What to Wear When You Go Hiking: Best Tips from Hiking Experts

What to Wear When You Go Hiking: Best Tips from Hiking Experts

Hiking is, of course, a happy adventure event, no matter where you decide to go. You can hike through the forest or hit the mountain tracks. In any case, the weather can be your friend or your enemy. To avoid this last case, better be prepared with extra clothes. Hypothermia and frostbite can occur even in the summer season. If you end up wet due to heavy rain and you were not prepared, the cooling factor of the wind can lead to serious complications.

We are sure you want to avoid all that and, instead, spend an excellent and memorable moment the next time you go on a field trip. We compile a list of clothing items to save you some discomfort on your next hiking trip. You will also find very useful and detailed information on all kinds of clothes and shoes.

Choose clothes according to the season.

Most of the articles here can end in both groups, winter and summer, and we will mention it. However, there are items that are absolutely necessary for specific needs depending on the season.

All Seasons

Waterproof boots – You need them in the season you go on a field trip. Water is almost everywhere regardless of the climate details (unless you decide to hike in the desert). In rainy seasons, such as spring and autumn, waterproof boots will save you many cold moments and even protect you from possible freezing. Do not buy some cheap boots. Instead, head to the nearest store to buy hiking and climbing equipment and order reliable waterproof boots for all seasons.

What to Wear When You Go Hiking: Best Tips from Hiking Experts

Clothing – No matter the weather, put in your backpack a layer of underwear, with short and long sleeves. Underwear made of lycra or polyester is your best choice, as it keeps the body warm, allows perspiration to evaporate without obstructions and allows the skin to breathe. Even in summer, nights can be cold.

Another important element is the jacket resistant to wind and water. In nature, the element of water can be severe: unexpected rain, too much humidity in the air, strong currents of water due to the melting of snow, etc. Your best protection is the waterproof jacket and the pants. Being windproof is also so important, due to the thermal sensation factor that can lower your body temperature very quickly.


Boots (sneakers) – If you are planning a trip in the mountains, you may find fewer rivers and streams in your path. We still recommend that you choose the waterproof boots (snickers), but if you are absolutely sure that there will be no rain and few water sources, you can bring your shoes. In this case, we recommend that you check your tracking on a map. See if you can cross a river, a stream, a swamp, etc. Be prepared in advance. Get a detailed map you can trust.

Clothing – Along with mandatory underwear (for cold nights), you can wear a lapel shirt (so your skin breathes). Do not wear mesh clothing unless it is made of synthetic fabric. Otherwise, you will feel warmer and that would destroy the pleasure of your trip. Bring also a summer hat with a border to cast a shadow over your eyes in the light of the midday sun (the light of morning and afternoon is healthy). Make sure the hat also has a flexible wing, to cover the back of the neck and even part of the shoulders. Sunglasses are also a necessity.

As for the rainy days, definitely pack a poncho in your backpack Only in the winter the poncho can be a bit useless, but in the other three seasons, it is an extremely useful and valuable element for a pleasant trip. You must be protected against heavy rains that may surprise you.


Clothing – To add to the list and # 8216; All seasons, we must say that your best way to stay warm is some woolen clothes. The cotton clothes soaks the sweat of the skin and every time you feel the wet parts, it feels cold and uncomfortable. In contrast, wool clothing is the best idea for winter trekking. On the other hand, wool when it is wet can still be hot. However, even if it gets wet, it dries quickly. It also does not smell (if you go for wool socks, which we strongly recommend).

Then, pack woolen clothes to pass underwear, and then the outer layer will be waterproof jacket and pants. Keep several pairs of wool socks in your backpack. Always use only a pair of socks to sleep (if you plan to go hiking for several days). Prepare to wear a pair of socks for each new day on your trip.

What to Wear When You Go Hiking: Best Tips from Hiking Experts

Of course, the list will not be complete if we do not mention the pair of gloves. You can pack several pairs. Opt for a pair of warm-coated gloves and include the thicker variant that is water and wind resistant. In case of very low freezing temperatures, you can use the thinnest and thickest pair of gloves together. That can also be a way to warm your hands if you have been exposed to the cold for more than 5-10 minutes.

Some additional tricks from experienced hikers.

