The best hiking gear for women depends on your hiking style, and will take a bit of time, effort and brain power to find.
Here's where you can spend a lot of time and money:
Unless you're smart! (which you clearly are, since you're reading this)
We'll proceed on advice contained within this old Swedish saying:
"There is no bad weather, only bad clothing."
To which, let us add, "or bad hiking gear".
For beginner hikers, concentrate on two critical pieces of gear:
If you get this combination right, your happy feet will guarantee that you'll want lots more trail time.
For intermediate hikers who have solved the hiking boot or trail shoe + hiking socks puzzle, turn your attention to this hiking gear:
From there, you can concentrate on building a gear locker filled with the best hiking gear for women by using the tips on this page.
Use this hiking gear list to be sure you don't overlook anything.
What's the best pair of womens waterproof hiking shoe?
Sometimes it's a boot!
Scouring women's hiking boots reviews are a must-do if you're serious about finding the perfect pair of boots for your feet.
If you're curious about what's on my feet, go here.
If you need a boot buying guide, read this.
Narrow, hard to fit feet? Find the perfect pair of narrow hiking boots with these tips.
Considering waterproof hiking boots? Here's what you need to know.
Winter hiking boots are a different breed, so be sure you get the best winter hiking boots possible. You can wear them in cold, muddy conditions year round.
Vegan hiking boots? Also a different breed.
Don't know where to start on choosing the right hiking boots?
And never, ever underestimate the power of a pair of hiking socks - these can make or break your boots.
Think I'm kidding?
Blisters suck. (Feel free to quote me on that.)
Here are some tips on how to buy a backpack.
Which type of backpack, now that's a long convoluted discussion!
Here are your options:
Hiking with a baby? Read these tips for baby hiking backpacks.
If you hike with older-than-toddler kids, you need this info to make an informed choice:
Unless you plan on carrying everything yourself! (insert frown-y face here)
Do you need info on the best backpack for your best friend a.k.a. dog?
Every backpack has external or internal pockets to transport your precious hiking water.
Are you beginning to see how the best hiking gear changes according to the type of hiking you're planning?
Carve out room for a gear locker in your abode, 'cuz you're gonna need one for all of your packs.
Still not clear on how to go about choosing womens backpacks?
Now that we've got the fundamentals covered, (literally), consider some "add ons" to keep you comfortable on the trail.
Going to be hiking in muddy, sandy, snowy or soggy conditions? I hope so!
The best hiking clothing for women definitely qualifies as outdoor hiking gear, working hard to keep you dry, temperature regulated and comfortable in all seasons.
Women's athletic apparel runs the gamut from functional to fashionista.
Athletic clothing for women satisfies all tastes and styles, not to mention color preferences. I have plenty of suggestions if you click that "athletic clothing" link!
Then you can begin to explore your possibilities for individual items of the best hiking clothes for women.
Your goal: to build a hiking clothing layering system that you will use through all four seasons on the trail.
Explore the range of possibilities for each item using these links:
If you are dedicated to stopping excess UV radiation exposure on your skin with UPF sun protective clothing, read these tips.
I recommend only what I use, and over the decades that I've been hiking, I've used just about every brand out there.
What happens when the raindrops start to fall?
Once the sun comes out, whip out those sunglasses, because squinting sucks. Protect your peepers with the the correct lenses for your type of hiking activity.
And with the sun comes the bugs. Dig out the insect repellents!
And can't forget the sunscreen, any time of year.
Once the sun sets, dig out the headlamp.
Getting the idea that the best hiking gear in your pack depends on preparation and forethought?
Staying overnight or longer on the trail?
You'll need a tent!
Or at least a backpacking tarp.
Not ready to commit to buying a tent?
Don't forget your sleeping comfort on a backpacking trip:
A backpack chair might be nice, too, to rest your weary bones so you can go hard again the next day.
And don't forget about dinner! The best backpacking titanium cookware is going to make it easy to make and clean up.
If you've never pondered why there are different types of hiking maps, make a little time and room on your best hiking gear list for these.
To navigate safely to your camp site, maps are essential.
Consider a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) to give yourself the best chance of being found if you go into the backcountry.
Or use a Satellite Messenger instead of your cell phone.
Read my review of a portable, easy to use water filter + water bottle combination here: Lifestraw Go.
Trying to save space?
What about hygiene on the trail? Female hiking hygiene can get tricky, right?
If skin chafing is an issue for you, take a close look at whether your undergarments are playing nicely with your hiking clothes.
Or maybe you need to apply a skin lubricant in selected areas.
Over the past 40+ years, I've tried a lot of womens hiking gear AND found some great sources for high quality, reasonably priced equipment used for hiking that enhanced my trail time.
I've also found some hiking camping equipment along with backpacking gear that promised to be the best stuff ever designed for women hikers (i.e. designed to fit people with hips), and it failed miserably.
It's a jungle out there!
You've got to figure out the type of hiking you want to do, and then which gear you'll need, followed with reliable how to buy gear strategies.
For a quick summary of how to buy the best hiking gear for a beginner hiking, read this.
Just interested in womens hiking clothing? This is for you.
For a bare bones Hiking Equipment List that covers what I wear and carry in my pack, go here.
For a hiking camping equipment overview, this is for you!
For my best sources for hiking gear reviews, read this.
For my own opinionated, thorough hiking gear reviews, go here.
If you are hunting for a bargain on discount hiking gear, look no further!
But be aware that in hiking, as in all things in life, you get what you pay for.
The perennial question: Buy it cheap now while knowing that it will need to replaced quickly, or invest for the future?
Also, be prepared to upgrade your hiking gear regularly as your trail skills (and appetite for adventure) grow.
To get some backpacking gear ideas, you could dip into some of the hiking magazine "gear" editions, then hunt for discount hiking gear armed with a list of "need this" as opposed to "sure would love to have this".
And the very best deal you can score?
Because sometimes, cheap turns out to be expensive in more ways than one on a hike.
...if you can't handle what the trail throws at you.
Expensive top of the line gear with fancy logos and the latest color choices won't make up for lack of stamina or absence of endurance on a hiking trip.
If you want more tips on female hiking hygiene, read this.
And consider ultralight backpacking gear if "fast and light" is your motto regardless of trail conditions.
One more thing! Don't hang up your boots once the snow flies.
Good news: you can use most of your three season hiking gear to get outdoors for some fantastic winter scenery.
Just starting out and wonder how to buy hiking equipment? Here's a plan for you.
Or try this for some ideas on how to buy hiking gear.
Once you've got some great gear, it's prudent to plan ahead for hiking gear malfunction.
Have a specific question about the best hiking gear? Dip into the hiking questions archive to see if I've already answered it.
Or ask your question to me directly, and I'll be happy to answer it.
Two ways to reach me:
Happy Best Hiking Gear on the Trails!
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