Whether you’re planning on trekking just a few easy hours on the Four Lakes Trail that passes by evergreen-lined Alice Lake, want to tackle the gruelingly steep Stawamus Chief or plan on exploring the lengthy trails atGaribaldi Provincial Park, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared, and not just physically. Squamish has a variety of trails, from those that are not considered dangerous, to expert back country scrambles, what ever your hiking preference is having the right gear can make or break your day on the trails.
Avid outdoorsmen and women will be glad to have the equipment necessary to make hiking in the spring and summer easier and safer. We created this list of must have gear for your next Squamish Hike. Everything listed is available locally at Valhalla Pure and is top quality and long lasting, so you can use these helpful tools and outdoor wear every year to see what’s changed on the trails around Squamish.
For the longer treks and overnight trips, a water purifier is a must have tool. This can lighten the weight you are carrying on your back and all you to tap into the plentiful fresh water resources on your next Squamish hike. Although there are drinkable freshwater sources along many of Squamish’s hiking trails, a water purifier is an indispensable hiking tool, especially if you’re not 100 percent sure which to drink.
Insiders Tip: try Valhalla Pure’s Life Straw Personal Water Filter, which can easily be inserted into the water source (like a straw), to safely slurp up nature’s goodness. Another option is Cascade Designs’ MSR : AutoFlow Gravity Filter. To use, just fill the plastic attachment with water, then hang it from a clip to a tree branch. Gravity pulls the water through the purifier into your own personal water bottle. Handy, right?
Maybe it goes without saying, but to go hiking, you’re going to need the right kind of shoes. For spring and summer trails, you can skip the high set fleece lined boots, but may still want to opt for something waterproof as Squamish can be wet in the Spring months.
Insiders Tip: some of the most popular hiking boots for men and women are made by Scarpa or Salomon. Most are waterproof but breathable and also great for steep climbs like the Chief. Valhalla Pure carries several different models for more flexible options and personal taste.
Although you might not want to admit it, you may have laughed the first time you saw someone walking on a flat trail with trekking poles. However, there’s a good reason to include them on any gear guide. Poles take the pressure off your joints, increase your speed when going uphill, and help maintain balance.
Insiders Tip: you can buy poles specifically designed for trekking, or just use skiing poles, which will come in handy for winter, too. The Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles sold in Valhalla Pure’s local store are perfect for men and women.
You’re bound to get a few bumps and scrapes hiking on any trail, which makes a first aid kit essential. Make sure to take sterilized bandages in a variety of sizes, gauze rolls, 4-inch butterfly closures, scissors, tweezers, pain relievers, and antihistamines for allergic reactions, as well as an instruction booklet.
Insiders Tip: instead of buying all the items to make your own medical kit, try one of the pre-made kits found at Valhalla Pure. They come in a variety of sizes to last however many days you’re planning to be on the trails.
No adventure is complete without a fully equipped, multi-purpose knife. They always come in handy for cutting ropes, bandages, clipping wires, sewing torn clothes, filing wood, opening cans and bottles and many other functions for a day hike or extended trekking.
Insiders Tip: checkout one of Leatherman’s multi-tools at Valhalla Pure. They come in different sizes, most of which are light, compact, affordable and have all the tools you’ll need on the trail.
My favorite part about hiking, is enjoying a well deserved snack at the top of a mountain. Full your pack with yummy snacks to fuel your adventure, and to have in case the trail leads you astray. Try one of the adventure recipes from Origins Nutrition for a healthy pick me up.
Insiders Tip: Grab and go with a healthy lunch from Zephyr Cafe located in Downtown Squamish.
Store your gear and goodies in a lightweight backpack. The last thing you want is something to weigh you down when you’re toughing it uphill. Make sure it also has a rain cover, Squamish is known for conjuring up more than a drizzle.
Insiders Tip: Osprey makes small, lightweight backpacks for men and women that come with a rain cover and a spot to store trekking poles, both of which can be found in Squamish’s Valhalla Pure.
This might go without saying now that our cell phones double as a Camera, but we always recommend bringing a camera along to capture the beauty of the trails!
Insider Tip: Snap pictures of your favourite trails and share them with a quick #squamishadventure tag!
With the right gear, hiking your first Squamish trail this spring will be a breeze. Not only will it make your hike safer, it will also be easier going, leaving you excited and ready for more.