If you’re new to hiking, you better start borrowing clothes and articles from friends. You do not want to spend a fortune on your first hiking adventure and realize that this is not your thing. There are also many websites to borrow useful things and articles.

You should also know and be familiar with the materials for the clothing of various equipment you must prepare. As already mentioned, you should, without exception, opt for synthetic materials, such as Lycra, Polyester and even Nylon. Almost all quality underwear is made of these, or other synthetic fabrics. They are the best in the field of hiking, hiking and mountaineering. They release heat and moisture trapped from your body and keep it comfortably warm. Nor can it be overheated, since these fabrics are breathable and lightweight.

For summer excursions (or in hot climates), a good option for you is the Techwick material. If you do, you can even wear a tight shirt. As we warned you previously, the cotton shirt (which is also very tight) during the summer (or the unstable spring and autumn) can make a bad pass and leave it cold and lead to hypothermia at lower temperatures.

When it comes to the shirt, you must remember that you will have a substantial amount of skin exposed to the sun. If you like it, definitely prepare a sunscreen with a high UV factor. In addition, you can find insects and pesky insects (buy a DEET-based insect repellent). If you are not familiar with the hiking area, there may be a risk of finding errors, since not all are as harmless as the fly or the occasional ant.

What to Wear When You Go Hiking: Best Tips from Hiking Experts

Nor should underestimate the foliage that comes in contact with your skin (especially the legs). There are some poisonous plants or other allergenic plants that can cause rashes, pain, etc. The simple and harmless example is the nettle, since it only causes discomfort in the short term. There are still plants like poison ivy that you definitely want to avoid. To do that, warm weather or not, go for the long sleeve top and pants. Protect your skin if you do not want a bad experience.

The long sleeve option is also good if you plan to hike in an irregular area, with a significant elevation. The higher you go on the mountain, the colder it will be, regardless of the season. Of course, the sun stays hot and can still burn your skin, but the air can be cold and cold. So, preferably, if you plan these types of trips, wear pants that cover your legs and stay warm and protected from plants and insects. Optionally, find pants with a zipper so they can become shorts. That is possibly the best optimal option.

We should also discuss a little more boots. They should be well complemented with a pair of tight socks. If you go through harder areas, rocky slopes, etc., find shoes that reach above the ankle. That will support the ankle and help combat trauma. If you buy those boots, definitely find high socks to cover your ankle and prevent the boots from rubbing against your skin. This can cause painful blisters and can impair your walking. If that happens, you can slow down and this will definitely change your plans ahead.

As we advise you above, get wool socks. They are thicker, warmer and more breathable. Of course, if you do not plan on hiking in such difficult conditions and you will not leave your main track, get some light. Summer trekking shoes and shorter socks.. For such conditions, socks made of synthetic material would be the best. They are much thinner and breathable again. But keep in mind that if your shoes are new and you have never tried them before, you may end up having blisters.

The socks will not be enough to protect your skin, as they are too thin. Then, use your boots or sneakers for several days, a few weeks before the walk, to relax a little and become more flexible and comfortable for your feet.

Finally, consider the fact that the size of the feet changes during the day. They swell with the heat, the nights and some other specific situations. Opt for trekking shoes that give your feet a certain amount of space inside, either so that your feet have room to move or there is enough space if your feet swell during the hours of walking (which is the usual case). If they feel tight, ask for a larger size.

Tight shoes cause pain, blisters and can affect the blood flow in your legs, which can cause your feet to cool easily. Also, sweat can not escape easily and your skin will be basically stuffed, sweaty, cold and painful. In this context, we can recommend that you try on the boots you like at the end of the day. In this way, you will make sure to have a pair of boots slightly larger than the size you would naturally buy. In addition, it will be a useful way to avoid small and uncomfortable shoes.

There is also the risk of buying too large a size, which will almost feel like your boot is beating and makes you feel uncomfortable. Tense the toes to keep the shoe close to the foot, which can also cause pain. A larger shoe size can also mean a larger opening, so it will not be tight around your ankle, and that is exactly the opposite of what you want: the boot should provide support for the ankle. Keep these details in mind.

