Ladies! Do you want an outdoor activity that gets you out of the house and makes you feel like a boss? Look no further than hiking.
Hiking for women is not only an easy way to keep your body healthy, but it’s also a lovely excuse to explore the wilderness nearby. Plus, it’s a terrific way to meet people who appreciate the beautiful scenery and nature like you.
Many factors go into finding good hikes for women, including location, length, elevation gain (or loss), difficulty rating, and safety.
Girls should hike because they have the right to; nothing is more empowering than seeing your body move through the natural world. In addition, the outdoors can be an excellent way for girls to learn about their bodies, sportsmanship, and the world.
Some of the best motivations for encouraging girls to get into hiking are that it’s fun and helps them express their emotions!
Is it smart (or safe) for women to go hiking alone?
It is entirely okay for women to go hiking alone. Here is a list of incredibly beautiful and safest places to travel for women.
However, some destinations call for a partner or a guide. Many solo women hikers have faced debilitating injuries, animal attacks, and sexual assault and have gone missing during their trips.
Hiking does not require any particular skill. You can learn to hike safely with a bit of practice. Nevertheless, it would be helpful if you were prepared for hiking emergencies.
It is also possible to encounter and be attacked by wildlife such as dogs, coyotes, snakes, and bears. If you see wild animals on your hike, walk away and return later when they have left.
Anyone can hike. If you decide, finding a suitable hike for girls is crucial.
Even though hiking alone may sound intimidating to one and thrilling to another, hiking in the wilderness can be a life-changing experience for girls.
Girls are taught that traveling alone is unsafe and are encouraged to travel only in groups and well-trafficked places. Yes, in some parts, they are correct. But you should also feel assured that many women-led travel agencies and other travel companies make sure you are safe during your travel.
Why should women hike?
There are also many other reasons why women should go on a hike. Let me elaborate on it for you beautiful ladies:
- Makes you physically fit: Hiking is an excellent form of workout. It is also a splendid way to test your physical strength. Hiking helps build your core, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quad muscles. It also helps strengthen your back.
- Mental health: Hiking gets you up and away from your monotonous lifestyle back home. The fresh air and clear skies help you detox from the noise and the pollution. Besides, you will now use your brain to navigate the trails instead of doing paperwork or laborious jobs. This way, you will be mentally sane and agile.
- Soul searching: Hiking gives you lots of time to think about other things that matter FOR YOU. You will be free from distractions and focus on the topic that needs your decision. For example, it may be to relocate your house, buy a car, or leave a job and start a new one?!
- Conquer obstacles: Hiking to a destination is a goal you’ve set for yourself. Therefore, you will be challenging your mind and body to do what you previously thought was impossible. After completing your hike, the feeling of sweet success is empowering to girls and post-menopausal women.
- Social skills: If you’re traveling in a group managed by an agency, you will meet a lot of travelers just like you. Even better, if it’s an all-women group, you can listen, share stories, and build more social skills. You will understand people more and find people who understand your struggles. Many people have found their life-long friends while hiking.
- Self-exploration: Hiking for girls can be an excellent way to be alone with themselves and find out who you are. For example, say you are enhancing your spirituality and trying to get the answers to your existence in this universe. You can also realize how much you’ve transitioned over the past years.
Hiking gear list for women
The gear list is another essential thing to take care of for girls while hiking. Yes, it may be daunting, especially during a multi-day trek.
Besides, it also depends on your personal preferences. But don’t worry, I am here to help you.
Below is the complete guide on the hiking gear list for women:
Hiking shirts that are lightweight, breathable, and soak the sweat up are essential items that you should not miss.
You’ll wear the same shirt for a couple of days if you’re going on a long hike, so avoid cotton shirts as they don’t dry quickly, making you stink.
Carry at least three dri-fit hiking shirts. Also, carry one long-sleeved teeshirt in case the weather gets cold.
Trekking pants/ shorts are a must while hiking. However, I highly suggest you don’t go on multi-day treks in your gym leggings. It’s okay if you’re going for a day hike that lasts just a few hours, but it’s a NONO for a multi-day hike.
A pair of trekking shorts are best if you’re hiking in warm weather. However, long trekking trousers keep you safe from insect bites and rashes. Therefore, buying convertible trekking pants would be the most cost-effective option.
Besides trekking pants, carrying down trousers or a fleece-lined tracksuit is best while hiking in cold climates. They help keep your legs warm despite not looking as pretty.
If you have Ski pants, then those work, too.
Breathable Underwear and Bras
You may think you can wear your undergarments, but you’re mistaken. You must wear undergarments that are made up of 100% merino wool. Merino wool is a comfortable and breathable material with a quick-drying feature.
Carry at least four pairs of underwear.
I recommend this dry-fit sports bra from Icebreaker, which is super comfortable. Packing two teams of them will be fine.
Wearing a base layer is a must if you plan to go on a hike during the cold season. It may not look as sexy, but it reduces airflow and helps keep your body warm.
