It feels SO joyful that our family can get back outside again! In fact, I got so excited, I compiled a list of my outdoor summer must-haves in preparation for our first weekend trip in Colorado. I figured I would share it with you all. Please comment your must-haves below & share your favorites with our community!
Best 1-Day Northern Colorado Hike
If you are ever in our neck of the woods in Fort Collins, there are so many places to hike! My favorite loop is Grey Rock. I can take our dog Pooh up with me (on-leash) and spend a long morning doing the full 7-mile loop. It is challenging, beautiful, and not too crowded in the morning!
Best Colorado Weekend Trip
Our family loves to go to the hot springs when we have a free weekend! The water is SO rejuvenating and getting into the mountains is such a peaceful and mindful place to be. I especially love the no cell service.
We got to Cottonwood Hot Springs near Buena Vista. These are my FAVORITE hot springs! They have multiple very small and private pools and it is all very natural. These hot springs are full of lithium, which is great to calm the nerves. We always sleep so well afterwards!
This company was also created by a female founder who cares deeply about great ingredients! Her sunscreen products are cleanly made and are free from PABA, parabens, fragrance & all sorts of other yucky stuff. They even have a NO list they include to let you know what isn’t in their formulas. Plus, it feels amazing on my skin and there’s no white residue!
Sunscreen is SO important and I wear it everyday, not just on adventure days.
Sometimes, I just want to get outside to garden or go on a solo hike to clear my head. When I do, I love to listen to a good podcast that gets me thinking about the business or health - because those are the two things I’m really passionate about.
NPR’s ‘How I Built This’ is always such an inspiring podcast. I love to hear stories from other founders about their passion and vision, how they solve the difficult problems in a startup, and how they continue to seek joy in this entrepreneurial life! The stories are so inspiring and real. When I’m open to thinking about work and have space for that, it’s a go-to listen.
The Paleo Mom, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, along with Stacy Toth, host an incredible podcast called ‘The Whole View’. The podcast discusses all things food & lifestyle to feel your best but from a scientific perspective. They have wonderful banter and really get at the heart of issues that plague so many of us like fatigue, stomach issues, and general nutrition.
I actually started Wild Zora because my kids needed better, more balanced, higher protein snacks without all the added sugar! My favorite has always been our Parmesan Beef Bar made with 100% Grass-Fed Beef. It’s our only product with dairy and I just can’t let it go! My kids love the Mediterranean Lamb Bar & the Apple Pork Bar as they’re a little on the sweeter side and are a hit with all of our kid’s friends too!
Before I head out for a hike, I love to make a big bottle of iced tea! Does anyone else do this? I like to use hibiscus because it keeps you extra hydrated and tastes delicious. I steep it in hot water for a few minutes, take out the tea bag, and let the tea come to room temperature. Then, I pour it over a ton of ice and take it with me in an insulated water bottle. It is so refreshing!
Collapsible Bowl for our dog Pooh Bear
There is nothing better than a day outside with our pup. I absolutely love having this collapsible bowl that I can hook onto my leash or backpack. It’s so convenient and keeps Pooh bear happy and energized. It’s so important to keep yourself and your pets hydrated!
Dog Leash - Made from recycled climbing rope!
Our family loves these dog leashes. They are made from recycled materials, they are incredibly durable, and they are super easy to loop around a tree when you arrive at your campsite or lunch spot and want to park your dog. Plus, they come in a bunch of great colors and are made right here in Colorado!
I’ve been buying this chapstick for YEARS! I have tried every single flavor but the Cream Cocoa is absolutely my favorite. Many chapsticks that are made with essential oils end up drying out my lips but this one NEVER does. I just can't get enough of it and I am constantly going back to their site to order more!
Kuhl Hiking Pants - with pockets!
These are the absolute best! They are lightweight and dry super fast. I roll them up when I am hot and the best feature is that they have a pocket on the thigh - perfect size for my phone as I love to take photos on our trips. Our teenagers complain so much about it, but Pooh (the dog) is always ready to pose :-)
Cotopaxi - fun backpack!
I like to bring this Cotopaxi backpack on our short hikes.
Cotopaxi uses recycled materials to create bags made with fun colors.The best part about the Cotopaxi bags is they’re the perfect size bag for just one person! I realized if I bring too big of a bag, I end up carrying everyone’s snacks and water! Lesson learned - now everyone has their own Cotopaxi bags :)
Smartwool - lightweight hiking socks!
I always thought that wool socks are only for winter. My mistake - wool keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer! I love Smartwool socks! Especially the lightweight ones. They are a Colorado based company and their socks are made in the US. Did I mention that they last forever?
Voormi - Merino long-sleeve!
Another super high quality Colorado-made brand - Voormi. Among others, the Voormi is one of my favorite long-sleeve merino wool shirts! It’s the perfect balance as it’s lightweight but keeps me warm in the morning but doesn’t cause me to overheat in the midday sun. Josh and I met the founders years ago at a clothing show in Denver, they’re so lovely! They are based in Pagosa Springs so while you’re down there soaking in the hot springs, be sure to stop by and check out their retail store!
Please let me know what some of your essentials are! I'd love to know!