4/10/09 4/09/09 POPSUGAR Fitness Hiking Gear Spring Hiking Essentials April 9, 2009 by Fitness 0 Shares Chat with us on Facebook Messenger. Learn what's trending across POPSUGAR. View in slideshow Early Spring is one of my favorite times of year for hiking since the snow is all melted, you can see buds on the trees, and can catch glimpses and sounds of birds and other wildlife. Plus it's not unbearably hot, so you don't have to worry about sweating the whole time. Before you head out on the trail, check out these hiking essentials. Source Mountainsmith Lumbar Pack If you're going for a day hike, you don't need to pack a lot with you. So a lumbar pack like this Mountainsmith Swift II ($50) is perfect. It weighs less than a pound, and has tons of water-resistant zippered pockets and two mesh water bottle holders. I also love that this pack is made of 100 percent recycled fabric. Mountainsmith Swift II $50 from mountainsmith.com Buy Now EMS Rain Jacket When hiking, it's always good to be prepared for wet weather, so pack along a lightweight rain jacket like this one from EMS (on sale for $84). It's waterproof, breathable, and wind-resistant. I love that it has core vents on the side in case you get hot, and the zippered pockets in front are great for stashing an energy bar or cell phone. Garmin Handheld GPS OK, so a handheld GPS isn't essential for the occasional hike, but if you hike regularly, and like to explore new trails and mountains, then it's worth splurging on. This Garmin Oregon 200 ($450) has a three-inch color display that shows you where you are on a map, even in heavy cover or deep canyons. It comes with a built-in worldwide basemap, but you can add maps for more specific places. It's waterproof, so it can withstand the elements, and the batteries last for 16 hours. Garmin Oregon 200 $450 from buy.garmin.com Buy Now Large BPA-Free Water Bottle You've got to stay hydrated, so this 32-ounce BPA-free water bottle ($11.50) from Nalgene is perfect. I love the wide mouth because you can add ice cubes on hot days, and it's also easier to clean than narrow mouth containers. This bottle is lightweight and dishwasher-safe. BPA-free water bottle $11.50 from nalgene-outdoor.com Buy Now Snacks Hiking for just one hour burns 355 calories, so you've got to refuel your body. Pack snacks that are high in protein and offer carbs for energy such as trail mix, fruit and nut bars (I like Kind Bars and Larabars), and fresh fruit. Sunscreen Since you'll be outside for a while, bring sunscreen along so you can reapply every two to three hours. Look for one like this Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 30 ($10) that says "broad spectrum UVA/UVB" on the label so you know you're fully protected. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 30 $10 from walgreens.com Buy Now Wicking Socks Sweaty feet will just lead to uncomfortable blisters, so wear a pair of wicking socks like these 1/4 Cushion Hiking Socks ($15) from Darn Tough. They're made of soft, non-itchy merino wool that will absorb moisture, keeping your feet dry and happy. 1/4 Cushion Hiking Socks $15 from ems.com Buy Now Hiking Shoes You'll need a good pair of durable hiking shoes that have a rugged sole. I like this low-rise pair from The North Face. The Minx GTX ($120) is made of waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex, and the outer material is abrasion-resistant. Before taking these out on a long hike, make sure to break them in first. Minx GTX $120 from thenorthface.com Buy Now Trekking Poles If the terrain you're hiking is steep and/or rocky, trekking poles are a must. To save your knees and quads, and bring the workout into your upper body, use a pair like these from Komperdell ($50). They'll make the ascent and descent easier on your joints and muscles, and they'll help prevent injury. When you don't need them, they collapse to a length of 25 inches, so you can stash them in your pack. Komperdell $50 from sierratradingpost.com Buy Now REI Adventure Dog Pack Why not bring your pooch along for the big hike? She will need plenty of water and snacks too, so let her carry it all in her own REI Dog Pack (medium, $45). If your dog is bigger, go for the large ($50), and if your pet is on the teeny side, go for the small ($40). It comes in blue too. REI Dog Pack (medium, $45). If your dog is bigger, go for the $50 from rei.com Buy Now large $50 from rei.com Buy Now small $40 from rei.com Buy Now Hiking Gear2009 SpringSlideshowHikingFitness Get Results With Our Fitness Newsletter You're subscribed! Sign Up For Our Newsletter Select topics that interest you Weight Loss Yoga Working Out Running Sign up with facebook By signing up, I agree to the Terms & to receive emails from POPSUGAR.