Backpacking Summer Layers

Backpacking Sumemr Layers on Lost and Fawned

Memorial Day Weekend is coming up and USUALLY that’s the start of our backpacking season.  With all the changes and my current condition, I’ll be spending this year lounging in the air conditioning instead.  If I could spend the long weekend in the woods, I’d be bringing lots of layers as usual.

The heat is here!  It’s going to be in the 80’s (finally!!) this week during the day, but the weather is still unpredictable so layers are a must.  I usually like to wear a t-shirt when I wear my pack.  I don’t like to wear anything that is too loose or too strappy.  Both make me uncomfortable when I tighten my pack.  We are pretty easy going hikers, so typically in summer I ditch my boots and wear something like these Keens.  I don’t recommend it for everyone, but for me it works.  I included two options for bottoms.  I would probably bring both.

  1. Rocky Ridge III Hoodie from Columbia – $39.99 SALE
  2. Patagonia Linear Fracture V-Neck from Moosejaw – $29.00
  3. Prana Double Headband from Moosejaw – $7.99 SALE
  4. Icebreaker Via Shorts from Sierra Trading Post – $69.97 SALE
  5. Keen Clearwater CNX Leather Sport Sandals from Sierra Trading Post – $69.95 SALE
  6. The North Face Motivation Crop Leggings from Sierra Trading Post – $39.95 SALE
  7. Hydro Fask 12oz Insulated Bottle from Moosejaw – $17.56 SALE

This post uses affiliate linking that does result in commissions based on sales.  Posts like this help provide Lost & Fawned with necessary funding for hosting and support needed to keep this site going.  All opinions expressed are my own and I only feature products I love.

Summer Backpacking Essentials with Sierra Trading Post

I’ve had lots of questions in my inbox about backpacking, especially how to get started.  Today, I’ve partnered with Sierra Trading Post to share some of my top gear picks for summer backpacking.  We hike from spring to fall (we aren’t hardcore enough for winter trips) but Summer is my favorite.  I’ve divided this list up into three categories… Gear everyone should have in their pack, a mix of necessities and luxuries for around camp and hiking gear specifically for women.

Please note, this isn’t a complete list.  A lot of items depend greatly on preference and experience.  Consider this a jumping off point on your gear stock pile.  If you get all the way through to the end you will find an AMAZING offer from Sierra Trading Post as well.

Backpacking _ Basic Needs in Every Pack on Lost and FawnedFirst up are the necessities everyone should have on their person when hiking with or without your backpack (keep in a day pack if day hiking).  It should go without saying, but a small supply of food should also be included.  Make sure to familiarize yourself with how to use all of these items on your own in case you are separated from the group.

  1. Paracord Bracelet / Bison Design Paracord Bracelet
  2. Water Bottle / Liberty Bottleworks Aluminum Bottle
  3. Knife / Ontario Knife Company Fixed Blade Knife
  4. Headlamp / Pelican Products LED Headlamp
  5. Fire Starter or Waterproof Matches / Scout Firesteel Fire Starter
  6. Bear Spray (if in Bear Country) / UDAP Bear Spray and Hip Holster


Backpacking _ Around Camp on Lost and FawnedDepending on how lightweight you plan to go and how many people are joining you, you’ll need to make some decisions about gear for around camp.  Of course things like tents, sleeping bags and a bear bag are necessary, but things like a hammock (there is nothing better than positioning your hammock on the edge of a creek and soaking your feet after a long hike) and how many cooking tools, will depend on weight and comfort.

Read LOTS of reviews when selecting your big purchases like packs and tents.  We actually currently use this exact tent and it’s perfectly snug for the two of us and our two giant dogs.

  1. Container to use as Bear Bag / Granite Gear Dry Sack
  2. Camp Hammock / Travel Hammock
  3. Backpack / ALPS Mountaineering Transcend 5500 Backpack
  4. Sleeping Bag / Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag – Short
  5. Tent / ALPS Mountaineering Zenith 2 AL Tent
  6. Camp Mug / Classic Stainless Steel Mug
  7. Lightweight Camp Stove / Kovea Vulcan Camp Stove
  8. Camp Towel / Lewis & Clark Travel Towel
  9. Cat Hole Shovel / Outdoor Products Folding Hand Shovel


Backpacking _ Gear for Girls on Lost and FawnedFinally I wanted to share my picks and some tips for women’s summer hiking gear.  Most often overlooked is rain gear.  Find a lightweight waterproof shell you can keep handy.  I also bring one of those cheap, compact plastic rain ponchos in an exterior pocket to cover my pack if the clouds open up.   Don’t forget sun protection as well.  There are lots of clothes out there now with sun protection built right into the fabric.

