A Short Hike Can Be An Unprepared Hike: Insulation

Insulation Is Key

Living in Boulder and being so close to the mountains, it's easy to squeeze in a quick hike at the drop of a hat.? But when you're going on a short hike close to home it's even easier to head off on the trail unprepared.?

When the sun is shining and it's 80 degrees at the base of the trail, it's easy to feel like an extra layer is the last thing you need.? I can't tell you how many times I've headed off with just a T-shirt and shorts and quickly regretted it once the sun ducks behind some clouds or you start gaining some altitude.??? Colorado is definitely known for its quick and sometimes drastic weather changes, but no matter where you are it's easy to get caught by surprise by a storm or a temperature drop.?

Here's a few insulation tips courtesy of Trailspace.com:

- Extra socks can be used on feet and hands.

- Don't judge by how you feel hiking uphill; you'll cool off once you stop moving.

- Anticipate whether you're likely to warm up or cool down and adjust layers in advance; your clothes will stay drier and your temp better regulated.

(From The 10 Essentials: Insulation)

I have a great Capilene pullover from Patagonia that I usually take with me on all summer hikes now no matter how warm it is when I head out.?? It's thin and definitely won't keep me dry in a downpour, but when that chill sets in it provides just the right amount of warmth to keep me comfortable.? It's lightweight enough that I can wrap it around my waist or stuff it in a day pack and I hardly notice it's there.?? Unlike cotton, the Capilene doesn't lose its ability to insulate when it gets wet which is important to remember.?? Your favorite long sleeve shirt may be a comfortable hiking companion, but if it gets wet from sweat or rain it becomes useless as an insulation layer.

What do you bring on your day hikes for insulation?

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