Books & Equipment

Favorite product for Hiking, Trekking, Camping in Utah Wasatch Outdoors

I’ve read lots of area books and have done quite a bit of personal research and testing over the years. Listed below are a few of my favorites. I’ve paid full price for everything (except 1 book), so I’m not influenced by retailers to list this stuff here – I just wanted to share.

Hiking Literature


I’ve read these books cover to cover, and have learned quite a bit from them

  • Best Hikes Near Salt Lake by Lori J Lee. This book has trail ideas for hikers of every skill level. The hike finder chart is great to help find the perfect hike for your current mood.
  • 60 Hikes within 60 miles: Salt Lake City by Greg Witt. This is a great book for learning about Wasatch hikes. There is a section that categorizes hikes by what you’ll see, or it’s difficulty level.
  • Hiking the Wasatch by John Veranth. Extensive guide for hikers to Wasatch Mountain trails.
  • Wasatch Eleveners by Randy Winters. This guide provides trailheads, approaches, and routes for Utah’s 11,000+ foot peaks.
  • Wasatch Tours Volume 1 – An Introduction by Alexis Kelner and David Hanscom. This book is written for cross country skiers and snow shoers, but it has great terrain and trail descriptions. In addition, hikers need a way to stay fit in the winter too, right? This is a good introduction.
  • Wasatch Tours Volume 2 – The Northern Wasatch by David Hanscom and Alexis Kelner. Volume 2 covers the northern wasatch in more detail – from the Ogden area down to the Alpine Ridge.
  • Wasatch Tours Volume 3 – The Southern Wasatch by Alexis Kelner and David Hanscom. Volume 3 covers the sourthern wasatch in more detail – from the Alpine Ridge to Mount Nebo.
  • Timpanogos: A Visual Journey by Willie Holdman and Kurt Repanshek. Great pictures of the Timpanogos area
  • Climbing and Exploring Utah’s Mt Timpanogos by Michael R. Kelsey. Documents every aspect of Timpanogos – trails, peaks, history. The part I find distracting is all the elevations are in metric, so I had to have a calculator as I read it. It’s also getting a bit dated.
  • Wasatch Wildflowers by Steve Hegji. A great reference manual for wildflowers growing in the Wasatch Mountains.
  • Hiking Guide to the Geology of the Wasatch Mountains by William T. Parry. If you look at rock formations while hiking and wonder why they formed the way they did, this book will answer those questions. It describes the many different geological features in the Salt Lake canyons quite well.
  • Lady in the Ore Bucket by Charles L. Keller A very captivating history of the Salt Lake area canyons – I couldn’t put the book down. I was fascinated to learn about how areas received their names – first through logging activities, then through mining ventures.
  • Alpine Yesterdays by Jeanie Wild. A book outlining how Alpine grew up. The city is nestled in a pocket between Lone Peak and Box Elder Peak, so trailheads are really close. I don’t have a link. If you’re interested in the book, you can get one at the Alpine City Office.


  • Backpacker I love this magazine. It has great hiking tips and stories every month.

Hiking Equipment

  • ShoesMerrill Moab Ventilator Mid – This model has Vibram soles for durability and grip, Mid height for ankle support, breathability (get the Gore-Tec style if you need water-proof shoes; however, this will make them less breathable)
  • Socks – thick Merino wool socks – it’s like walking on carpet all day. Plus they also reduce the likelihood of blisters and will help your feet stay dry. Note: Merino is a type of wool, not a brand.
  • Pants – the type where the legs will zip off (see pre-hike page for more information about layering).
  • Hat – Large 360d brim; mesh side panels (see hike day page for information about body temperature control.
  • Pack – Day – After a lot of research, I bought the Osprey Stratos 24 . I’ve been using it for several years and can say this is the best day pack I’ve ever had. The hip and shoulder strap pockets are great for carrying electronics. I can reach water bottles in the side pockets without taking the pack off. I love being able to stash my trekking poles temporarily in the loops provided (again, without taking the pack off). It has plenty of pockets for organization, and it’s lightweight.
  • Pack – Overnighter – I really like the Kelty Redwing 3100 . There several, well-organized pockets; lots of versatility on the outside, like the side pockets with velcro to hold your poles. The internal frame is customizable for your body shape and size. One year later and I’m still loving it. The only problem is the size – it’s 3100 cubic inches, which is good for an overnighter. For day hikes, I found myself trying to fill it, causing me to carry extra weight of stuff I really don’t need on a day hike.
  • GPSGarmin Oregon 400T – Touch screen access to geographical maps, trail details and trip statistics. I had a problem with the first unit – it kept trying to convince me I was hiking at 26,000 feet. After working with support and going through several refurbished units, I finally convinced Garmin to just send me a new unit. I’m very happy with this one. Just be careful not to turn the unit off when trying to lock the screen.
  • Trekking PolesLeki Super Makalu – These are a little more expensive, but worth it. The tips grip most rock, cork handles absorb sweat, ergonomic angled handles help reduce fatigue and interchangeable baskets for summer or winter use.
  • Camera; Point-and-shootCanon Powershot SX series (get an extra battery) – Compact for quick trail access, quality photos
  • Camera; DSLRCanon Rebel XTI – (again; get an extra battery) Allows versatility in taking photographs, but adds weight.
  • Map SoftwareDelorme Topo USA Used to get trail information, view areas in 3D with topo or aerial photo overlays. Really cool tool to learn the lay of the land. Upload GPS tracks to record where you’ve been.
  • Photo SoftwareAdobe Photoshop Elements – Organize and fine tune photographs

Hiker Shopping

Local stores

National Chains

  • Cabelas – Just off I-15 at the Timpanogos Highway exit
  • REI or REI-Outlet – 3285 E 3300 S, Salt Lake AND 230 W 10600 S State, Sandy
  • Scheels – 11282 S State St, Sandy, Ut
  • Brass Pro

Online Stores

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