What to Bring when Hiking a 14er
- Dayhiking Pack: you’ll want a relatively small and lightweight dayhiking pack for peak days. Make sure the pack fits well, especially on your hips (so you don’t have all the weight in your shoulders). The size of your pack will be dependent on how many layers and how much gear you want to bring with you.
- Sturdy Shoes: you’ll want a sturdy hiking boots or cross-trainers. Boots with ankle support can be helpful on rocky and uneven trails that lead to peaks.
- Layers of Clothing: make sure to completely avoid cotton! You’ll want to dress in layers because you’ll typically switch from being cold and hot during your hike, with mornings being chilly, afternoons being warm, and peaks being cold. You usually want to have a base layer short sleeve shirt or tank top, topped by a long sleeve shirt or mid-weight layer. On top of that, you can add a jacket. Always make sure you bring a rain jacket; you never know when you’ll run into one of Colorado’s torrential downpours. On your legs, you could wear nylon hiking pants with zip-off legs (with the pants turning into shorts) or wear leggings and shorts.
- Water: depending on how long your hike is, you should bring around 2-4 liters of water. You could bring a couple full 32 ounce water bottles or fill a bladder in a hydration pack. You could also bring iodine tablets or drops to make stream water safe for drinking.
- Food: pack food and snacks like granola bars, trail mix, beef jerky, gel shots or cliff bar energy blocks. Make sure the food you bring has a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. Foods with high fructose corn syrup will not digest well, and foods with a high sugar content will give you a quick rush of energy but then will make you crash.
- Sun Protection: at 14,000 feet, the sun is extremely strong, so make sure to grab sun block and lip balm with SPF.
- Cell Phone: you may have to hike around a bit to reach service, but bringing a phone is important in case you need to contact help.
- First-Aid Kit: at least one person in your group should have a first aid kit. You’ll especially want to bring mule skin or Band-Aids for blisters.
- Matches and/or Firestarter
Other Good Ideas:
- Hat to block sun
- Warm hat and gloves (it gets cold at the peak!)
- Hiking Poles