I love yoga pants and shorts for hiking.  They are easy to move in and easy to sleep in.  A pair of hiking sandals are a must have in my book.  I hike in them almost exclusively in the summer months.  When picking out tops, consider where your straps (both shoulder and hip straps) are going to lay and keep those areas protected from rubbing.

  1. Proof Eyewear Pledge Sunglasses
  2. Craghoppers Cropped Pant with Insect Repellant & UPF +40
  3. Icebreaker Willow Tank with UPF +40
  4. Lucy Hatha Shorts
  5. Teva Butano 2 Sport Sandal
  6. Helly Hansen Vancouver Waterproof Jacket
  7. Sunday Afternoons Zephyr Military Cap with UPF +50
  8. Keen Gypsum Mid Hiking Boots
  9. Mountain Hardwear Pandra T-Shirt


So there you have it!  I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to go on your first trip with someone who is experienced.  If you have any questions about the gear that we have personally invested in or picking out what is right for you, leave me a comment!  I’d be happy to talk shop with you.

A huge thank you to Sierra Trading Post.  They always have great prices and their staff is super knowledgeable.  If you are trying something new in the outdoors, whether it’s backpacking or water sports, make STP your first stop.  As a bonus, through July 8th you can get an extra 25% off your Sierra Trading Post order PLUS half off of your shipping!  Use the discount code ‘ALSUMMER5’ when you purchase to receive the discount.

This post is brought to you by Sierra Trading Post.  All opinions expressed are my own and I only promoted companies and products I love and would use myself.  For more information on reaching Lost & Fawned readers, please visit this page.

Spring Backpacking / Layers for Women

Spring Backpacking - Hiking Layers for Women on Lost and FawnedIt’s almost time for our traditional Memorial Day Weekend backpacking trip.  This time of year, hiking in Midwest, Northeast or Northwest means unpredictable weather and chilly nights and mornings.  To combat this, I pack in layers and pack items that can be hiked in and slept in.  I always bring a good pair of thick leggings that I can wear to sleep and hike in on chilly mornings.  A hat is also on my must-have list since nights get cold and I can’t sleep with my face zipped into my bag.

Here are some of my picks to keep you comfortable in any weather and temperature.  I also tried to pick pieces that are made for women but aren’t in the usual pink or purple they seem to LOVE to put female backpackers in.

  1. Northface Bashie Stretch Jacket from Backcountry  /  $107.37 SALE
  2. Mountain Hardware Pandra Pullover from Sierra Trading Post  /  $64.95 SALE
  3. Chi Extra Long Tank from Athleta  /  $42.00
  4. Quest Chaturanga Tights from Athleta  /  $69.00
  5. Smartwool Saturnsphere Socks from Moosejaw  /  $20.95
  6. Icebreaker Valor Beanie Hat from Sierra Trading Post  /  $26.95
  7. Kuhl Splash 11 Shorts from Backcountry  /  $64.95
  8. Patagonia Stretch All-Wear Cargo Pants from Moosejaw  /  $63.99 SALE

Fall Weather Backpacking Gear Picks

Fall Weather Backpacking and Hiking Gear from Sierra Trading PostI’m hitting the trail next weekend.  We were supposed to go this weekend, but had to make the call to postpone because of thunderstorms.  I am keeping a close eye on the weather in Allegheny.  Cold I can deal with, but wet is no good.

A lot of people cringe at the idea of sleeping in a tent this time of year, but as long as you are prepared with the right layers and sleeping bag (and maybe another warm body… or 3 in my case), it’s not too bad.  Cold nights are worth it to see the trees in full color, and chilly mornings by the campfire with cocoa or tea is pretty much the best feeling in the world.

