Mommy Hiker’s 2017 Essential Hiking Gear List

hiking gear lists

Before you hit the trails, you want to make sure you have the gear necessary to make the most of your trip. Whether you’re going on a quick walk around your local state park or you’re going on a longer overnight hike, these picks are sure to make your trip all the better.

Carhartt Hiking Shoes & Backpack

carhartt backpack

carhartt hiking boots

The bare bones of any hiker’s arsenal is a good pack and some durable shoes. Carhartt’s been at it 127 years, so they know a thing or two about rugged gear. These pieces of gear are made with durable waterproof material, so you can keep going all day.

Garmin Waterproof GPS

garmin GPS

With this Garmin, you can keep track of the routes you take, mark waypoints, and it also features a trip computer, sunrise and sunset times, information about hunting and fishing, a compass and a barometric altimeter. It’s powered by AAA batteries. This particular GPS is configured to handle tracking through deep tree cover or inside canyons and has a feature that allows you to retrace your steps.

Coleman Camping Stove

coleman camping stove

This Coleman stove is small enough to fit inside an 8-inch pan. It’s also easy to store: the burner and base separate making it even more portable. The large base makes stirring easy. The burner is adjustable and is optimized for fuel efficiency and performance under harsh conditions. One 16.4 ounce propane cylinder is good for up to 2.5 hours of cook time on high.

Sierra Designs Tent

sierra designs camping tent

Sierra has a reputation for crafting products that last decades.  This tent by Sierra Designs is a lightweight nylon and polyester three-season tent. This tent sleeps two people. Pitching is pretty easy, and there are only three poles. Storage and the rainfly are built in, so that’s a bonus.

Leatherman Multi-Tool

leatherman pocket knife tool

The Leatherman is a great way to have almost every tool you’ll need in one small space. Weighing in at 6.9 ounces, this little guy is home to 18 different tools. When you’re watching the weight of your pack increase, you can thank your Leatherman for being so petite.

Ray Ban Polarized Sunglasses

ray ban sunglasses

Nobody wants to walk all day long squinting. It’s important to keep your eyes from UV rays. In addition to your safety, these glasses will keep the path clear for you, and the polarized lenses are great for cutting down the glare. If you’re going to do any fishing, they’ll also help you see the fish in the water. A good pair of sunglasses can make the difference between a mediocre trip and a great one.

MSR Cookset

MSR camping cookware set

You’ve got to eat, and if you need to cook, it’s better to have something lighter than a cast iron skillet. This MSR cookset takes saving space to the next level. Everything in the set nests together and the whole thing is under 2 lbs.


Photive Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

photive waterproof bluetooth speaker

Sometimes you want to have an impromptu trail dance party, or you just like singing in the shower. These speakers are nearly indestructible and can sustain eight hours of play on one charge.

Black Diamond Trekking Poles

black diamond trekking poles

If you’re distance hiking or you’re hiking treacherous terrain, you’ll need trekking poles. These trekking poles are ergonomic and collapse down, making them rather portable. If you need good hiking poles, Black Diamond offers a great lightweight product that’s made of carbon, so you know they’ll last.

Yeti Gear

yeti water bottle

Whether you need a good water bottle or something to keep your pot of coffee hot, Yeti’s 64-ounce Rambler is a great option. It has a wide mouth, and the cap is great for clipping to your pack. The bottle is made of stainless steel, it’s got double-walled vacuum insulation, so your beverage will stay really cold or hot all day long.

Kelty Sleeping Bag

kelty sleeping bag

If you’re camping overnight, you need a good sleeping bag. This bag from Kelty is rated for temperatures as low as 20°F. Available in regular and long sizes, this polyester bag featuring two blankets will keep you comfortable all night. It’s easy to store and it comes with a stuff sack. The total weight comes to 5 lbs 1 oz, so it won’t kill your back on a long day.

[El Capitan Canyon] Mommy Hiker Campground Spotlight

Family camping in santa barbara

Nestled in a breathtaking canyon, surrounded by hills covered in colorful wildflowers, and just minutes from the Central Coast city of Santa Barbara, California sits El Capitan Canyon, a hidden gem of a campground. Offering families numerous outdoor lodging options from canvas, safari-style tent camping sites to comfortable adventure yurts, and even luxurious cedar cabins, this resort-style campground boasts creature comforts like hot showers, super clean toilets and even awesome, kid-friendly amenities like playgrounds and heated outdoor pools.

To read our full guide to camping and hiking at El Capitan Canyon, see Jennifer Fontaine’s article on

Reserve your spot today at El Capitan Canyon for your next unforgettable family camping adventure!

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El Capitan Canyon has provided Southern Californians with a cozy sanctuary since the early 70’s. Take advantage of the local hikes with trailheads on property, frolic with their llamas and goats, enjoy live music concerts in the summer, or indulge in an in-room massage.

The Canyon Market and Deli is well stocked with a large selection of local, organic groceries, world renowned wine, and those often-forgotten sundries like sunscreen and bug spray. Order their signature BBQ kit which includes all the necessary ingredients to enjoy a family meal cooked over the campfire, or if you don’t feel like grilling, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Natural Features

Situated on 300 acres of towering sycamores and California coastal oaks, each one of El Capitan Canyon’s 139 individual sites offers guests a relaxed, communal experience. Originally a Chumash tribal celebration site, the canyon is blanketed by flavorful elderberries and wildly fragrant sage. Two local hikes take you over soft rolling hills, along the majestic Pacific Ocean, and through vast pastures where goats and llamas dance to the sounds of the crashing waves.

Here’s a list of our favorite amenities and activities El Capitan Canyon has to offer

  • Family Room 5+
  • Kitchenettes
  • Laundry Service
  • Onsite Dining
  • Onsite Market
  • Refrigerator
  • Heated Outdoor Pool
  • Playground
  • Fire Pits
  • Room Service
  • Maid Service
  • Complimentary Beach Cruiser Bikes
  • Hiking
  • Yoga Classes
  • Massage Therapy

[Twin Lakes Campground] Mommy Hiker Campground Spotlight

Twin Lakes Campground in Mammoth Lakes, California offers family tent camping at its best. Boating, biking, hiking, fishing; it has everything an active family could ask for and is also perfect for just sitting around and doing absolutely nothing.

Reserve your spot today at Recreation.Gov for your next unforgettable family camping adventure!

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Twin Lakes Campground is located in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains near the town of Mammoth Lakes, California. It offers lakeside camping with breathtaking scenery and many outdoor activities. The lake is a great base for fishing, boating, viewing waterfalls and hiking, and offers close proximity to the town’s amenities.

Natural Features

The campground is forested with lodgepole pine, providing partial shade and a private setting. It sits at an elevation of 8,600 feet at the base of snow-capped, 11,059′ Mammoth Mountain, a popular skiing destination. A cascading waterfall flows into one of the lakes. The mountains are abundant with wildlife, including black bear, mountain lions, mule deer, pine marten, pika and many species of fish and birds.

There are tons of activities and amenities available within the Twin Lakes Campground

  • Boat Ramp
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Fee Station
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Pier
  • Flush Toilets
  • Food Storage Locker
  • General Store
  • Host Parking
  • Paved Roads
  • Pets Allowed
  • Propane Fuel Available
  • Restroom
  • Showers
  • Trash Collection