Beginner’s Gear Guide: Most versatile shorts for hiking

Considering this is the second gear guide where I’ve waxed poetic about some super expensive article of outdoorsy clothing, I feel like I need to start this post off with a disclaimer.

I strongly believe that you do not need a bunch of expensive outdoors-specific gear in order to enjoy the outdoors or be considered outdoorsy. I still run and hike in cotton tshirts. I don’t always wear my hiking boots. I use an insane amount of artificial firestarters to get a campfire going.

And all of that is A-OKAY. You are not any less outdoorsy than someone outfitted in the latest and greatest gear.

That also doesn’t mean I haven’t dived headfirst into the rabbithole of ~cool gear~ to supplement my wardrobe. Now that I’m three years into this outdoor lifestyle I’ve been building, it’s been nice to invest in some nicer gear.

SO. All of this is to say that if you decide you’d like to invest in outdoor gear, which you are by no means obligated to, here is a guide to a piece of outdoor gear that I wear and love. Ok, let’s get to it.

My obsession with Patagonia’s Barely Baggies is borderline unhealthy. Generally, I consider anything Patagucci too rich for my blood, but after getting engaged in Telluride  I was feeling very YOLO-ey. So when my new fiance and I walked into the Patagonia store in downtown Telluride and these shorts were under $50, I decided it was time to Treat Yoself.

Love. It’s a crazy drug.

I proceeded to wear these shorts for the next three days straight (I was on a road trip, so it was totally okay…right?) and I’m pretty sure my friends thought I only owned one pair of shorts that entire summer.

Badass Ladies featuring the only shorts I wore in Summer 2016, on the right.

The Barely Baggies are short enough to be youthful without being “I don’t know what CDs are” years young since they adequately cover the booty and several inches of upper thigh.

(Patagonia makes a longer pair if you would prefer a more generous inseam)

Being Patagonia, they come in a ton of fun colors and the design is super flattering, but what I really love about them is:

Pockets. Tragically, just having pockets makes them a cut above many women’s shorts. #patriarchygettingmedown

Quick-dry material. You can wear the Barely Baggies swimming, tubing, rafting, SUP-ing (or just sweat in them a lot – guilty) and they will be dry in no time thanks to the swim trunk-like material.

Versatility. I have worn these shorts hiking, biking, trail running, walking around my neighborhood, laying on my couch, and to happy hour (much to the chagrin of my friends, I’m sure).

The summer I bought these happened to coincide with doctor’s orders to wear sneakers all the time (not exaggerating), so it was nice to have shorts that bridge the casual/athletic gap so I could still look somewhat put together. It also helps that athleisure is so hot right now.

The only drawback of these shorts is that they are a little lowcut. I’m 5’7″ with a long torso and they hit right at the top of my underwear. They aren’t super forgiving to “softer” body types but I’m also working on telling myself to STFU when I worry about whether I’m “toned” enough to look good in something. They’re comfy, I like them, and I look great in them dammit!

If you’re trying to buy these champagne shorts on a beer budget, wait for Patagonia’s annual 20% sale late in the summer. Or, if you’re on a Treat Yoself kick like I was, splurge now.
treat yoself

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