Spring Hiking Gear
Spring in Colorado means a lot of things, but maybe it most means “unpredictability.” Just the other day it was 50° during the day, raining by the time I left work, and then snowed 5 inches overnight! It’s already been a weird winter this year, with only a handful of storms, but throw in the sun and rain and mountain snow of spring time and planning a hike can be a bit difficult. There's snow on the ground but it's 60° but the wind is supposed to pick up by the afternoon...
I’ve put together a list of spring hiking gear, and while it is in no way exhaustive, it should get you started as we move into April and May.
Your puffy & shell are (more than likely) still going to be necessary - especially in the mountains. But in the afternoons or in the foothills, you might not need something that intense. A lightweight layer is the perfect go-between! I have all four of these (and have written a review on the Mountain Standard hoodie!), and they all serve me well. I tend to find the Snap T too bulky to wear on hikes and prefer to wear it before/after, but the other three I wear on hikes under my puffy all the time!
WATERPROOF / WINDBREAKER
In the west especially, spring means crazy winds. When we went to Great Sand Dunes a few weeks ago, I would have been utterly miserable if it weren't for my Torrentshell jacket! A wind and/or waterproof layer are pretty much essential to keep in your pack in the spring time. Standing on a mountain top trying to enjoy the views but the wind is biting through your outer layer? Throw one of these guys on! On your way back down the mountain and it's warmed up too much to wear your puffy but all the sudden it's snowing? Toss one of these on!
And lastly, traction. Trails can be all sorts of conditions in the spring time, from snow at higher elevations to mud and ice in the foothills...having something to help keep your footing is key to an enjoyable hike. I typically only use the Yaktrax Pro's, but I have used the Run's before on a very muddy trail run through Roxborough and they worked great! Microspikes are good for those higher elevation hikes where the snow is pretty packed and fine in the morning, but a little slushy by the afternoon. I also like to carry my trekking poles in the winter/spring especially because they give me a few extra points of contact when the trail gets slippery.
NOTE: the views and opinions in this post are mine alone, and I did not receive any compensation to make this post.