What to Put on Climbing within the Desert – Bearfoot Idea

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Climbing within the desert is an effective way to see and expertise unimaginable landscapes, geology, vegetation, and even wildlife. However guests to arid climates must pack the fitting desert mountain climbing garments and equipment to remain comfy and secure in excessive temperatures – cold and hot!

I’ve spent a number of time mountain climbing across the deserts of the Southwest and with the fitting gear, clothes, solar safety, and hydration, you’ll be well-prepared for an incredible desert journey, too. On this weblog submit, I share my high strategies for all of this and extra whether or not you’re visiting Southern Utah’s Nationwide Parks, Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, Demise Valley Nationwide Park, or one other superb desert vacation spot.

Necessary Reminder: Because it goes in all the locations we share, please observe good path etiquette and keep in mind to Depart No HintThis implies packing out your entire rubbish (together with rest room paper) and following the established guidelines. Within the desert, this additionally means studying the right way to defend cryptobiotic soil and the way it has a big impact on our ecosystems.

Desert Climbing Ideas

Earlier than I get into my desert mountain climbing garments and equipment strategies, I need to share a couple of vital issues to pay attention to as you pack to your journey.

Pack For Sizzling and Chilly Temps

Desert evenings can truly get fairly chilly. Deserts are identified for being excessive, and it’s not unusual to have actually excessive temperatures and actually low temperatures on the identical day. So, it’s a good suggestion to pack further layers to throw on after the solar goes down.

That is very true within the colder months when the climate within the desert may be surprisingly wintery. Don’t be shocked if the temps dip into the 30s (or beneath!) within the desert.

Don’t Skimp On Solar Safety

It’s good to be ready with ample solar safety, particularly should you’re visiting in the summertime and plan on spending your days out having enjoyable within the solar. Reasonably than lacking out on lovely desert locations, my recommendation is to pack loads of sunscreen and put on clothes that reduces your publicity to the solar.

Keep Hydrated

It’s straightforward to get dehydrated within the desert as a result of sweat tends to dry shortly as a result of arid local weather, so you might not notice how a lot fluid you’re dropping. All the time deliver a hydration pack crammed with water or a big water bottle with you on any tour out into the desert.

>> Learn Subsequent: Finest Climbing Daypacks for Ladies

Select Gentle Colours

Gentle clothes colours similar to white, beige, and pastels will assist maintain you cooler on desert hikes since these colours don’t take in the solar’s warmth as darker colours do. Additionally, go for loose-fitting garments so you may get good airflow whilst you hike.

Get An Early Begin

Climbing within the desert may be HOT – spring, fall, and winter are one of the best seasons to go to the Southwest when daytime temps are milder. If you happen to do plan to go to throughout summer time, keep away from mountain climbing in the course of the warmth of the day (11am-4pm). Warmth can flip harmful shortly, so we at all times advocate beginning at dawn, or heading for a sundown hike.

Kristen taking a selfie photo with Utah canyon landscape behind her
A hat is crucial for mountain climbing within the desert

Desert Climbing Garments

Quick Sleeve Climbing Shirt

Pack a light-weight mountain climbing shirt that wicks moisture, dries shortly, and can maintain you cool. The Patagonia Capilene Cool Light-weight Shirt is one among our favorites. It does all the above whereas being tremendous light-weight and packable, plus it doesn’t wrinkle. It’s very best for any desert hike as a result of it has nice air flow and odor management, making it good for warm days and lengthy hikes. Plus it’s Honest Commerce Licensed and makes use of recycled supplies.

Patagonia Capilene Cool Lightweight Shirt

Verify value: REI | Patagonia | Backcountry

Lengthy Sleeve Climbing Shirt

For further solar safety, go along with the Patagonia Capilene Cool Lengthy Sleeve Shirt. I’ve truthful pores and skin and have just lately gotten into the behavior of sporting lengthy sleeves after I hike within the desert, even on hotter days, with the intention to defend my pores and skin.

This shirt is quick-drying, prevents odor, and is rated for 50+ UPF solar safety. It additionally breathes very well, so that you received’t get too sizzling even within the solar. Protected to say, you would put on this in your entire journey and hand-wash it when it’s essential to freshen it up. Plus, just like the Patagonia tee above, this piece is constituted of recycled supplies and is Honest Commerce Licensed.

