I grew up in a family of happy, hearty Colorado hikers. My dad, the boyscout, instilled in my sister and I healthy respect for preparedness when venturing out into the wilderness. Whether we’re hiking two miles or twelve, we always make sure to bring a pack stocked with water, extra gatorade, snacks and/or lunch depending on the length of the hike, and other outdoor essentials. ‘Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it’ has been one of our long standing family mottos.
Friends and coworkers are always shocked when I show up to our weekend day hike shouldering a full camelback and wearing a good pair of boots. It’s not uncommon for them to arrive in jeans and their favorite pair of loafers, toting nothing more than a light windbreaker. Depending on the weather and the degree of difficulty of the hike, this can be sufficient and I may occasionally be over prepared as is my preference. When it comes to hiking, it’s important to find people who speak your language. What one person calls a lovely nature walk may be deemed a rigorous hike by someone else.