashlight if you don’t have a headlamp. Make sure the batteries are charged, too.
9) A Multi-Tool & Mini Repair Kit
A mini repair kit will help you fix something a tear in your backpack, a broken strap or any other unforeseen issues that may come up while you’re out there.
While the contents of repair kits can vary between products, it’s always good to have multi-purpose tools with you a pocket knife, repair patches or strips of the ever-handy duck tape.
A good tip is to place strips of duck tape on your water bottle or trekking poles to rip off in case you need to repair something in a pinch.
10) Trekking Poles
Trekking poles might not be considered a “day hiking essential,” but if you are a beginner hiker or you are tackling steeper, more challenging terrain, trekking poles can be extremely helpful.
Trekking poles take pressure off your knees, give you more power on the ups, and help maintain a rhythm while you’re hiking.
Check out this list of our favorite trekking poles and a more detailed explanation of their benefits.
Tell us what are your day hiking essentials? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments below!
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Skin Care For Hikers: Tips For Women On The Trail
by Diane Spicer
Meet Hiking For Her's Diane
Skin care for hikers seems pretty straightforward, right?
Think of your skin as having different zones with specific needs depending on how much sun exposure it receives, how much abrasion it endures, or how quickly it can renew itself.
Your skin is your largest organ, and performs an amazing array of tasks for you as you hike:
- thermoregulation via sweating and pores
- dumping of wastes and by products
- vitamin D activation
- protection against abrasions
And lots more!
So why not take good care of this outer covering, using these tips for basic skin care for hikers?
Note: None of this is medical advice, just some common sense trail tested approaches to great skin care for hikers.
Why skin care for hikers is important
On a typical hiking trail, a hiker's skin will need to stand up to any or all of these scenarios:
- coping with copious sweat
- unpleasant insect bites and stings
- prickly, sharp edged plants
- hours of ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun, or reflected off snow, water or rock
- embedded dirt from windy, dusty trails
- chafing and rubbing from backpacks and clothing
- blisters from too much friction, moisture and heat
Is there any way to prevent these scenarios from taking a toll on your skin?
But the good news is there are things you can do, and products you can use, to make skin care for hikers simple and effective.
Let's take it one general scenario at a time, with specific recommendations for you to try on your own precious outer covering.
If you want skin care tips specific to day hikers, these are for you. (coming soon)
Skin care for backpackers is covered here. (coming soon)
Coping with irritating sweat
If you're a year round hiker, you sweat.
In hot sunny weather, the ambient temperature threatens to send your body temperature normal limits, so your skin pores dilate to release heat brought to the surface via blood vessels.
In cold weather, you sweat because you're all bundled up but you're working hard as you snowshoe or work your way up a frozen slope using crampons or traction spikes.
- Again, increased blood flow to the surface, but in this case, into your layers of clothing.
Either way, you're distributing a layer of salty, irritating sweat across your skin.
And it pools in the creases and crevices of your body, which can lead to blisters, irritated skin, and break outs.
Women have a lot of places for pooling: beneath and between breasts, groin area, armpits…
Time for some skin care for hikers tips to address that issue!
Mop it up
To protect your skin from the corrosive effects of sweat, use moisture wicking clothing to draw the salty water away.
And always choose fabrics which can be easily machined washed.
- Some good choices for absorbent, fast drying hiking clothing can be found here.
Another way to mop up sweat before it can run into your eyes is to use an absorbent head band.
- Be sure to choose a sturdy one that one, thick enough to do the job but not too thick, and made of thirsty material.
Some hikers prefer a hiking bandanna tucked into a pocket, to be pulled out for mopping up when needed.
- The beauty of a bandanna is its versatility, which you can read about here.
If you to wear ball cap style hats, stick with the ones that feature highly absorbent fabrics, this one. A heavy, non-ventilated hat will only increase your mopping duties.
Insect bites and stings
If you've been outdoors several times before, you already know how reactive you are/are not to stinging, biting insects.
And you probably have a general idea of how many of these nasty little critters you're going to face during your hiking trip.
For hiking in areas with hordes of insects looking to pierce your skin, Alaska, a bug head net is a necessity.
If you're hiking in less extremely buggy areas, try these ways to prevent your skin from becoming a feast:
- Use appropriate insect repellents.
- Avoid the buggiest times of day: early morning and dusk.
- Wear appropriate clothing for the terrain and temperature, covering up as much of your skin as possible while remaining comfortable.
Skin care for hikers faces the reality that you'll get bitten even if you take appropriate precautions.
So after you've been bitten, you can ease the sting and itchy sensations by using products to counteract the chemicals which the insects injected into your skin.
To keep broken skin from bites and stings protected against trail dirt, your basic hiking first aid kit should be well stocked with band-aids of all sizes!
- And of course the trick is to remember to restock it once you use some supplies.
- Otherwise you will have to resort to your Plan B skin care for hikers strategy: scratching crazy or jumping in the lake.
- Tip: I put the empty band aid wrapper(s) inside my waterproof phone case, to be sure I see it when I get home and remove my phone.
Botanically based skin insults
No matter where in the world you hike, except Antarctica in the winter time, you'll run into thorns, spines, sharp pokey leaves and plants which make poisonous oils.
To counteract skin problems, you can use the calamine lotion noted above.
Or carry products which are specifically designed to soothe and heal skin inflammation from a particular plant source.