Sierra Trading Post is one of my favorite places to get gear.  It’s always discounted, shipping is reasonable and they are always running deals (check the banner at the top of the page for current promo codes).  Here are some of my picks for fall weather hiking, camping and backpacking…

  1. Mountain Hardwear Pandra Ponte Pullover  /  $100.00  –  $69.95
  2. SmartWool Ski Town Beanie Hat  /  $40.00  –  $24.95
  3. Kelty 0° Cosmic Sleeping Bag  /  $114.95  –  $87.95
  4. Columbia Sportswear Weekday Waffle Shirt  /  $39.95  –  $27.96
  5. Icebreaker Hike+ Medium Cushion Wool Socks  /  $19.00  –  $10.95
  6. Keen Haven CNX Trail Shoes  /  $110.00  –  $76.95
  7. Columbia Sportswear Silver Ridge Pants  /  $55.00  –  $35.95
  8. Columbia Sportswear Sleet for Street Vest  /  $90.00  –  $69.95
  9. Avalanche Wear Mogul Fleece Leggings  /  $49.95  –  $29.95

The Trip / The Outfit: Kauai in Winter

Today’s The Trip / The Outfit is a double feature!  I was so inspired by the beautiful island of Kauai and the photographs by Michael Fenichel that I decided to put together two outfits for my imagined trip to the island during the winter rainy months.  I would probably stay at the Hanalei Surfboard House, which comes highly recommended by my parents.  I would pack light and bring clothing pieces that are versatile and functional.

The first look is for a day exploring the island shops and a casual dinner (maybe at Tacos Al Pastor, which is supposed to be amazing).  The dress is easy to throw on over your bathing suit and I included a lightweight cotton jacket with a hood for sudden showers (it won’t protect you completely, but it will help).  The necklace adds some glamour to the casual look for dinner and the bag is perfect to take you from the beach to shopping.

The Trip - The Outfit  -  Dinner in Kauai, Hawaii during the Rainy Season

  1. Gypsy SOULE Layered Necklace from Zappos – $40.00
  2. Books on the Beach Dress from Modcloth – $49.99
  3. Joie NICE Sandal in Platinum from Piperlime – $99.50 SALE
  4. Cotton Hooded Jacket from H&M – $49.95
  5. Ray-Ban ‘Erika’ Sunglasses in Blue from Amazon – $76.44 SALE
  6. Laser-Cut Bucket Bag from H&M – $39.95
  7. Orange Bikini Top & Bottom from H&M – $17.95 & 12.95

The second look takes advantage of the amazing rain forests and landscapes on the island.  My trip would certainly include some adventure.  Maybe a helicopter ride over the mountains, or a hike through the rain forests or to hidden beaches.  There are some amazing hikes on the island ranging from beginner to a more advanced trail.  I included a GoPro adventure camera to capture your trip.  A lightweight rain jacket is essential not only for sudden showers, but for cooler vistas and canyons.  I prefer to summer hike in a sport sandal that provides protection for my feet and grip, but also lets them breath.

The Trip - The Outfit  -  Hiking in Kauai, Hawaii during the Rainy Season

  1. White Sierra Trabagon Rain Jacket in Spruce Green from Sierra Trading Post – $36.95
  2. Icebreaker Willow Tank Top in Mimosa from Sierra Trading Post – $27.95 SALE
  3. Outdoor Products Moxie Day Pack in Grape Mist from Amazon – $25.99 SALE
  4. GoPro Hero3 Camera from Amazon – $199.99
  5. Klean Kanteen with Sport Top from Amazon – $21.95
  6. Just Right II Waterproof Capri Pants from Columbia – $55.00
  7. Teva Omnium Sport Sandal from Zappos – $65.99 SALE

Both of the featured pictures in these graphics are courtesy of Michael Fenichel.  Check out his website for a bunch of beautiful photos from his world travels.  I’d also like to thank Dr. Mike (aka Aloha Doc) for his expertise.

Graphic is original to Lost & Fawned.  Feel free to share, pin and post, but please make sure you link back to this post so people can get the accompanying information and links.  Thanks a million!

The Trip / The Outfit – Backpacking in Fall

Backpacking in Allegheny National Forest in October on Lost and FawnedEven though the next couple of months are going to be chock-full of events (two family weddings in one month!), Jared and I are dead-set on two backpacking trips before the winter weather sets in.  The second one will be in October, which is the latest we have ever hit the trail.  We will be going back to Minister Creek in Allegheny National Forest (see our photos from the last visit to this park here) with some friends.  We have already upgraded our sleeping bags, but I’m going to need to pack a little differently this trip.

