What is a Colorado 14er? It is any mountain in Colorado that is 14,000 feet or higher in elevation. You finally decided to hike a Colorado 14er. It is your first time and you are excited. You have one picked out and the time that you are going to go. You ask yourself, “What equipment do I need?” There are several things that you need so that you can be enjoy your hike and be successful.
5 must haves on your hike include:
Food and water seem like no-brainers. All too often, however, people do not bring food or water or do not bring enough. If you do not bring enough water you will probably suffer from dehydration and get severe headaches. If you don’t bring enough food you will also start feeling sick and get headaches. It is important that you stay hydrated and eat food during your hike. It will make your experience more enjoyable. How much water should you bring? On average I would bring 2 quarts of water. You want to bring enough food to stay focused. If you start feeling a headache or sick you should stop hiking and start drinking water and eating food immediately. After 10 minutes reassess how you feel and decide whether you want to hike any further.
Good footwear will also help you be more successful in your hike of a 14er. Do you need to have some fancy hiking boots? No. A good pair of tennis shoes can get the job done. As long as the shoes are tightened down on your feet and do not slip around a lot you will avoid blisters. Blisters can ruin a beautiful hike. Wool socks can also help take care of your feet during a hike. Wool socks are more expensive, but they give your feet more cushion and help protect your feet.
You can get away with hiking in regular clothing. However, while hiking a 14er you can experience a variety of conditions from freezing temperatures to warm sunny days. You can experience this even in the summer time. So, it is crucial that you have proper clothing that can keep you warm and dry or cool and dry. Breathable layers will allow the sweat to be drawn away from the body keeping you drier than if you were to wear cotton. Also, breathable clothing will dry faster keeping you warmer if it is chilly out. Generally a breathable shirt, a fleece sweater, a windproof jacket, and some good pants will be all you need for your hike.
The last thing you need is your camera. During your hike you will be treated to incredible views, wild animals, and beautiful wild flowers. You will want to be able to take pictures of you and your hike. Once you get to the top the view will be incredible. You will be able to see for miles in all directions and you will want to document the fact that you made it to the top of the mountain.
With this information, you should have a successful hike. Take it slow and enjoy the nature all around you. You will eventually make it to the top.