Summer Packing List For A Mountain Trip
It is no secret that many frequent the Colorado State Mountains during ski and snowboarding season. However, it is a little known fact that several visitors also return to the Colorado Rockies during the summer to hike and camp. It is the perfect time for these outdoor recreational activities as daytime temperatures in the mountains reach the mid 80s and night time temperatures drop to the low 50s. Enjoying the Colorado wilderness in the summertime is easy, but packing for your weekend getaway can be a feat in itself. Follow the 4 packing tips listed below to ensure your summer Colorado Rockies mountain trip is everything you dreamed of and more.
Tip #1 Pack Adequate Clothing
During summertime the Colorado mountain temperatures are pretty predictable. However, at such a high altitude, you can expect to run into an afternoon thunderstorm or too. The hike that you may have began under a cloudless sky can take a quick turn into a torrential downpour. Thus, it is key to pack adequate clothing when heading out on your mountain vacation. Understand that Colorado's weather has the ability to change at the drop a of hat! Layers are a good way to prepare yourself for the upcoming weather changes. If it's hot strip, down to the first layer tee shirt and if it's cold or raining, add on that long sleeve shirt and windbreaker.
To be more specific, it would be best to layer in the following order, starting with the clothes closest to your skin - Bottom: biking shorts, thermals, long pants, hiking boots - Top: short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, windbreaker. It is in your best interest to wear a good pair of durable, yet comfortable hiking boots that you have already broken in. New ones can cause blistering which would be a nightmare when traveling through the Colorado Rockies. A wide brimmed hat as well as a great pair of sunglasses are also key essentials to bring along with you on your trip. These two items will keep your face and head protected under the harsh sun. Keep in mind that the Colorado Rockies nighttime temperatures do drop considerably, so it is a good idea to pack thermal underwear and flannel pajamas.
Tip #2 Toiletries
The Colorado Rockies are at a high elevation point putting you at a higher risk of being overly exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. In short, you will sunburn a heck of a lot easier in the Rockies no matter what season you are visiting. It is extremely important that you stock up on a plethora of sunscreen with the highest SPF protection. Lotion and lip balm are also necessary essentials to bring in your toiletry bag to protect your skin from drying up in the semiarid climate of the Colorado mountains. In addition to the items stated above, it is also vital to stock up on insect repellent as the Rockies are ridden with insects. Insect bites should be avoided at all cost as they have the potential to infect and spread many diseases. A couple of other basic toiletries you should also pack are non scented (to avoid enticing wildlife) toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner.
Tip #3 Outdoor Camping Gear
While many visitors come to camp and hike the Rockies, others come to raft, fish, and mountain bike. The Rockies are great at offering local rental equipment, but the only way to ensure that you have everything you need to perform these recreational activities is to pack your own gear. For camping, you will need an all season tent equipped with a rain fly to give yourself protection against the outdoor elements as well as a summer grade sleeping bag. A couple of other vital essentials that should be packed are water, food, cooking equipment, a bear proof storage box, waterproof matches, a flashlight, matches, and a first aid kit. Toting along a topographic map of the area you will be camping, hiking, or fishing within can come in handy as well.
Tip #4 Electronics
A camera is a great electronic accessory to bring so that you may document all of the wonderful things you see and memories you make along your travels. You never know when you may have an up close encounter with a mesmerizing animal. Binoculars are also helpful in viewing wildlife at a safe distance. There will be several fox, deer, and bears within the Colorado Rockies. Keep in mind that cell phone reception is not steadily available with in the mountains. Thus, an emergency communication device like wireless walkie talkies or a backpacker/hiker alert system should be brought just in case.