- Poison oak and poison ivy oil removing soap
Tip: A quick way to counteract skin inflammation from any source, plant or insect, is to apply a cold pack to the area.
Just be sure to place a thin insulating layer of fabric between your skin and the cold application. Frost bite on top of poison ivy = no fun.
Ultraviolet radiation exposure
Regardless of your skin tone, your skin cells are vulnerable to the damaging effects of overexposure to UV radiation.
Cells on the outside of your body require the same strategies as the cells inside, in terms of proper hydration and nutrition.
But there are additional ways to protect yourself from sun damage as a hiker:
Good sun avoidance strategy for hikers who need to be out in strong sunlight: long sleeves, long pants, full coverage hat, and sunglasses.
Already in the ouch zone?
If you are stuck with a sun burn, use a product which can soothe and help your skin repair quickly:
Even if you haven't burned, you can treat your skin to lubrication and nourishment without chemicals using this after sun soother.
As I hike a dusty trail, my “laugh lines” (ok, wrinkles) fill up with dust and dirt.
I look a caricature of my usually clean self!
So I've learned to carry a few things to wipe off that dirt before it has a chance to settle deeply into nooks and crannies.
Back at home, I use an exfoliant to encourage the dirt to part ways with my epidermis.
- This is my favorite brand, because it doesn't have a lot of chemicals or weird fragrance.
Of course after roughing up your skin, you'll want to moisturize it.
Have you ever tried this lotion? It makes your skin feel silky smooth while encouraging the cells to get busy and make more layers.
- Warning: it's pricey.
- But I haven't found anything that comes close to this product for moisturizing my skin without feeling heavy or greasy. So I consider it a good investment in my skin's well being.
Chafing problems: important skin care for hikers
Of all the products aimed at skin care for hikers, Body Glide is the most widely recommended for preventing chafing.
Thru hikers swear by it.
And if you're at all prone to skin rubbing, or want to avoid problems when using new gear or new hiking clothing, carry this along on your hikes.
- It won't stain clothing or gear, either.
Here's another approach: at rest breaks, wipe down sweaty skin in chafe prone areas with an absorbent, quick dry towel this one.
- Pay close attention to the skin between and underneath your breasts, the creases in your groin and buttocks, and the tender skin beneath your waist band.
- Attach the used towel to the outside of your backpack, and allow air flow and sunlight to keep it odor free and dry for your next round of skin care for hikers.
Also be sure that your clothing isn't too restrictive. Hiking clothing needs to be a bit looser than your street clothes to accommodate your higher activity levels.
- You want to avoid dragging abrasive fabric over your delicate skin areas with each step or upper body movement.
- Why create additional skin care for hikers scenarios, when you can avoid them altogether?
Blisters – ugh!
Blisters plague hikers regardless of season, type of trail, gender, age or hiking ability.
To avoid as much pain and misery as possible, read these blister prevention tips.
Here's the best blister prevention tip I can give you:
- Always deal aggressively with the first signs of a blister, usually a hot spot that draws your attention to a particular body region.
- These blister treatment ideas will help.
Be sure your first aid kit is stocked with these helpful items:
Note that with moleskin, you will need a pair of scissors or some other cutting method to shape the piece to the size of your blister.
If you are repeatedly dealing with blisters on your feet, use specially designed anti-blister hiking socks Armaskin.
- Read my review here. These are amazing socks, designed to ward off hot spots and blisters.
For more hiking foot care strategies, go here.
What about cosmetics for the trail?
Immersing yourself in nature is a chance to leave your public face behind.
If you're leery about leaving your daily cosmetics and make up behind, ask yourself who you're wearing it for: yourself, or the outer world?
- The outer world of trees, rocks, streams, and blue sky thinks you're beautiful just the way you are!
Plus, there are a couple of good reasons to skip the application of eye make up on a backpacking trip:
- Your chance of an eye infection or corneal abrasion increases because you don't have access to your usual hygiene routine.
- You're going to sweat, and then sweat some more, so what looks great at the beginning of your hike might not be so lovely within a few hours. All that work for nothing 🙂
And just a word about fragrances on the trail.
In bear country, you don't want to smell anything other than your dirty, sweat covered self.
Even if it's “nothing” except chipmunks and raccoons where you're hiking, they can be incredibly destructive to hiking gear and camping supplies.
So skip critter attracting fragrant cosmetics, hair products, and perfume and switch over to an unscented product for skin and hair hygiene.
- Dr. Bronner's unscented soap is what I rely on to keep my face, hands, hair and body clean.
- I carry a small amount in this type of handy plastic container.
- I also use it daily at home, so my skin doesn't experience a big jolt from a brand new product during a hiking trip, which can lead to break outs and irritation.
For more female hygiene hiking tips beyond skin care, read this.
Or put together your own hygiene kit for the trail using these tips.
Skin care for hikers:what did I miss?
Whew! That was a lot of different hiking scenarios with skin care for hikers, and my intent was to keep your skin covering your body without a single “owie” or epidermal mishap.
Did I forget anything you're wondering about or dealing with on your hikes?
- Contact me and I'll be sure to include your skin care for hikers additions on this page.
Meanwhile, to keep yourself comfortable and happy on the trail, you might be wondering about other hiking self care strategies. Enjoy your trail time!
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About the author
Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.
She's been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for 5+ decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.
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