It is officially summer in the Tetons and time to start preparing for those flower-filled hikes and backpacking trips you were dreaming of all winter. Although the high county is still holding snow, lower elevation hikes are melted out and provide access to raging creeks, blooming meadows, and inspiring vistas of the Teton range. If you are going on a hike, make sure you are ready for whatever weather or challenges might come your way. Conditions in the mountains can change rapidly, from sunny and warm one minute, to rain or even snow the next. Always check the forecast before you leave home!
We’ve listed some suggested items to carry in your pack for your summer adventures with safety and preparedness in mind. Be sure to consider that these items might change depending on the duration of your hike, time of year, weather conditions, and if you are planning an overnight excursion. It is never too soon to begin planning!
BEAR SPRAY: Your bear spray should always be on your person and be readily accessible when hiking in bear country. Make sure it is not expired and practice removing it from the holster before venturing out. Your life may depend on it.
Food: An ample supply of snacks should always be in your pack. Calories are your fuel and you don’t want to run on empty. Pack enough in case you are out longer than expected.
Water: Staying hydrated is critical to peak performance for any physical activity. Carry enough water as well as your chosen filtration system. Drink often, and be sure to hydrate the day before any hike.
Clothing: What you decide to carry for clothing is up to you. We recommend a few key pieces; rain jacket, warm layers (NO COTTON!), an extra pair of socks, and a warm hat. A shade hat can be a nice addition as well.
First-Aid: You never know what can happen out there. Blisters, scrapes, and cuts are common place while hiking in the Tetons. Everyone packs their first-aid kit differently. Put some thought into what you would like to have with you should you be required to use it.
Light: A headlamp or small flashlight can be a life-saver if you are out unexpectedly after the sun goes down. There are many different options so choose what you like best and don’t get caught in the dark!
Map/Compass: These days you can use your phone to help navigate, but carrying a map is still recommended in case your phone battery dies. Don’t get lost!