To me, the most stressful part of any trip for with my family is not the planning, flying or budgeting…it is the packing! With all of today’s fees on bringing large/heavy/extra luggage, I try to pack as light as possible, while making sure not to forget anything! Lists help, but I hold my breath for the first few minutes leaving the house wondering what we left behind. I figure though, as long as we have the kids, phones, kindle’s and medicines, we can survive.
Before a trip I do a lot of research on what to wear, and its hard to find good information about kids clothing. I had a heck of a time finding good information about what shoes we should wear for our hikes, as well as how heavy a jacket we would need, so hopefully this information will be helpful to anyone going around the October time frame!
Hiking shoes vs waterproof shoes vs tennis shoes?? I scoured the internet trying to determine if the trails we were planning to go on would need waterproof shoes due to snow, or hiking shoes due to difficultly. I got conflicting reports, but decided not to spend the extra money and just wear tennis shoes. The results?
TENNIS SHOES are perfectly fine! For the first week in October, on the Sprague Lake trail and Gem Lake trail, we encountered no snow. Sprague Lake is a flat, gravel trail that is wheel chair accessible, so flip flops could have even worked (though no recommended) so that trail absolutely does not need hiking shoes. Gem Lake has an elevation climb and is a more natural trail (with minor roots and rocks), but tennis shoes worked perfectly fine. If you have hiking shoes great, but I wouldn’t purchase them just for this.
When we were driving Trail Ridge Road, we stopped at a few snowy area’s for the kids to get out an play. I was wearing boots and my daughter was wearing her UGG boots, similar to these. This worked fine as we were only playing for about 20-30 minutes and there some areas that weren’t covered in snow.
Recommendation: Tennis shoes worked great for hiking. In town, my daughter and I both wore casual boots. My son wore him Timberland Boots. They were great since he isn’t an experience walker and had high ankle support.
For the most part, we wore jeans & long sleeve shirts. Most mornings we started with a jacket, but didn’t need it later on.
For hiking, I recommend active wear. I stupidly wore jeans and a long sleeve shirt on our Gem Lake hike. It got hot! Capri work out pants and a short sleeve top is what I wish I had on. Even though the weather may say 60°F, don’t forget the sun might out and you will be moving, so it will get much warmer.
Up in Rocky Mountain National Park, our Sprague Lake hike was cooler, and we did need a jacket. I attribute this to both altitude and a drop in temperature.
My daughters everyday attire included jeans, long sleeve shirt, light jacket, and her UGG boots.
We did use heavier jackets on one or two of the days. They were not as heavy as “ski jackets”, but they had more lining and warmth than a rain coat.
I got both my kids jackets from Target (my favorite store ever). Emmie’s was a rain resistent Champion9 pufferjacket while Easton looked like the cutest little lumberjack in his Cat & Jack jacket (he also sported the matching hat on the colder days as well).