San Rafael Swell, Utah - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

The Gear You Need for a Weekend Getaway

- posted by Mike Vause

The spring is the perfect time to plan your hiking and camping, and you couldn't ask for a better location than Utah. Take a week to enjoy the natural surroundings in comfort. Or, take off on a Friday afternoon and get away for a weekend with the family on your favorite hiking trails.

Utah Hiking and Camping Spots

Utah is rich with outdoor hiking opportunities.

I love the Uinta mountains.
View from the Uinta Mountains - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

The Desert Canyons of San Rafael Swell are also a good hike.
San Rafael Swell, Utah - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards
San Rafael Swell, Utah - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards
San Rafael Swell, Utah - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards
Even our own humble Ben Lomond peak.

Peak of Ben Lomond - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

My nephew on the peak of Ben Lomond. Over his right shoulder you can see Willard Bay.

Climb a peak! It will change how you look at things.

We have beautiful peaks in Utah. I like the view from Lewis Peak on the other side of the divide.
Lewis Peak, Utah - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

Utah's tallest is Kings Peak - that's an amazing summit right there.

For camping, I like the Logan Canyon area. There are still some fun spots at North Fork.

I love being in the Uinta mountains - there are many fun places up there you can hike to.

The Uintas - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

Now is the time to prepare a great backpack trip or day hike. Be ready now so you can grab your gear and go when the weather is right.

Capitol Reef, Utah - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

Capitol Reef National Park

Utah Hiking Gear & Camping Picks

Kelty day packs lasted my kids from 2nd grade through to my 20-year-old on his mission in the islands of the Pacific.

When you're looking for hiking packs, you can't go wrong with one from Mountainsmith, Kelty, or Jansport.

Hiking packs by Jansport, Mountainsmith, and Kelty at Smith and Edwards

These hiking packs will hold all your gear comfortably - and you won't lose sight of your family in these bright colors, either.

Rather than trying to haul in your own water, you'll want a water purification system: either a pump or a gravity system.

Some good purifying pump systems are the Katadyn Hiker, and the MSR Miniworks Ex Microfilter.
Water purification systems are important for hiking and camping!

Water Purification pumps are great - but gravity-style purification rocks.

I love the Katadyne Base Camp system, where you draw a huge bag through the water, hang it up in camp, and then release water from it as you need it. And because of the gravity, you don't need to pump it. MSR makes their own Autoflow Gravity Micro Filter which is the same concept. It's a bit faster than the Base Camp, but it clogs easier. You can field clean the MSR filter easily by running water through the other direction. The Katadyne Base Camp uses the same filters as other Katadyne systems.

A lot of these purification systems have adapters that go right on your Nalgene bottle, reducing spillage.

Waterproof boots are a must! Danner and Merrell are good waterproof brands, and Merino wool or polypropylene blend socks complete the package.

Here are a couple good shoes: Danner 453 GTX in brown, and Merrell Moab Gore-Tex Mid with Vibram soles.

Merrell and Danner hiking boots and Merino wool socks at Smith & Edwards

Merrell or Danner hiking boots and Merino wool socks will keep your feet dry on a Utah hike.

Don't forget your hat and sunscreen!

Staying overnight? Think about a Slumberjack sleeping bag. There are a lot of options out there, I like Slumberjack and Kelty.

Kelty and Slumberjack sleeping bags at Smith & Edwards

Kelty and Slumberjack sleeping bags

Always take a pad; good rest is important. These inflatable pads are by ThermaRest, and we have several online you can check out.
Thermarest sleeping bag pads at Smith & Edwards

I have a Kelty tent with 15 years of use, and we sell other great brands as well.

Kelty and Mountainsmith Tents at Smith and Edwards

The Kelty Grand Mesa and Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person 3-Season tents are great for camping in Utah.


Click here to see tents online, and we have even more in-store.

Hike with Your Kids

Get your kids out; give them a love of the outdoors when they are young, and they will carry your heavy stuff when you are older. Trust me, it works.
Hiking with the kids - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards
You'll get something started that they won't be able to put down.
My kids hiking a trail - Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

What are your favorite hiking and camping spots? Leave a comment and let us know!

About our people

Mike Vause, Smith and Edwards

Mike Vause is the Sporting Goods manager at Smith & Edwards. He's been here over 20 years. When he's not in the store, he's probably hiking, camping, or testing the latest handgun or rifle.

Have Camping or Hiking questions? Call the store at 801-731-1120 and ask Sporting Goods, we'll be happy to help you get the gear you need.

Check out our Camping and Hiking gear - click here!