If your elopement day will be your first experience on a hike that requires a little more than a 20-ounce bottle of water (or your first time on a hike at all), it may seem a little overwhelming thinking about what exactly you need to be prepared for hitting the trails!
I decided to take the guesswork out of it for you and below is a list of five necessities for your adventurous elopement day so that you can effortlessly hike with the best to make your adventure safe, comfortable, and an absolute blast!
Adventure Elopement Necessity #1: Hiking Boots & Socks
My biggest suggestion is that both of you go to an REI or local outdoor shop to get properly fitted for hiking boots if you don’t already own a pair. It’s best to get a feel for them on your feet, see what style is most comfortable and supportive, and (if you’re like me) it’s also fun to see what color looks best once the comfort and support boxes are checked!
Boots that are a good mix of casual + outdoorsy:
These are all great if you’re not thinking of hitting any big trails but want something to really help with traction and getting around moderate trails and general mountain adventures!
Boots that are good for more hiking:
These are great if you’re looking to incorporate a longer day hike into your elopement day or are planning for a decent amount of hiking during your trip!
Smartwool is an awesome brand of socks that are perfect for hiking / getting outdoors. They’re pretty much the only brand I have and can be found at most outdoor stores and REI. My favorite part is that they have a variety of styles (and colors) to help keep you comfortable and warm in any season and condition. For summertime, I’ll get the thinner Smartwool socks and in winter I’ll get a little thicker!
Once you pick out a pair of boots, it’s a good idea to take them out for a walk a few times to break them in and get yourself used to them before your hike! No need for blisters on your elopement day if you can avoid them! Wearing broken-in boots and a good pair of socks is the best way to prevent blisters and discomfort.
Boot-Alternative – Sandals
I’ll spare you photos of my feet but I am head over heels in love with my Chacos. I’ve worn them in the middle of the summer on hikes less than 5 miles with not-too-crazy elevation gain, such as Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles, I personally prefer the kind without the toe strap and with a single band. If I’m going on a longer hike, I’ll usually attach these to my pack to wear once we arrive at whatever lake we’re hiking to! Another bonus is you can get dog collars to match your Chacos and even customize your Chacos!
Bit of a broken record here – but if you’ve never worn this style of sandals, it’s always a good idea to go to an outdoor / sports store and try them on for style at least to see what feels best for you.
Adventure Elopement Necessity #2: Hiking Day-Pack
Each of you carrying a pack that’s at least 25 liters for a moderate hike allows you plenty of room for water, snacks, and a light jacket. Outside straps can allow for bringing sandals if you want to enjoy the water!
If you’re planning on doing day hikes longer than 5 miles, I highly recommend getting a pack that either comes with a hydration reservoir or has a compartment for one! It makes a world of difference on longer trails to be able to drink water without taking your pack off.
No matter what pack you get – I think waist straps are always an amazing feature on day packs that really help distribute the weight and make your hike all the more comfortable.
Women’s Day Packs
Men’s Day Packs
Adventure Elopement Necessity #3: A Rain Jacket
It’s not unusual for the weather the change unexpectedly, especially in the mountains. It’s hard to look at the forecast and really know what the day will hold, which is why I always come prepared with a water-resistant jacket that can help repel the rain and also keep me warm for cooler mornings and evenings.
You don’t need anything fancy, as long as it’s rain resistant and fits comfortably, you’ll be set! My favorite jacket is my Mountain Anorak from LLBean. It has managed to keep me just warm enough on hikes and be just what I need when an unexpected drizzle comes along. I find myself wearing it often for day-to-day use, too, so it was well worth the investment for me.
A rain cover for your backpack is a plus, but you can also bring a trash bag or grocery bag to put your electronics and valuables into in the event of rain to keep them protected! Another no-need-to-be-fancy example, just as long as your important stuff stays dry.
Adventure Elopement Necessity #4: All the Snacks
My biggest recommendation is not what exact snack to bring but more so to make sure you do bring plenty of snacks to replenish your energy! Goldfish and trail mix is for sure one of my trail snacks of choice, but I also make sure to bring along snacks that provide lots of energy, such as beef jerky, protein bars, and almonds.
My personal favorite for-fun things to bring on hikes is a can of wine to enjoy whenever we reach our destination. I actually learned about this genius wine option from a couple who brought some beer for themselves and canned wine for me to their adventure hiking session. I stand by my opinion that there is never a time that wine tastes better than at the top of a long hike while soaking in all of nature’s beauty.
Adventurous Elopement Necessity #5: First Aid Kit
You can never be too safe when it comes to time spent in the outdoors. I always carry a first aid kit with me and I encourage couples to have at least one between the two of them in case anything should happen. This day-hike first aid kit is the perfect size without adding too much weight to your pack.
Bonus Adventure Elopement Items:
Skin-colored leggings are a great option to wear under your wedding dress or pants for colder mornings / evenings. An inexpensive pair from amazon would work perfectly – just something to give you an extra layer of warmth!
A blanket is a great thing to bring along, or purchase, for your elopement day. This can be used for bundling up or a lakeside picnic! The Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket is a favorite of mine and is on my personal purchase wishlist.
A swimsuit is a fun idea if you two want to take a dip in the lake at the end of the hike or end the day with a nice swim!
Summit beer / canned wine / champagne because what better way is there to celebrate reaching your destination than cracking open a can of your favorite beverage?!