Base layers are made up of high-wicking material that absorbs moisture from your body, thus helping you stay dry even when you sweat.
Icebreaker again has the best baselayers that look pretty (yep, you heard it correctly) and keep you warm.
I suggest you carry at least two pairs of baselayers for an average 12-day trek. If you’re trekking for a shorter period, one will work fine.
The second layer, the fleece layer, is what you wear on top of your base layer. You don’t need to wear this during the summer; however, it is essential during winter.
This fleece layer allows breathability while keeping you dry and warm.
It is the outermost layer that needs to be durable and weatherproof while keeping you warm.
The third layer is jackets that come in different styles. Various clothing companies, such as North Face, Patagonia, and Mountain Hardware, offer splendid jackets.
Ensure your jacket is versatile and keeps you warm and dry during your hike.
The North Face Nuptse Jacket and Mountain Hardwear Jacket are the best third layers you can pack for your hike.
This one is for the ladies who have scheduled their hike during the monsoon period. I know most people avoid hiking in the rain due to its dangers; however, getting away from the rain in some places is inevitable.
So, if you’re someone who doesn’t stop due to climatical hindrances, these are some things you need to pack during your hike:
You can easily pack a full-body rain poncho in your backpack’s pocket. Please make sure they are lightweight.
Rain jackets are more accessible and functional rain clothing that keeps you dry. These will not cover your backpack or your legs as the rain Poncho does, but it will surely be a good fit while trekking in lower altitudes, which gets light shimmers.
You will be walking for long hours for days, and thus, your footwear will be the most crucial item on your gear list.
You must choose the proper footwear for your hike, which can make or break your hiking experience. For example, you can have painful blisters if your hiking boots are too small or too large. To make it worse, you may lose your toenails.
I suggest you wear your trekking boots while walking nearby to help your feet break into them before you commence your multi-day trek.
These are the pair of footwear that you will be wearing every day.
Again, you need to check that your boots are the correct size. You can check it by pushing your feet all the way to the front of the foot. Then, stick your index finger behind your heel. If your index finger fits, it is the right size for you.
Also, make sure that your boot isn’t heavy. Your boots also need to have deep lugs on the soles.
You can read in-depth about how to choose trekking shoes here
Trekking trainers are not a compulsory item to pack during your trek. However, packing one would be favorable if you want to change to lighter and more comfortable footwear after reaching your camp.
If you’re trekking during the summer, you’d need a comfortable pair of trekking sandals since wearing boots throughout the day can make you feel hot and congested.
You can wear your trekking sandals while staying at teahouses/lodges in the evenings. Trekking sandals are also great for short hikes, especially during the monsoon season or in humid places.
You need to pack at least five pairs of trekking socks of good quality that are not made of cotton. In addition, make sure your socks have high-wicking material (e.g., merino wool) and are comfy.
It is even better if your trekking socks are waterproof.
Darn Tough has some performance-fit non-slippery and ultrasmooth socks, which in turn helps avoid blisters.
You’d need thicker thermal socks to hike in colder regions or high altitudes. In addition, these thermal socks need to have flat seams.
Gaiters are an excellent investment as they protect your legs from rain, dust, and mud.
Gloves are another essential item on your packing list as they not only keep your hands warm but also protect your hand from frostbite and bruises in case you have an accident.
Your gloves need to be wind and waterproof.
Trekking poles help reduce stress on your feet and support your ankles to give you stability while walking in variable terrain (especially while downhill hiking).
You can learn more about how to choose trekking poles here
If you want a lightweight trekking pole, then you might want to check out New Balance Trekking Poles
The sun and wind can damage our hair and face after being exposed to them for days. Therefore, it is vital to keep our heads and faces covered from the sun’s rays, especially in hot and humid places.
Carry a lightweight sun hat that you can easily pack on the backpack.
If your hikes include walking in high altitudes and cold weather, packing a beanie would be a safe bet. They also keep your head warm while sleeping at night as the warmth of the sleeping bag only may not be enough.
Your everyday sunglasses may work fine; however, wearing trekking sunglasses may be more comfortable and work best to keep the UV rays away from harming your eyes while hiking in high altitudes and colder climates.
Most treks are not carried out at night as it is dangerous. However, wearing a headlamp would lessen the possibility of meeting with an accident.
Besides, these help keep your hands free so that you can hold trekking poles.
Headlamps also help you go to the toilet during the night as many camps and lodges do not have electricity at night.
Petzl has the best headlamps for girls.
Going on treks means sleeping under the stars or in mountain lodges where the temperatures are relatively colder.
Sleeping bags are an essential sleeping accessory that varies according to the seasons you’re hiking in.
If you’re hiking in high altitudes (such as in Annapurna Base Camp or Mount Kilimanjaro), you will need to carry a sleeping bag with down feathers. They are pricier; however, they keep you warm in the coldest temperatures.