I put together a quick must-have list for this trip.  Of course I’ll be packing more than this (a water-proof pair of pants to layer over the leggings, etc) but this is a good starting place.  I have this exact pack in the green color and it’s held up to years of abuse.  I highly recommend it for a beginners women’s pack.

Featured image by Mary Ann Melton.

  1. Tumelo Rain Jacket in Persimmon from GoLite  –  $74.99
  2. Layer First Hoodie in Oceanic from Columbia  –  $50.00
  3. Charcoal Slouchy Beanie from Amazon  –  $9.99
  4. Kelty Womens Coyote Backpack in Purple from Amazon  –  $209.95
  5. Fox River Aztec Boot Socks from Amazon  –  $6.99
  6. Womens Glacial Legging from Columbia  –  $30.00
  7. KEEN Bryce Mid-Height Hiking Boot from Amazon  –  starting at $99.99

Graphic is original to Lost & Fawned.  Feel free to share, pin and post, but please make sure you link back to this post so people can get the accompanying information and links.  Thanks a million!

Backpacking / Minister Creek, PA

As I mentioned last week, we spent our Memorial Day weekend in the woods.  We do it every year as a tradition to kick off the summer in the outdoors.  We usually go to West Virginia, but this year we headed northeast to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest and backpacked Minister Creek.


  • Distance: 8 mile loop (south loop and north loop)
  • Overnight Temperature: Approx. 40 degrees F
  • Pack Weight:  About 40 lbs. each
  • Elevation Climb: Approx. 480 ft
  • Trail map & Info:  Available Here

We usually stay 2 nights.  Typically we hike out, set up camp and spend two days day hiking from base-camp and relaxing.  This year we decided to pack up and do the whole loop instead.  We did about 4 miles the first day, set up camp, packed up in the morning and after about 2 miles on the second day, we were so covered in blisters that we made the call the cut the trip short and hike out.  After an encounter with a porcupine at our campsite (we were in his territory) we didn’t get much sleep and knew we could use a day of recuperation before work on Tuesday.

We did love the park though and found a few other campsites on the creek that we plan to visit in the future.  It’s only an easy 3 hour drive from here in Northeast Ohio, very doable for a quick weekend trip.  The trail is well maintained and has some beautiful features varying from large rock formations (the south loop goes through through huge boulders and cliffs), a high elevation overlook, meadows, pine forests and Minister Creek, which is clean, cool and perfect for soaking sore feet at the end of the day.

Minister Creek South Loop - Lost and Fawned

Overnight Backpacking on Minister Creek - Lost and Fawned

Minister Creek PA - Lost and Fawned

Minister Creek Overlook - Lost and Fawned

Backpacking on Minister Creek - Lost and Fawned

All images original to Lost & Fawned.  Feel free to pin and share, but please link back to this post so others may find the accompanying information.  Thanks a bunch!

Backpacking in Color

Backpacking in Color on Lost and Fawned

We are heading out for our annual Memorial Day weekend in the woods.  This year we are taking both dogs for the first time.  We set up the tent in the office and all climbed in to make sure we could all fit.  It’s going to be close quarters, but it should be fun.

We usually go out to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia, but this year we are staying a little closer to home and looking to go to Minister Creek in Pennsylvania.

Our gear is pretty much ready to go at the drop of a hat.  In the spring I always take it all out and check for holes, make repairs and clean out the water filter.  I ordered a few things to add to our stash this year since we’ll have double the dog with us.

I know a lot of people are all about green when it comes to gear, but since my stuff tends to get strewn across the campsite I go for color.  We already own some of this stuff (like the radio and the dog bowl), but are few of these are new to us (like the upgraded pack for Logan).

  1. Nuun Hydration Tablets – $17.99
  2. MSR Packtowel in Current – $14.96
  3. 100 ft Paracord in Turquoise – $8.49
  4. Paracord Survival Bracelet – $11.77
  5. Outward Hound Port-a-Bowl – $3.99
  6. Etón Self & Solar Powered Radio, Flashlight & Charger – $26.25
  7. Klean Kanteen Steel Bottle – $16.80
  8. Petzl Headlamp in Lime – $19.30
  9. Kyjen Outward Hound Dog Backpack – $24.94 (for XL)

Book Review // I Promise Not to Suffer

Review of I Promise Not to Suffer

2,663 miles. That is the length of the full Pacific Crest Trail. It stretches all the way from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Every year, hundreds of people start the trek in spring in hopes that they will make it to Canada before winter. Could you spend 6 months in the wilderness, hiking 20+ miles per day and living off of only what you could carry on your back? Would you do it if it was your significant other’s dream? Gail Storey did, and she survived to tell her tale in I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail.

