Backcountry Beauty Queen

Hello Thursday!  I am getting so pumped for this weekend.  We are now just two days away from the Walk, Run, or Dye, and I know it’s going to be a blast.  An email was sent out today about packet pickups and other last minute details, and it said that there are over 800 people registered.  That’s quite a big event for our little town.  I can’t wait!




So something occurred to me recently.  While I was gone on vacation, I published a post about what you can find in my backpack during our long overnight trips.  I didn’t, however, tell you what you can find on my body during those trips!

The clothing you wear in the backcountry is one of the essential pieces of backpacking.  Everyone has different clothes that work for them, and once you find something that you love, you tend to stick with it.  Let’s take these pants for example.


These are the North Face Horizon Tempest Pants, and they are hands down my favorite hiking pants that I’ve ever tried.  They’re lightweight, breathable, and you can move comfortably in them.  I now own them in three different colors plus two pairs of the shorts version.

For a few years I had trouble finding a hiking shirt that was just right.  So many of them are that slick polyester, and that just doesn’t work for me.  Last summer I finally stumbled upon the North Face Reaxion shirt, and I haven’t looked backed.


Again, these shirts are breathable and moisture wicking.  Perhaps best of all is that they are fairly cheap for North Face clothing!  This is another one of those clothing articles that I own in several colors and two different sleeve lengths.  I even noticed today that this season they have the long sleeve in an awesome purple color!  I think I’ll be treating myself again pretty soon.

Ok, girls, let’s talk unmentionables for a second.  I’ll be very honest and tell you that my least favorite part of backpacking is the cleanliness issue especially as it relates to our private areas.  Special underwear that at least keeps a handle on that situation is key. Enter ExOfficio.  They make super comfortable women’s (and men’s) underwear that make that part a little more bearable.

One clothing item that I always recommend you have is good rain jacket.  This is especially important in the high country during the summer when you can pretty much count on rain every afternoon.  I scored this North Face rain jacket on sale three years ago, and it’s still the one I carry with me on every trip.  It’s incredibly durable, and I have no doubt that it will last several more years.


One mantra that you’ll hear over and over again when you talk to anyone about backpacking is “take care of your feet”.  Proper footwear is essential, and that starts with your socks.  There are a ton of a great companies out there, but I’m partial to Smartwool.  Just make sure that you are sticking with a wool sock that is light to medium weight (in the summer time).

Last, but not least, you have to have good shoes.  You will hear people argue constantly about boots vs. sneakers vs. trail shoes.  Personally, I don’t understand how people hike in sneakers, and I definitely don’t recommend it.  When you are carrying 25 to 30 extra pounds on your back, you need to have sturdy shoes to hold up to that strain.  Not to mention that there’s a huge threat of rolling an ankle.  I go with a mid-top boot for that very reason.

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I picked up these Oboz Yellowstone boots summer before last, and they are the best pair I’ve had to date.  They are super comfortable, but I also feel like they give me the support that’s so critical.

Those are the clothing items you can find with me on just about every trip I take.  I especially swear by those pants-so comfortable!  And, yes, I do understand I’m a walking advertisement for North Face.  What can I say-I’m a big fan of their products!

What piece of clothing do you swear by?  Do you favor one particular company for your active gear?

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9 thoughts on “Backcountry Beauty Queen

  1. Carrie

    I absolutely love North Face! Every year in middle and high school, I’d get a new fleece from Santa. :) It was so cold all the time in Upstate that I’d wear it everyday for at least six months. 😉

  2. Jorie

    Growing up, I always did day hikes in sneakers (while my parents wore sturdier mid-top boots). Finally, in college, I decided it was time to join the adults footwear-wise and I haven’t looked back. Even for a six-mile day hike, the support on your ankles is incredible. It’s the only thing I trust, especially if the hike calls for a little bit of scrambling or boulder-hopping.

  3. lynne @ lgsmash

    love it! i also wear the same clothes over and over for backpacking/hiking, despite having a whole slew of shirts to choose from :) i’m also in hiking boot camp (over trail runners!) – i love the ankle support!

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