by Diane Spicer
The best hiking gear for women depends on your personal preferences and hiking style.
So it 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 gear guide)
We'll proceed on advice contained within this old Swedish saying:
"There is no bad weather, only bad clothing."
To which, let us add:
"and bad hiking gear"
To navigate this guide, skip to these sections:
Which type of hiker are you?
Most hikers begin with short day hikes near home, on well marked trails.
If you are a beginner hiker, concentrate on two critical pieces of gear for happy trails:
If you get this combination right, your happy feet will guarantee that you'll want lots more trail time.
But you'll need a great day pack, too.
Intermediate hikers who have solved the hiking boot or trail shoe + hiking socks puzzle.
Now, you can turn your attention to this gear:
From there, you can concentrate on building a gear locker filled with the best hiking gear for women backpackers by using the tips on this website.
'Cuz crying on the trail should only happen when you're happy!
Intermediate backpacking tips, including the best gear, are waiting for you right here.
Use the links in this hiking gear guide to get your trail footwear dialed in just right.
You'll be one step ahead of the curve (sorry, bad hiking pun).
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?
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)
A few Hiking For Her trail tested sock reviews for your viewing pleasure:
There are some benefits to consider from hiking compression socks.
Didn't find what you were looking for? Use the blue TOP button
on the right to jet back up to the search box.
Here are some basic tips on how to buy a backpack regardless of its intended use for your outdoor adventures.
Which type of backpack, now that's a long convoluted discussion!
Here are your options:
Still a bit muddy on how to go about choosing womens backpacks?
Many hikers cherish family hiking as one precious way to share time with loved ones.
But it takes some planning to get the best hiking gear for everyone. These tips will make it easier!
Hiking with a baby?
If you hike with older-than-toddler kids, you need this info to make an informed choice of which pack to choose for your little hikers:
Unless you plan on carrying everything yourself! (insert frown-y face here)
Now that we've got the fundamentals covered (literally), consider some "add ons" to keep you comfortable and safe on the trail.
Let's always begin with safety!
Carry your hiking ten essentials to stay off the radar (again, literally in terms of Search and Rescue teams).
Put together a survival kit as well.
Trekking poles are a great idea, ergonomically speaking.
Going to be hiking in muddy, sandy, snowy or soggy conditions? I hope so! Why skip the fun?
Carrying a multi tool is also a smart idea for field repairs.
I recommend only what I use, and over the decades that I've been hiking, I've used just about every brand out there.
And I want you to know about all about the best! That's why I write this stuff!
The best hiking clothing for women definitely qualifies as outdoor gear, working hard to keep you dry, temperature regulated, and comfortable in all seasons.
Women's trekking clothes and female hiking clothes are a serious investment.
But it doesn't need to be labelled "hiking" or "trekking" to be trailworthy. You can repurpose your athletic clothing!
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 to build your wardrobe of the best hiking clothes for women.
Your ultimate goal: to build a hiking clothing layering system that you will use through all four seasons on the trail.
Many women make the mistake of wearing every day fabrics and cuts on a hiking trail.
This can lead to chafing, frustration and worse (like the B word).
To avoid this endless loop of problems, take a look at your choices below for the best hiking gear a.k.a. clothing:
Have you heard about the REI Force Of Nature plan to move toward gender equity in outdoor sports?
Part of this worthy cause involves offering more well designed, high quality hiking gear designed by women.
Wow, now there's a great topic of conversation!
And use this best hiking gift guide, highlighting 16 REI selections at 3 different price points, to get an overview for what REI Co-op can offer you as a hiker (or gift giver).
What happens when the raindrops start to fall?
Once the sun finally peeps out, whip out those sunglasses, because squinting sucks.
And with the sun comes the bugs.
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?
You are well ahead of the game by reading this page!
Didn't find what you were looking for? Use the blue TOP button
on the right to jet back up to the search box.
Staying overnight or longer on the trail?
But you'll need a tent!
Or at least a backpacking tarp.
Not ready to commit to buying a tent?
Or maybe a backpacking quilt is more to your liking!
Never considered a backpacker quilt?
Hard surfaces make for grumpy backpackers.
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.
All of these options guarantee peace of mind for the folks back home, too.
Read my review of a portable, easy to use water filter + water bottle combination here: Lifestraw Go.
Trying to save space?
Sometimes a female hiker just doesn't fit the "standard" dimensions for a backpack or piece of athletic clothing.
Instead, choose adjustable hiking gear.
Sometimes it's fun to let someone else do the heavy lifting of gear selection, and just send you a box full of the best hiking gear.
That's what the Cairn outdoor subscription box service does.
Or a Nomadik subscription box, filled with surprises each month.
What about keeping up your good 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.
If you want even more tips on female hiking hygiene, read this.
Over the past 40+ years, I've tried a lot of womens hiking gear.
AND I've 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.
jungle thick forest or desert out there!
You've got to figure out the type of hiking you want to do, and then decide which gear you'll need.
You're going to need 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.
That's definitely enough to get you started!
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 for hikers:
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.
Hiking For Her vividly remembers what it's like to be a hiking beginner.
That's why the monthly giveaways on this site are focused on highlighting only the best hiking gear, outdoor clothing, information and resources to get you on the trail in comfort, confidence and style.
Sign up for the HFH weekly email updates, too.
My approach, for what it's worth:
This investment strategy for hiking gear has worked out well for me, which is why I'm recommending it to you.
Once you've done a few overnights or long week-end backpacking trips, you're going to want more trail time.
Which means you'll get more serious about your gear and clothing.
Here are backpacking gear lists to get your started:
To get more 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 to find the very best deal you can score?
Just be sure it's fit for purpose before relying on it.
Because sometimes, cheap turns out to be expensive in more ways than one on a hike.
Gamble with your comfort, but never with your safety.
The best day hiking tips, including gear hints, are right here.
And consider ultralight backpacking gear if "fast and light" is your motto regardless of trail conditions or length of hike.
Just starting out and wonder how to buy hiking equipment?
Or try this for a strategy on how to buy hiking gear.
Once you've got some great gear, it's prudent to plan ahead for hiking gear malfunctions.
...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.
So when you're done looking at these gear tips, check out my tips on:
One more little tip! (I'm on a roll)
Don't hang up your boots once the snow flies.
You can use most of your three season hiking gear to get outdoors for some fantastic winter scenery.
We've covered a lot here.
And you probably have specific questions about the best hiking gear for you.
Or ask your question to me directly, and I'll be happy to answer it.
In your quest for the best hiking gear and tips, why not keep going?
You can enjoy a monthly dose of detailed hiking tips in the free Happy Trails newsletter.
Happy Trails With the best hiking gear!
Best Hiking Gear
Hiking For Her's weekly emails keep you current on hiking & backpacking news.
Free, fast, fun info for you, every week of the year - just use the box below!
Plus, there's never enough room in the newsletter to share it all, so why miss out on exclusive Hiking For Her giveaways, limited time gear deals and discounts, freebies, updates, and more?
A short, info packed weekly email update will keep you current on all things hiking!
Don't miss out!