I’ll preface this by saying this isn’t my usual book genre of choice.  I’m usually more of a classics or historic fiction girl (with the occasional biography thrown in). But, we love to backpack and one of my siblings has been planning on hiking the PCT so I Promise Not to Suffer was immediately appealing to me. It’s the perfect length for a plane ride or road trip (about 200 pages of actual story and about 10 pages of reference and equipment lists at the end). Perfect if you are planning a 3 day weekend for Labor Day.

I Promise Not to Suffer is about backpacking. But I found it to be just as much about love, marriage, inner strength, growth, discovery and the power of nature.  Jared is not much of a reader himself, but I found myself updating him at the dinner table on their progress along the trail as if they were a close friend. I rooted for Gail when she questioned herself, and found myself wondering if I would be strong enough (physically and emotionally) to thru-hike the PCT myself.

I Promise Not to Suffer - A Review

By the end I wasn’t sure if I was ready to sell everything and head west to do the PCT or if the idea of it terrified me (maybe a little of both).  Whether you are an experienced hiker or someone who has never set foot outside of a city, you can probably relate to Gail at some point during the book.  She wasn’t always so keen on backpacking.  I am glad I was given the opportunity to read this book and share it with you.  I have a feeling this wont stay on my shelf long, I can think of a few people I would like to pass it to so they can enjoy it.

I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail Storey is available on Amazon and in most (if not all) e-reader formats (including Kindle and in the Ipad iBook store).

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Backpacking Gear Picks

Backpacking Gear Picks

After a couple of summers with our current gear, I’m ready to make some recommendations.  Backpacking gear is a great investment if you enjoy the outdoors.  Once you have your gear, all you have to pay for is food and gas and you have a weekend getaway.  We headed to a national park over the long weekend on pretty short notice.  Since we had everything we needed it was easy to pack it all up in an evening and hit the road in the morning.

Here are some tried and true pieces and some good investment items…

Backpacking Gear Picks on Lost and Fawned

  1. Kelty Women’s Coyote 75 Internal Frame Backpack //  I love this pack.  It’s lightweight, holds EVERYTHING and has padding in all the right places.  Jared has the exact same one in the men’s version.
  2. Green 12-Ounce Camp Mug  //  If I could only take one piece of serving-ware (and often times that’s the case) it would be a good enameled mug.  Mine is lime green, but this one is classic.
  3. Women’s Warmer Hat  //  If you have cold nights and mornings (like we did last weekend) you will be thankful to have a warm hat.  This one is cute too!
  4. Teva Women’s Dozer III Sandal  //  I don’t love wearing boots.  I like my feet to breath and since we usually have to deal with mud and water, I prefer a sandal style hiker.  These are great.  I have used these for a couple of years and the hold up great and are super comfortable.
  5. Clif Bar Energy Bars  //  I always pack a couple of these.  They are tasty and packed with energy.
  6. Aluminum 20 Cup Percolator Coffee Pot  //  We have used and abused this pot.  We usually fill it with food or other supplies on when we’re hiking and at camp we use this to sterilize water (after running it through a filtration pump) and to make our meals.  This particular one is nice and big.
  7. Army Surplus Canteen & CoverMajor Dads Military Surplus  //  You can find tons of these  at your local army surplus.  They are cheap, rugged and should last forever.  They also keep water nice and cool.
  8. Striped Tank  //  When we’re walking, I like to wear a nice long tank or tee with a a light jacket.  This striped one from Smartwool is perfect for layering and built for the outdoors.
  9. Smartwool Jovian Socks  //  It’s a good idea to invest in a few pairs of good socks.  Your feet will thank you after a few miles and a couple of chilly nights.

Disclosure:  Some links on my blog will result in commission to me if it results in a sale.  These types of links help me pay for things like hosting and general blog maintenance.  All opinions expressed are my own and I only post items I genuinely love.