Happy Monday! Did you do anything fun this weekend? I admit, I just worked most of the weekend. But the good news is that I won’t have to work as much the first few days of this week now. I had a sponsored post and video to prep, so those are done as long as – fingers crossed! – the sponsors approve. But today, let’s play! I’m sharing the sweetest hiking clothes and accessories I found recently at L.L.Bean. So please, come hiking with me!
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James and I fell in love with hiking when we moved to Arizona. I mean, you can’t live in Arizona and not hike. Right? And once the bug bit, we stretched out beyond Arizona to hit the trails. We’ve hiked in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico, too. And I backpacked a section of the Appalachian Trail a few years back with a friend and my aunt. Shoot, now that I think about it, I’ve hike a few trails in New England, Canada and Okinawa, Japan, too. But most recently we’ve been enjoying going off the beaten path here in our new home state of Ohio.
Hiking is a great way to get exercise because it involves elevation climbs, changing terrain and thinking. Yes, when you have to think about your footing you’re actually exercising your brain while it is oxygen stressed, and experts say that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
I love hiking because it’s something you can do most anywhere you travel. It’s low cost, once you have the right gear. And you can make it work for you, taking along a picnic in your pack if you’d like, packing in a tent and sleeping bag if you’re game or taking a quick jaunt over easy terrain if that’s more your cup of tea. Simply look for information about the trails in your area online. You can check for difficulty levels, facilities (including wheelchair access) and park hours.
I’m not a prima donna on the trails, but I do like to wear coordinated hiking clothes. Like any other day, I just feel better if I “get dressed for my day” when I’m hitting the trails. But it’s not just about wearing pretty colors or even comfortable clothing. You’ll want to wear pieces that are breathable, moisture wicking, rip resistant, quick drying and lightweight, at the least. And it’s nice if your clothing has multiple pockets and sun protection qualities, too.
I found everything I need for this hiking adventure at L.L. Bean. In fact, you can even check out L.L.Bean’s Get Outside Guide for all sorts of information about hiking and other outdoor activities and adventures. There, you’ll learn how to choose your hiking boots, how to get started hiking and how to layer your clothing, among other things. They also have trail guides for all 50 states and a list of great trails with waterfalls.
These Vista Trekking Shorts are made from a UPF 40+ fabric which protects you from 97% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. They feature multiple pockets, including zipper pockets, and have a wonderful mesh waistband that is extra moisture wicking right where you need it. They’re lightweight and comfortable at your true size. I’m wearing an 8. The Vista Trekking Shorts come in black, dusty olive and sandstone, but I’m wearing the granite.
I selected this Beach Cruiser Summer Shirt in sunlit coral because the colors reminded me of a robin, one of my favorite birds. When I’m hiking I like to wear the colors found in nature, but they don’t have to be just granite grey or stone brown. Plus, this Beach Cruiser Summer Shirt features a stretch blend of 61% nylon, 35% Tencel lyocell and 4% spandex, so it’s rip resistant, moisture wicking, lightweight, breathable and fast drying. It fits true to size and comes in two other color combinations…that remind me of blue jays and hummingbirds. Ha! Did I mention that this shirt is silky soft? I mean amazingly soft.
My Adult’s Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is lightweight and fits perfectly. It features UPF 50+ sun protection as well as generous coverage to keep your head, face and neck protected.
Even though I carried over 40 pounds in my backpack on the Appalachian Trail, I generally “let” James carry the pack when we hike. But I’d been looking for a small shoulder sling that I could carry for short hikes so I could have my own water, snacks and other essentials handy. This L.L.Bean Stowaway Sling Pack fit the bill perfectly. I like that it has a strap you can secure around your midsection for added stability when necessary.
This is actually James’ Fitbit I’m wearing in these photos. But you better believe I’d remember to wear mine if I were really hiking. I love the way you accumulate so many steps while hiking without even realizing it. You’re having too much fun exploring to care!
I also picked up some Non-Polarized Gadget Reader Sunglasses from L.L.Bean. These are bifocal readers and they’re perfect for reading gadgets such as your phone or Fitbit because they feature non polarized lenses. And I got a 20 ounce L.L.Bean Original Insulated Water Bottle that is perfect for the trail or my office.
Finally, I bit the bullet and purchased new hiking shoes. I have Goretex hiking boots I wore on the AT, but I’d been wanting something more lightweight for day hikes. These Oboz Sapphire Waterproof Hiking Shoes have an amazing removable arch supporting insole and a grippy outsole for dependable traction. They’re made specifically for a woman’s foot, and they fit true to size. I’m wearing them with the Women’s Smartwool Cable Socks. Pro tip: always wear wool socks when hiking. They’ll keep your feet dry and temperature regulated. You can also wear silk sock liners if you prefer. But these Women’s Smartwool Cable Sock are 70% Merino wool, 29% nylon, 1% elastane, so they give you the benefit of both wool and silk in one sock.
Thank you so much for joining me on the trail today. It was fun to get out and take these photos. Now I’m ready to really get out there and hike! If you’ve not done much hiking, I encourage you to try it. Really, it’s just walking. But I’ve found that hiking gives me an added sense of accomplishment and makes me feel like I’ve really engaged with the world around me.
Let me know if you have any questions about the gear I’ve shared. I was so impressed with L.L.Bean’s supplies and clothing. Have a great day. And take a hike!
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Blessed for My Day
Are you easily offended? At first, I think no. Surely I am not quick to get my feelings hurt. But honestly, it’s not always the big offenses that register so easily on my radar. I’m more likely to point out a misspoken word, a tardy arrival, a poorly used phrase…the little mistakes. My mom was an English teacher for a while, so she taught me to diagram sentences when I was quite young. Plus I have a degree in journalism. So I’m quick to spot grammar mistakes or misspelled words. And often I’m far too hasty to point them out.
There’s nothing to be gained from policing other people’s actions, words or behavior. I suppose it feeds something…pride maybe? But God doesn’t encourage us to nourish our pride; He warns that it leads to destruction. So I’m praying for God to help me to see other people and their “little offenses” the way He does…with grace and kindness and forbearance and patience. Besides, I make more than my own fair share of mistakes. If I want grace shown to me, I need to be more generous in offering it to others. In fact, giving grace has got to be one of the most endearing things we can do. One of the most Christlike, too.
Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense. ~ Proverbs 19:11