The desert has been known to evoke powerful emotions in those that let it. Deep vibrations, a harsh, unforgiving climate, and the wide expanse of sky all coalesce and form one of the most powerful environments on the planet.
As with many extreme environments on the planet, mankind has found ways to survive, and thrive within some of the most unforgiving climates on the planet. These days, we don’t escape the desert, we go to the desert to escape. That means we don’t always need the most technical apparel available; we can relax out here now, if we so choose.
We went to Joshua Tree for a weekend of escaping the routine, and exploring a region that is teeming with new discoveries. Our weekend consisted of light hiking and bouldering, with plenty of getting to know the town and what it offers. Below is a glimpse into what we took for a weekend in the high desert. Use this, and you can focus less on what you need to take there, and more of what you need to experience.
The sun, even in the winter months, is powerful in Joshua Tree. You’ll want to pack at least one wide-brimmed hat for the trip: this Brixton option does double duty as sun protection and a key element to any complete outfit. Wear it on a light hike, wear it out to the bar at night, wear it anywhere you want – just hold onto it when the wind whistles through. We had to chase ours down a roadway or two when we let our guard down.
We went to Joshua Tree in the middle of January, and it was cold. We got snow in the park, and rain at the house, but that’s a different story for a different time. What’s important to note is that although on first glance the desert looks warm, this is the high desert we’re talking about, and it gets cold during the winter months.
This Jungmaven sweater is appealing for a few reasons: it’s got a nice weight to it, and helps keep the wind out. The classic stripes work with any clothing combination, and best of all, it’s made from hemp, so you’re looking good and reducing your cotton footprint at the same time. Can’t beat that.
Richer Poorer is known for their lifestyle vibe, but we wanted to see what their hiking socks could do. The Sierra Socks had the classic hike vibe we were looking for, and kept us warm when the J-Tree wind didn’t want to quit.
Right now Richer Poorer only offers hiking socks in Men’s sizes, but our editor wears a 7.5 in Women’s and was just fine. The socks fit and didn’t slide, and the extra material bunched around the ankles in a warm that kept us extra toasty on the trail.
We wanted a pair of sunglasses we wouldn’t have to take on and off each time we entered and exited a building. The Burnout Collection from RAEN has definite Fear and Loathing vibes, and the lenses transitioned from day hikes to nights at Pappy and Harriet’s without a hitch.
The Masons are a lightweight frame that sat so well on our face, we forgot we were wearing them. That is, until we got compliments on them each time we went somewhere new.
Tavik makes some of the softest, comfiest clothing out there, and these overalls are the perfect option for driving long miles, for running around town, and for heading out to dinner in the evening.
Layering is key in the winter desert, and these overalls made it easier. We wore them with our Richer Poorer Boxy Crop during the daytime, and threw our Jungmaven on during the afternoons and chilly evenings. For late night, you’ll most likely want a bigger jacket on top of that. We packed the Poler Shaggy Jacket.
A classic look and sleek profile, paired with a burly Vibram sole, make these Danners our top choice for a weekend hiking in the desert. In a town where everyone wheres their hiking attire everywhere, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to step things up a notch.
The Danners fit true to size, and supported us up and down boulders. The ankle needs a bit of a break-in period, so if you haven’t already given yours a good wear, pair them with some chunky socks (our recommendation: Richer Poorer) to minimize discomfort.
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