Patagonia Capilene Cool Long Sleeve Shirt

Verify value: REI | Patagonia | Backcountry

Hiker smiling for camera wearing hiking gear and carrying trekking poles on trail in Utah with red rock bluffs in background
Carrying my Patagonia Capilene Cool Lengthy-Sleeve Shirt on a hike in Utah

Climbing Shorts

You’ll need a pair of comfy mountain climbing shorts for these heat desert days. We love The North Face Aphrodite Shorts as a result of they’re tremendous comfortable and light-weight and so they have a large waistband and simply the correct amount of stretch to them.

They’re additionally an ideal size and have pockets that are at all times useful, plus they dry shortly. We’ve worn these mountain climbing, rafting, and lounging and so they’re at all times an awesome alternative.

The North Face Aphrodite Hiking Shorts

Verify value: REI | Backcountry

Climbing Pants

On cool desert days or when the solar goes down, you’ll need to placed on one other layer like these prAna Halle II Climbing Pants. They’re gentle and stretchy sufficient so that you can maintain transferring on the path however sturdy sufficient to face as much as the weather.

These pants layer effectively over a pair of lengthy underwear should you’re visiting within the winter or the desert temps actually drop at night time.

prAna Halle hiking pants

Verify value: REI | Backcountry

>> Learn Subsequent: Finest Ladies’s Climbing Pants & Leggings

Gentle Heat Layer

It doesn’t matter what time of yr you’re heading to the desert, packing a flannel or light-weight heat layer is at all times a good suggestion. When it’s essential to add a layer, the REI Wallace Lake flannel is a strong alternative. It’s smooth in your pores and skin, but sturdy for mountain climbing and tenting. And, it’s out there in seven totally different colours, so take your decide.

REI Wallace Lake Flannel

Verify value: REI

Woman sitting on rocky cliff edge in Utah at sunset with Canyonland vistas below
Carrying the REI Wallace Lake Flannel

Heat Jacket

In case you are touring within the shoulder season, nights within the desert can get fairly chilly and also you’ll seemingly want a heat jacket (you’ll be able to skip this should you’re visiting in mid-summer). I at all times have an insulated puffy jacket with me, and one among my favorites is the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket. It’s tremendous light-weight, heat, and made with eco-friendly supplies (recycled ripstop nylon on this case). 

And, it’s packable so it’s straightforward to deliver alongside on any journey.

Patagonia Nano Puff

Verify value: REI | Patagonia | Backcountry

>> Learn Subsequent: Finest Ladies’s Artificial Down Jackets

Woman sitting on rocky ledge overlook with expansive Utah Canyonlands below

Desert Climbing Footwear

Climbing Footwear

The Oboz Sawtooth X Mid are good for mountain climbing within the desert. They’re sturdy and breathable, making them nice for desert mountain climbing when paired with light-weight mountain climbing socks (Darn Robust are our favourite).

The tempest outsole is tremendous grippy which is able to assist you navigate throughout rocky and sandy terrain. The Oboz Sawtooth X is comfy from day one, so that you received’t must endure a stiff break-in interval.

Oboz additionally has some waterproof mountain climbing boot choices that we love, though I personally advocate the non-waterproof for desert environments since they’re extra breathable. If you happen to’d like extra information on the Oboz Sawtooth X’s you’ll be able to learn my full evaluation right here.

Oboz Sawtooth X Mid

Verify value: Backcountry

>> Learn Subsequent: Finest Ladies’s Climbing Boots & Footwear

Climbing Sandals

Among the finest elements of visiting the southwest is attending to discover the distinctive waterfalls, rivers, and canyons. Reasonably than sporting your mountain climbing sneakers or flip flops, I like to recommend packing a water sandal that may additionally double as a camp shoe.

These Teva Common Path Sandals are a sturdy possibility that can carry you from the path to the river. They’re light-weight, comfy, and supply nice traction with their Vibram soles to forestall slipping.

Even higher, the straps on these new sandals are product of 100% recycled plastic! Try my full evaluation of those sandals for more information.

Teva Universal Trail Sandal

Verify value: REI | Backcountry

Desert Climbing Equipment

Huge Brimmed Solar Hat

Carrying a well-brimmed hat within the solar will cut back your publicity and assist maintain your head cool. One of the best hat to your desert mountain climbing journey is a hat you’ll truly put on, so decide one out primarily based in your fashion – the broader the brim the higher out within the desert.

My absolute favourite solar hat is the Wallaroo Ladies’s Sedona Hat pictured beneath. It’s crushable making for simple packing, doesn’t get too sizzling when mountain climbing, and it has a drawstring within the brim that means that you can tighten the hat if it’s windy.

*DISCOUNT CODE: Save 20% on the Wallaroo Sedona hat whenever you use the code BEARFOOT20 at checkout.

