For our trip to Alaska I picked up some new clothing and accessories, figuring I’d treat myself for working out so hard the past 3 months. Felt awesome to have new clothing to wear! I have also included a couple items I had bought before, but used a lot, and taken with me.
I had seen this hat advertised on shady looking ads on Instagram, so I went to Amazon and searched for it (I do this often if I see something that might be neat – the ads are usually just a drop ship anyways, and you can get it via Amazon for the real price, not bloated – and actually receive your items). It comes in a variety of colors and ranges from $14 to 16. I picked up the carbon grey one, and it actually fit my big head. Learning how to flip the pony tail thru takes a couple times to master, but then good to go. It has a cinch on the back to tighten up if needed, and a chin strap for breezes. The hat was so lightweight and it crushed down into your pack/pops back up quickly. You can snap up the sides if you wish as well.
It isn’t waterproof, so keep that in mind. But it has excellent ventilation and my head was never hot.
Kirk had bought the men’s version of this sock (and let’s be honest, the only difference is the size….so ladies, if you have bigger feet, just order up! I am a size 10, I fit the Small/Medium. An 11 would want to go up a size). I have a lot of foot problems from working out too much, and I just solder thru, because working out is more important. Wearing a pair really helps my feet when they ache. Put them on and within a few minutes they ache less. You can wear these for hiking or after hiking, for less aching. They don’t replace my toed socks, I wear them after.
Injini Toed Socks
I bought a number of new pairs (one for every day!) to resupply my stock. Injini socks are my favorite brand and I have been wearing them since they were first sold in the US (it’s been a long time!) Some of my favorite new pairs: The Gray. The Pastel Shades. The Pretty Ones. The Tan Ones. Basic Black Ones. The I Like Loud Colors. Grey Stripes.
Injini socks are heaven to toes that get blisters easily. I rarely have gotten blisters since I went to wearing them over a decade ago. I nearly always wear toed socks when walking and hiking.
This Polar Fleece jacket is buttery soft and perfectly warm for cold summer days/nights. It is form fitting however, so keep this in mind when sizing. Even though the sizing says XL is 16/18, don’t buy a L because you are a 12/14. You will want to go up a size if you have any chest or hips. It hit higher on the hips as well. Still, I love the cut/fit for under a backpack. I paid around $19 for it, making it very affordable. And oh, it has a hoody! And 2 pockets.
This is another item by Amazon Essentials where you will want to buy 1 size up, if you have hips/chest. It’s my go-to zip up for chilly mornings/evenings or when I am wearing a short sleeve top and it isn’t hot. It is very body conforming. It comes with 2 zippered pockets. I found the XL fits a 14, though Amazon says that is a 16/18. It goes up to XXL.
So….if you read my post about the cut of outdoor gear for women recently, Columbia is one of the worst offenders for sizing. To fit their hip size, I still have to wear a 1X. Which is something that tears at you, when you wear normally smaller sizes. The irony is I could zip this jacket up at a size 18 and it is still the same at a size 14 across the hips, it just hangs on me everywhere else now. So yeah, thanks a lot for making a tight hip ratio there Columbia….However, the sizing for the XXL is comparable and actually a bit bigger in the hips, so consider that before you buy the 1X. At the time I bought this jacket they didn’t have the XXL.
Now then, sizing aside, this jacket does what is promised, and doesn’t break the bank. It is ultra light, packs easily, breathes and repels rain/wind. Even after buying a white jacket the glacial mud washed right out. The only downside is the Velcro on the zipper flap loves to stick to the inner lining of the jacket and what ever else you have on. The hood tightens down easily and actually stays on your head. You might look dumb, with it cinched down, but it works.
Why wear thin rubber boots that have no insole support and your feet freeze in? If you are planning a good muddy/wet adventure, go big. I bought these Bogs wondering if I was buying too much, but was very happy with them. They slip on easy, removal isn’t hard. They are insulated (like wear these in snow!), and fully waterproof. My rain pants fit over perfectly. The tread is excellent as well. No water got in at all.
While I bought these last year, they came with me. These low cut open toed compression socks are a miracle item for aching toes. I put them on for a few hours after using my feet, usually when I go to bed and within minutes the endless aching stops. It’s worth it if your feet ache after hiking. They are also great if you wear slip on shoes for flying, and need a little boost, but not too much.
I normally wear Keen Voyagers, and have for over a decade, usually going thru 2 pairs a year. For this trip I went back to a high top boot, but I found a secret. Keen’s work boot comes in wide width where mostly the wide part is in the toe box, not the heel. I do best with a wider toe box, my heel is normal width.
These are not light weight boots, and they take weeks of breaking in, but they fit well. They are great for hiking however, if you need a stiff boot. They did well in the boggy, muddy Alaska trails when I wasn’t in Bog boots. Fully waterproof and my feet were not overly hot.
This post contains affiliate links, but all thoughts are ours.