What to Pack for a Desert Hiking Trip
Jill Schuman, founder of eNZees Foot Soother, hiking in Zion National Park. Photo by Larry Gross.
It’s the height of “desert season,” and if you’re headed to one of our beautiful National Parks or recreation areas in the American Southwest be sure to pack appropriately as this landscape means business! A typically dry and arid climate, the desert offers little shade or relief from the sun and can often be quite high altitude. Bring these essential items with you for a fun and enjoyable desert hiking trip!
This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people come away from the desert looking like a lobster!
- A wide-brimmed hat
Save yourself some wrinkles and sunspots by wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out and about in the desert.
- Long sleeve shirt
The best way to keep the sun off your shoulders and arms is with a lightweight, quick-drying long sleeve shirt.
Hiking along the North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion National Park. Photo by Larry Gross.
- Plenty of water!
Be sure to drink plenty of water even if you’re just driving the loop around Arches National Park. The high altitude and dry climate will make you thirstier than you realize! If you do head out on a hike, carry at least a liter of water with you. I typically like to hike with a 2L reservoir just in case!
- Warm layers
Even though it’s warm during the day, you’ll find the desert gets quite cold once the sun goes down! Remember to bring a good insulating layer and a rain jacket – if only to block the wind!
Another shot from Jill's hiking trip to Zion National Park. Photo by Larry Gross.
- Wool or synthetic socks
To go with your properly fitted hiking boots or shoes! Do yourself a favor and avoid getting blisters with moisture wicking socks. Even if you do begin to get a blister, apply some eNZees Foot Soother to the area to help reduce friction and remove moisture.