Lighting Out

Want to go from day tripper to trail ripper? Lose the weight, hit the throttle, and have a 21st-century blast.

Apr 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
day hiking gear

There's gas in the tank, steaming French roast in the travel mug, and a city still hitting the snooze button in the rearview mirror. A busy Saturday lies ahead, but it won't involve running errands. Your mission? Fly over as much terrain and check out as many fresh vistas as possible before nightfall. You'll be navigating your geography of choice-sweet, cool forests; serious mountain vertical; or forgotten side canyons rife with creeks, waterfalls, and verdant hideaways. And thanks to the advanced day-hiking clothing, footwear, and equipment on the following pages, you'll be well outfitted to pull off even the most ambitious outback ramble. The wild world is waiting. Why are you?

Primed for Speed

Along the way, you're likely to forget you're carrying the three-ounce, windproof MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR PHANTOM ANORAK—until the wind whips up and you unfurl it for instant protection. ($95; 800-953-8375, LOWE ALPINE's WARM ZONE TOP ushers in a new era of versatility, thanks to the garment's high-gain reversibility—turn it inside out for 25 percent more warmth—and the result is a wide comfort range. ($79; 877-888-8533, Nothing ruins a day on the trail like shorts that chafe. Enter PATAGONIA's ULTRA SHORTS: featherweight, sweat-wicking trou built expressly for high-mileage hikes. ($45; 800-866-4595, Do your dogs right with SMARTWOOL's ADRENALINE MINI socks. They're anatomically engineered to conform to the foot, and they come with a padded sole and a sweat-wicking wool interior. ($15; 800-550-9665, The superlight LA SPORTIVA EXUM RIDGES make for ideal trail shoes, thanks to abrasion-resistant side panels, rubber toe caps, and to-the-toe lacing for a glove-like fit. ($90; 303-443-8710, Use LIFE-LINK GUIDE ULTRALIGHT TREKKING POLES to spread some of the work to your arms and leave your legs with more juice to keep a brisk pace. ($105; 800-443-8620,

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