A Pro Athlete on What to Pack For Every Type of Hike

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Hiking trips are one of the best ways to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, whether you're a professional athlete, workout fanatic, or someone who hits the gym every so often. The thing about hiking is that there's a little something for everyone: scenic trails you can meander down on a weekend; epic summits you can train for and plan an entire trip around; and moderate excursions worth integrating into a vacation in the desert, mountains, or seaside. In other words, you don't have to be a serious athlete to hike.

No matter your style or skill level, hiking is a great way to burn a few calories, take in some sights, and connect with nature, especially when you need a break from studio classes or the gym. But one aspect you don't want to overlook is what to pack for a hiking trip. Because when it comes to outdoor adventures, gear is everything (though packing a few cute outfits for a mountain vacation doesn't hurt, either).

For a quick guide on what to pack for different types of hikes as well as a few recommendations for the best places to plan a hiking trip, freeskier and Eddie Bauer athlete Lexi duPont gave POPSUGAR the rundown.

Tips For Planning a Hiking Trip
Elise Giordano

Tips For Planning a Hiking Trip

"If you have a big objective like Mount Kilimanjaro [in Tanzania], Rainier [in Washington], or traversing the Sawtooth Mountains [in Idaho], then the hike becomes the focus of the trip. Otherwise, if I happen to be in a mountainous area, I try and squeeze in a few days of hikes," duPont told POPSUGAR.

"Having the proper equipment is a must," she added. "If it's a day hike, I travel light with a solid pair of broken-in shoes, plenty of water and snacks, and a light rain jacket because mountain weather can change very quickly."

What to Pack For a Desert Hike
Lexi DuPont

What to Pack For a Desert Hike

DuPont said to always pack, "a CamelBak loaded with water and snacks, a blister kit for walking long distances in hiking boots, a hat and sunscreen, and a bathing suit in case you find a cool watering hole along the way."

What to Pack For a Mountain Hike
Elise Giordano

What to Pack For a Mountain Hike

According to duPont, her mountain hiking essentials are "lots of water and snacks, a blister kit, an extra layer, a light rain jacket, bug spray, and sunscreen."

What to Pack For a Hike in the Cold
Elise Giordano

What to Pack For a Hike in the Cold

When hiking in the cold, DuPont said to pack "lots of layers and a bigger backpack to hold them when you start to get your sweat on, a first-aid kit, food and water, and a thermos filled with a warm beverage."

Planning Your Next Hike
Lexi DuPont

Planning Your Next Hike

"My favorite place to hike is pretty much anywhere in Washington because there is everything from super easy to extremely hard," duPont told POPSUGAR. The athlete also recommends the volcanoes of Guatemala for fast and furious vertical incline with epic views, anywhere in British Columbia for endless variety (note: she highly recommends bear spray in this area), and Mount Kilimanjaro. "With enough training and a proper guide service, anyone can get to the top," she said.