When you come to Sedona to hike, you want to be prepared. Having a good pair of hiking boots, a wide brim sun hat, sunscreen and plenty of water is a good place to start. Once you start shopping for hiking gear, you will find many things you can buy that will make your hike more enjoyable. An experienced hiker may need handheld GPS devices or full hiking pack, but a beginning hiker will just need the basics. It is up to you how much you want to carry on your adventure. There is a funny meme that describes an overly prepared hiker on the trail. The hiker has all of the latest gadgets and expensive clothing, the meme’s caption reads “Relax Dude! My toddler just hiked the same trail in his diaper and bare feet.”
We’ve put together a list of some of the basics to get you started for your hike in Sedona.
Hiking Shoes and Boots
Sedona’s hiking trails are dusty, sandy, rocky and slick. Comfortable hiking shoes or boots with a good tread are highly recommended. You’ll also want a good pair of shoes with ankle support. There are too many stories of people who twisted their ankle and had to be rescued. Keen makes a comfortable hiking boot called the Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot. This boot provides great traction and is sturdy enough to climb rocks of all sizes. The ankle support is really good and since they are waterproof, you won’t have to worry about getting your feet wet when you cross the creek. People often ask if it is okay to hike in sandals. Several companies make good hiking sandals, remember this is Arizona. Cactus needles and spiky trees are common and if for some reason you get off the trail, you may be picking thorns out of your feet for weeks.
Wide Brim Sun Hat
The Arizona sun is brutal! Even on a cloudy day, you are likely to get sunburned. That’s why you need a wide brim sun hat to keep the sun off your face and neck. We love the GearTop UPF 50+ Hiking Hat. This lightweight hat is made for everyone and comes in 5 different colors. It is made from polyester with a breathable mesh to keep your head nice and cool. The best part is that this hat is foldable, so you can pack it in your suitcase.
Long Sleeve Sun Shirt
In addition to protecting your face from the sun, you’ll need a long sleeve shirt to protect your arms. A shirt with a high UPF and sweat wicking material is perfect for hiking in the Arizona desert. The Columbia Store offers a huge selection of these shirts in all colors and styles. We like the Columbia Women’s Sun Trek Long Sleeve Shirt, but they make all kinds of fishing shirts that will keep the sun off you too.
Day Pack or Backpack
A small backpack is perfect for carrying your hiking essentials. Most people carry a water bottle, some snacks and their cell phone; why not keep all of those items in an easily accessible backpack? That is why we like the Sunhiker Water Resistant Travel Backpack. This is a smaller, lightweight bag, but has plenty of pockets with room for your necessities and water bottles. It is perfect for a short day hike on your favorite Sedona trail.
Stay hydrated on the trail. On a hot summer day, you’ll need to take plenty of water on the trail. Nalgene makes great water bottles that are BPA-free, leakproof and dishwasher safe. The Nalgene Tritan Narrow Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle is durable, lightweight and made in the USA. It is made with a narrow opening so you can chug your water without worrying about spilling it down your chin.
Trekking Poles are also known as hiking poles or walking sticks. These poles are probably not a necessity for new hikers, but if you have bad knees or poor balance, you may benefit from buying a set. Foxelli Trekking Poles are made from aluminum, so they are lightweight. They also have padded straps and cork grips that mold to the shape of your hands. The length of the poles is adjustable with lever locks. Lever locks are easy to adjust the height of the poles and you only need one hand to do it. The best part is the poles collapse so you can pack them in your suitcase.
Now that you have your hiking gear, time to go on one of Sedona’s Best Hikes or take a hike around the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.