Hiking 101, Part 1: Gathering the Right Gear – What to do at Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Woodland Trail
What will you find while exploring the trails?

We welcomed spring in Big Bear on Wednesday with semi-open arms. While we miss the snow, the changing of seasons means the mountains become ready for other activities, fishing on a boat in the lake is a little closer, and that bike that has been sitting in the garage will be getting a good dusting soon. Even though everyone is waiting for these changes to occur there is also plenty of exploration of the area on foot to do. The weather is going to be pretty warm over the next week, so now would be a great time to come up for some fresh air and exercise!

Big Bear Lake Weather

Friday, March 22 – High 56°, Low 32°
Saturday, March 23– High 56°, Low 28°
Sunday, March 24 – High 55°, Low 28°
Monday, March 25 – High 56°, Low 29°
Tuesday, March 26 – High 56°, Low 29°
Wednesday, March 27 – High 52°, Low 27°
Thursday, March 28 – High 52°, Low 24°

Like any other physical activity, you want to have the right tools for the job. You need to build from the ground up for your hike, starting with your socks and shoes.

What are the right shoes for hiking?

Shoes should be paired with your ambitions: will you be taking a light hike during the day, or will you be spending all weekend in the woods, covering every type of terrain? Lighter terrain and shorter walks call for a lighter hiking shoe. They usually do not have protection over the ankle, and look like a more durable version of a running shoe. As you consider longer hikes, possibly overnight or over tougher terrain, boots are a better choice. They have higher ankles and rugged and stiffer soles. The higher ankle pieces help support extra weight and offer protection from low branches and thorns.

What socks should I wear when hiking?

You must have the right socks. They should be comfortable and offer extra cushioning. They should also be made out of wool rather than cotton. Wool does not absorb water easily, so your socks will stay dryer longer. They are also more durable than cotton, so they will last longer.

What should I carry in my hiking backpack?

What is in your pack depends on what sort of hike you will be taking. Since we are looking at a beginning hike, we are going to go with some basics. Bring some snacks to keep your energy up; granola is a good source of fuel on the trail, as well as some of the lighter protein bars. It is recommended to bring two liters of water with you on a hike of about ten miles. You want to drink it at a consistent pace even if you are not sweating. Your pack should also have a basic first aid kit, sun screen, and a small knife.

The hiking up at Big Bear is beautiful. We have our own little section of the Pacific Crest Trail, and a wide range of trails for every skill level. The Mountain Top Hiking Club offers guided walks throughout the week and weekend, taking into account the many different skill levels of the hikers that visit the lake. While you are visiting, you can make a reservation with us to rest your weary legs. We are in walking distance to the Village as well, where you can find several local restaurants and stores, if you are still feeling up for a short walk after your big day!


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