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Guide to Heart Lake Snowshoeing

This is the snowshoeing adventure that has it all: easy proximity to the Front Range, minimal crowds in the wintertime, challenging climbs, spectacular views, and long peaceful stretches of trail…

This is the snowshoeing adventure that has it all: easy proximity to the Front Range, minimal crowds in the wintertime, challenging climbs, spectacular views, and long peaceful stretches of trail flanked by towering pines.  Getting to Heart Lake on snowshoes is not an easy task.  The hike is strenuous, and will likely take up the better part of your day.  However, the challenge of the trek makes the stunning views of the lake and the Continental Divide that much more rewarding.  Read on as we share all the essentials for planning your own Heart Lake snowshoe outing.

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Backpacking Gear List

Camping Gear Personal Gear Women’s Clothing Men’s Clothing

Camping Gear

ItemOur recommended gear 
Map & CompassSportneer Compass
TentSierra Designs - Clip Flashlight 2 This is the best budget tent on the market!
Sleeping bagMarmot Trestles 15
Sleeping padNemo Astro Sleeping Pad If you are a side sleeper this is a must!
PillowTherm-a-Rest pillowIf you're camping more than a few nights you will be glad you packed this!
HeadlampBlack Diamond Storm headlamp
StoveMSR Pocket Rocket StoveIan has used this stove for nearly a decade and highly recommends it!
Bear canister (or nylon cord to hang food)Bear Vault BV500
Backpacking potGSI Halulite
UtensilsHumangear Spork Best $4 you will ever spend!
Plate/Bowl/MugMSR Deep Dish plate , MSR Stainless Steel mug

Personal Gear

ItemOur recommended gear 
Water-treatment systemMSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
Multi-toolGerber Suspension Multi-Plier
First-aid kitAdventure Medical Kits
Camel BakCamel Bak Crux - 100 oz.Way easier than a water bottle!
Small day-packCotopaxi Luzon 18LGreat for side hikes.
Pack-coverSea to Summit Pack coverThe best pack-cover we've ever used.
Men's backpackGregory Baltoro 75L
Women's backpackOsprey Aura 65L
Trekking polesBlack Diamond Trail Back Trekking polesEssential for long downhills!
Fire starter
Dry bagsSea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry SackKeeps your clothes and other items dry in a downpour!
Sunscreen

Women’s Clothing

ItemOur recommended gear 
UnderwearAdidas Climacool underwearVery packable and easy to wash on the go!
SocksDarn Tough Hiker Micro CrewIn our opinion, these are the best hiking socks available. Your feet will thank you!
Sports BraBrooks Rebound Racer Sports BraThis is the most versatile, comfortable, and high-quality sports bra that Emily has found on the market.
Long sleeve base layerSmartwool Women's NTS Mid 250 Crew
Short sleeve hiking shirt Mountain Hardwear Wicked shirt
LeggingsNike Power Essential Running Tight
Running shortsLululemon Run Speed ShortsThese shorts are so comfortable, packable, and quick-drying, that Emily didn't even feel the need to buy hiking-specific shorts.
Down jacketPatagonia Down Sweater JacketLightweight, super warm, and packs down small. This jacket was perfect for this kind of trip!
Rain jacketKelty All-Weather JacketAn affordable and high-quality all-weather jacket that packs up small.
Hiking bootsKeen Targhee II Mid Hiking BootEmily has had these boots for five years and hundreds of muddy, snowy hikes, and they are still going strong!
GaitersOutdoor Research Crocodile GaiterEssential for steam crossings and thick willows.
SunglassesSuncloud Loveseat Polarized SunglassesGood quality sunglasses are essential when you're in the mountains all day. And these are stylish too!
Hat
Sandals/Camp shoesChaco ZCloudThese are a must for the stream crossings!
BandanaBuff UV Headband
PonchoTotes Rain Poncho

Men’s Clothing

ItemOur recommended gear 
UnderwearExofficio Give-N-Go boxerHighly recommended!
SocksDarn Tough Hiker Micro CrewIn our opinion, these are the best hiking socks available. Your feet will thank you!
Long sleeve base layerSmartwool Men's NTS Mid 250 CrewVery versatile mid-weight base layer
Short sleeve hiking shirt Moutain Hardwear Wicked shirt
Hiking pantsPrana Brion pantsThese are great for hiking and also look great walking around town!
Hiking shortsPrana Brion shortsAwesome shorts that are great for hiking.
Down jacketPatagonia Down Sweater HoodieSuper warm, and super packable
Rain jacketOutdoor Research Helium II jacketA good rain jacket is a must!
HatOutdoor Research Performance Trucker hat
SandalsChaco Z1Great for stream crossing and hanging around camp.
GaitersOutdoor Research Crocodile GaiterEssential for stream crossings and thick willows.
Hiking bootsVasque Talus UltradrySuper comfortable and super waterproof!
BandanaLevi's bandana
Digital watchCasio Classic Sports watchAll you'll ever need
PonchoTotes Rain PonchoThis is often the most effective way to stay dry while hiking. And it's cheap!
SunglassesSuncloud Mayor Polarized sunglasses
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Our Top 5 Travel Essentials

We’re big fans of traveling as light and efficiently as possible. Whenever possible, we strive to bring the smallest carry-on bags we can pack. This reduces the stress of waiting…

We’re big fans of traveling as light and efficiently as possible. Whenever possible, we strive to bring the smallest carry-on bags we can pack. This reduces the stress of waiting for our checked bags to come out of baggage claim, makes walking to our hotel that much simpler, and provides the satisfaction of knowing that we can get by on less. To this end we have a few essential pieces of travel gear that make the “carry-on only” mindset much easier to pull-off. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

The first and most essential piece of gear for traveling light is a good backpack. You want a pack that is big enough to fit everything you need, but not so big that it exceeds carry-on requirements or feely bulky when walking around. Enter the Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack. The Farpoint is incredibly spacious and includes great  pockets that make staying organized on the road a breeze. It also comes with an awesome removable day-pack that gives you the flexibility to take only what you need on your daily adventures.

2. Eagle Creek Compression Cube Set

Let’s say you’re all set for your next big trip. You’ve booked the flight, reserved the Airbnb, and arranged your ride to the airport. Your only problem is that you can’t seem to fit everything you need inside your bag. Compression packing cubes solve this problem by compressing your clothes down to a fraction of their original size, allowing you to fit everything you need. Our favorite are the Eagle Creek Pack It Specter set. Not only do they reduce the size of your bag, but they’re also great for staying organized and keeping dirty clothes separate in your bag!

3. Anker Power Core Portable Charger

Nothing is worse than touching down in a new city only to see the ‘low-battery’ warning pop-up on your phone. If you’ve got to catch the train to your hotel and don’t remember the address, a dead smartphone is a major problem. The Anker Power Core charges an iPhone up to 7 times, ensuring that you’ll still have plenty of battery even after that long bus ride.

4. Sea to Summit DryLite Travel Towel

A big, fluffy towel is the enemy of a small travel bag. A musty wet one at the bottom of your backpack is even worse. Travel towels are light, can absorb huge amounts of water, and dry much faster than traditional cotton. They also pack down nearly flat, saving valuable space in your bag. Our favorite is the Sea to Summit DryLite Travel Towel.

5. ExOfficio Underwear

ExOfficio’s line of packable, quick-dry underwear is truly one of our travel favorites. It weighs next to nothing, can be easily washed in a bathroom sink, and dries incredibly quickly. Plus, it’s so comfortable that we find ourselves wearing it even when we’re not traveling! You can check out the Women’s Give-n-Go here and the Men’s version here.


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