You can also rent sleeping bags if your budget is tight. However, I suggest you buy a silk sleeping bag liner as it is more hygienic.
Most people don’t carry pillows on their trek. However, since beauty comes with a good night’s sleep, you would want to bring an inflatable pillow for extra comfort.
If you are a light sleeper like me, I recommend investing in a set of earplugs. These help you lessen noise, be it by other trekkers in the hostel or any other unfamiliar noises.
The backpack is another essential item on your packing list. Your bag will depend on the duration and type of your trek. Besides, it will also depend on whether you’ll hire a porter.
You can bring a duffel bag if you’re hiring a porter. However, if you plan on hiking solo, you would need a bag that has adequate storage capacity, proper weight and comfort.
You can read how to choose a backpack for trekking here.
Also, make sure that your backpack has an integrated rain cover.
If you’re going on short hikes or have a porter carry your main luggage, consider bringing a small daypack. Here, you can store your daily essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and essential documents for the trek.
Osprey Daypacks are loved by many hikers, both men and women.
If your backpack/daypack doesn’t have an integrated rain cover, you can keep your belongings dry and safe by packing a rain cover.
Women need to drink 2 to 3 liters of water per day while hiking. If you fail to drink enough water, you will be risking your life, as you can be a victim of altitude sickness, heat stroke, exhaustion, etc.
Besides, carrying a hydration bottle will let you drink water directly from the hose, meaning you don’t have to use your hands.
You can carry your trekking poles or continue taking photos with your phone or camera while staying hydrated.
Make sure to carry a SteriPen or Water Purification Tablets.
It would be best to carry a personal travel towel with fast-drying microfiber. These help keep yourself dry after a quick shower or swim in the river.
Sea to Summit has an excellent travel towel.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to carry a camera. Carry these to capture the beautiful scenery you will see on your hike. In addition, you can take pictures of yourself which you can later post on your social media.
Make sure to keep an extra battery and carry its charger.
Waterproof Zip Bags
Carry waterproof zip bags to keep your electronic and essential items like a camera, phone, wallet, passport, etc., dry.
Besides, you can also use these bags to carry snacks.
You will need a ducktape to patch blisters or temporarily fix your gadgets and trekking accessories.
A Swiss Knife is the ultimate camping accessory. Yes, there is a stereotype that men usually use it. But you are hiking too; I don’t see why you shouldn’t carry one yourself since you will also be making your fire or cutting the duct tape for the “temporary fix,” as I mentioned earlier.
Medication and personal gear
First Aid Kit
Carry your personal portable first aid kit even if you’re trekking with a guide.
Trekking can be dangerous, and you never know when you’ll get bruises, meet with an accident, or just become ill.
This Compact First Aid Kit consists of everything from an alcohol prep pad, bandages, electrolyte drink powder/tablets, cotton tips, gauze pads, blister relief, and more. You can also carry your prescribed medicines if you have any.
Water Purification Tablets and Pens
You may get bottled and boiled water along the trails. However, if you’re trekking in remote areas, you may have to drink water straight from the streams and rivers. I highly suggest you avoid drinking water straight from its source.
First, put a water purification tablet on your water and leave it for about thirty minutes before drinking it. The water will taste a bit weird, but you can be assured of its safety.
You can also invest in a Steripen, which kills bacteria with ultraviolet rays.
Carry paracetamol in case you have a headache or general body pains.
Diamox tablets are a compulsory medication you need while traveling in high altitudes. They help you combat altitude sickness.
However, consult a doctor before taking these tablets.
Carry your personal toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, toilet paper rolls, and deodorants. I suggest you buy these items before the trek, as the trails and ships near your treks may not have the exact product you are looking for.
If you don’t like wearing sanitary pads and tampons, I suggest carrying a Shewee.
Shewee is a comfortable means to avoid wet trousers during your period. However, putting one in can be difficult, so I suggest you try wearing it before the trek.
Sunscreen and lip balm
You will be exposed to harmful UV rays throughout the trek, so sunscreen is essential to protect your skin. You can use your prescribed sunscreen or favorite ones, but ensure it is at least 30 SPF.
Also, make sure to carry lip balms with a particular SPF value. Lip balms also help keep your lips moist.
Hand Sanitizer keeps your hands clean in places where water is not available to clean your hands. Additionally, it protects you from bacteria and viruses such as Coronavirus.
Speaking of Coronavirus, make sure to wear a mask at all times as the virus spreads from the air. Masks also keep you safe from dust and harmful gases.
You may not get clean and hot water for a shower at all times during long treks. Baby wipes are super handy items that help keep you clean and refreshed during the trek.
Thus, hiking is an exciting and adventurous activity for women. I believe all women should go on a hike every month as it helps them be physically and mentally fit. It is also a great way to explore yourself while exploring nature.
I hope I have also helped all of you ladies reading this on packing for your next hike.
Please comment below if you have any queries or other hiking items you would like us to add to our list.
Till then, happy hiking, ladies!