Wallaroo Sedona Hat

Verify value: Wallaroo Hats

Portrait shot of woman smiling at camera wearing wide brimmed sun hat and sunglasses around her neck
The Wallaroo Sedona Solar Hat is packable, light-weight, and shades your entire face

Polarized Sun shades

One other must-have merchandise for a desert mountain climbing journey is an effective pair of sun shades. One in all my favourite moderately priced pair of sun shades are the SunCloud Patrol Polarized sun shades. With 100% UV safety, these are nice sun shades for mountain climbing within the desert to guard your eyes from the solar.

SunCloud Patrol Polarized Sunglasses

Verify value: REI

A Buff

Buffs are nice multi-functional items which might be nice for protecting your neck protected in sizzling desert environments. We love the Buff CoolNet UV+ as a result of it has a cooling expertise end and UPF 50+ solar safety. It’s additionally constituted of 95% recycled supplies.

If the temps are actually excessive otherwise you feeling some warmth exhaustion, moist your buff with water and put on it round your head. This can assist maintain your physique temp cooler.


Verify value: REI | Backcountry

Desert Climbing Gear

Day Pack

When you get to your desert vacation spot, you’ll want a rugged, sturdy day mountain climbing pack, just like the Osprey Tempest 20. With simply the correct amount of room, it has a number of pockets to retailer every part you want for a day outdoors.

You possibly can connect a helmet or trekking poles to the outside and combine your hydration reservoir. Total, the Osprey Tempest 20 Pack is an effective all-around day pack so as to add to your desert packing record.

Osprey Tempest Daypack

Verify value: REI | Backcountry | Osprey

Hiker taking a selfie while trekking through narrow slot canyon with tall cliff walls on either side and standing water
Carrying the Osprey Tempest 20

Hydration Reservoir

Some of the vital issues to recollect whenever you’re out exploring the desert is to keep hydrated. The Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir is a dependable, BPA-free reservoir out there in 1.5, 2, and three L.

I like to recommend the 3L reservoir should you’ll be heading out for a full day – water sources may be restricted mountain climbing within the desert. This hydration reservoir is designed to maintain a low profile, so your pack will nonetheless be comfy.

Osprey Hydraulics Hydration Reservoir

Verify value: REI | Backcountry | Osprey

Water filter

If you happen to’re heading out on an extended hike and you recognize there will probably be water sources like a river or creek, it’s a good suggestion to pack a water filter so you’ll be able to refill your hydration bladder and never fear about water. We love the LifeStraw Peak Squeeze 22 fl oz water filter as a result of it’s small and light-weight and really straightforward to make use of. Simply fill it up and squeeze the water out into your bigger container or reservoir.


Verify value: REI | LifeStraw

>> Learn Subsequent: Finest Backpacking Water Filters

GPS & Satellite tv for pc Communicator

All through many of the wild locations in distant desert areas, there’s very spotty cell service or none in any respect. You might need to take into account carrying a satellite tv for pc communicator just like the Garmin inReach Mini 2-way Satellite tv for pc Communicator.

This tiny handheld machine has 2-way texting, SOS, and monitoring capabilities. It might be a life-saver (actually) should you need assistance and also you’re out of cell reception. I really feel slightly extra comfy after I’m off-grid figuring out I’ve an emergency machine like this.

Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator

Verify value: REI

Up-close photo of hand holding Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator
Having a GPS Satellite tv for pc Communication machine just like the Garmin inReach Mini may be life-saving

Sunscreen & Lip Balm

Final, however positively not least, don’t overlook the sunscreen and lip balm. We’ve been loving Assume Sport’s Naturally Tinted Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen as a result of it blends in effectively, doesn’t depart a white residue, and most significantly it’s eco-friendly, reef-friendly, and freed from dangerous chemical substances.

Additionally, be sure you again a tube of chapstick with SPF as a result of there’s nothing worse than sore and blistering lips!

Think Sport eco friendly sunscreen

Verify value: Amazon

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I hope this helps you dial within the gear you want to your desert mountain climbing journey! What questions do you’ve got? The place are you most enthusiastic about visiting? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

Get your gear and clothing dialed for desert hikes in the southwest so you're ready for any adventure from hiking to camping and more.

Written by
Kristen Bor

Hey there! My title is Kristen, and that is my out of doors weblog. I found the ability of the outside in my 20s, on the time I wanted it most. Now 15 years later, prioritizing that vital reference to nature continues to enhance my life. My purpose at Bearfoot Idea is to empower you with the instruments and recommendation it’s essential to responsibly get outdoors.


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