Colorado is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country. Throngs of backpackers, lugging along their camping gear, take on the various hiking trails leading them to rugged terrains of snowcapped mountain peaks. Outdoor adventurers can choose from short, moderate and easy overnight hiking and campout, to week long adventure along more challenging hiking trails.
The kind and amount of camping gear to bring for this great outdoor adventure depend on the hiking trail you are going to take, the length of time to complete the hike, and the time of the year your are visiting.
Backpackers can choose the trail to Mount Zirkel Wilderness for a peaceful overnight experience in the Routt National Forest. For a perfect spot of peaceful overnight campout, hike about 7 miles out to Lake Elbert and follow the trail leading to Luna Lake, which is an additional 2-mile hike. You can set up your camp along the Lake but make sure to set back your tents 100 feet from the lake and trail. Always include in your camping gear provisions for treating your drinking and cooking water.
You can pack as lightly as possible for this 24 to 36–hour outdoor adventure. Backpackers must bring only the bare essentials for this short and moderate hiking with no major climbs. There are no special specifications for the kind of backpacks to bring for this type of hiking trail. The regular ones are just about appropriate for this outdoor activity. It must be made of strong material to at least keep your articles safe. It must also have sturdy shoulder straps but at the same time comfortable with adequate padding and curves. Zips, usually made of big teeth, must be very durable and strong. The backpack must have a waist strap so that it snugly fits to your body and will not make you uncomfortable while negotiating the more difficult parts of the trail.
While hiking, you must bring along a lightweight tent so you will not be burdened by the extra load of a larger, heavier weight model. You must also consider the season and weather conditions that you expect to encounter during the hike. Hikers can experience inclement weather conditions even during summer so it is advisable to bring tents that would not only provide a high level of human comfort but also the strength of both structure and material to withstand extreme weather conditions. Tents that are totally seam–taped also provide sufficient protection from mosquitoes and flies which are particularly prevalent in July and early August. Campers must bring four-season tents during the winter months. You must also bring a flameless catalytic tent heater to protect you from the breezy winter nights.
Your camping gear must also include additional items like a sleeping pad or inflatable mattress, and fleece sleeping bag liner to go with your sub-zero sleeping bag. Campers can bring any type of sleeping bag, as long as it can provide quality comfort along with high insulation properties. The season rating of the sleeping bag should determine which type to bring along. Campers must bring one with higher season rating during hikes in winter months. Seasoned adventurers prefer sleeping bags which are lightweight but windproof. One final feature of an ideal sleeping bag is that it must have a proper insulation as most heat is lost during the night, by ground and not by the air.
To complete the essentials of your camping gear, you must bring along a radio with a weather band along with a pack of fresh batteries, and a complete first-aid kit in your personal supply box. Bringing along extra food and water, signaling devices, emergency blankets and extra fire starters would also be a wise decision.
The key to a safe and enjoyable outdoor adventure is proper and sufficient preparation-regardless of the season. Happy hiking!