What to Wear When You Go Hiking: Best Tips from Hiking Experts

Another good tip to keep in mind is to always be prepared with three layers of clothes. Even during the summer, the elevated areas are very cold after sunset. Thus, for an optimal clothing, the first layer should be underwear, lightweight and breathable. The second layer is thicker and much warmer clothing, such as wool or fleece. And against the wind and the rain, the outer layer arrives.

Look for the following technologies: HyVent, Gore-Tex, NeoShell and SystemThree. If the weather conditions are going to be unstable and you still want to go hiking, definitely pack all three types of clothes. If you are sure that the weather will be warm for days and weeks, underwear and wool / wool clothes will be fine.

Another vital thing to keep in mind is that there may be conditions or situations that will prolong your stay in nature or your hiking trip. Therefore, you should always be equipped with additional clothing and crucial items to survive those extra days. Do not assume that everything will be fine or that, because the weather will be perfect, nothing bad will happen. Therefore, our advice – always use extra of everything.

Extra clothes It can be invaluable in case of bad weather, which I did not expect. Depending on the level of difficulty of the trekking, prepare yourself with more of the absolute basic clothing. There are many situations in which a simple experience of mountain trekking becomes bad. A happy hiker is the prepared hiker. In general, hikers who are unprepared tend to neglect the need for additional clothing, but advanced mountaineers also tend to make the same mistake. Therefore, do not be tempted to pack the light. Avoid the risks, and take a backpack a little heavier. One day you will be grateful for that.

When it comes to the weather, here is our advice. Check in NOAA before leaving. They offer a five-day forecast. In addition, their weather reports are much more reliable than some local forecasts. A very good idea is to also check in the discussion panel, where some experienced meteorologists talk about the weather.

The proper hiking equipment is also important.

Never forget the sunscreen Y Sunglasses. They can save you a lot of pain in case of skin burns.

Also consider well the capacity of the backpack. Are you planning a hiking trip during the winter? Does your path traverse a few thousand feet above the sea level area? Do you want to go hiking for a day for recreational purposes? For a day trip, a 35-liter backpack may be enough. If your plans are for a multi-day excursion, get at least a 50-liter backpack. You need to fit everything from clothes to food and water.

Some additional tips on what jacket to choose the outer layer: there is a type of insulation called down. It is the softest feather layer found in several species of birds. Ducks are generally used mainly to produce insulation products such as jackets and sleeping bags. It is very warm and light, but it can be a bit expensive and reserved for advanced mountaineers with a lot of experience.

The disadvantage of descending insulation is that it can be easily moistened, and then it takes longer to dry than in synthetic insulators. In addition, when the down is moistened, it does not retain the heat of the body and can feel cold quickly. There is also the ethical side of this method, since the birds are kept in poor condition and their life is short and unpleasant.

To add a bit to the subject of the material, wool It is a very good option for summer excursions or in moderate climates. Used together with good quality underwear, the fleece can provide additional comfort and breathability. It is a much cheaper option, light and soft. If you find a heavier fleece, know that it is more suitable for much colder conditions. Therefore, consider the weather before making a decision. The most popular brand on the market is Polartec. Its categories for light, medium and heavy are marked as 100, 200 and 300 respectively.

What to Wear When You Go Hiking: Best Tips from Hiking Experts

On the subject of jackets, you may wonder if you need to consider buying a jacket (or wool) with a Hood. Sometimes, you may have forgotten your hat and regret it, but if you had a hood in your jacket / fleece, we would save you some later problems. In addition, companies often produce jackets with removable hoods, so if you do not like the jacket, remove it beforehand, but you should not forget the hat.

A final note is about the people who may suffer. allergies. Some people may be allergic or react against products below. If you know that you easily show allergic reactions when exposed to animal products, skins or feathers, consult your doctor or simply choose the synthetic counterpart.

In conclusion, to enjoy your hiking trip you must make many conscious and intelligent decisions regarding the optimal clothing for you. Always try on the clothes before buying them. Avoid online purchases unless you know the brand and have already used your products. Make sure everything you have bought is comfortable and that there is not a hint of # 8216; and what would happen if # 8230; This is especially true for walks that will last more than a day or two. It is true that even a two-day trek can turn bad if you made bad decisions in the store.

Alternatively, if you decide to borrow clothes, try several jackets, pants and boots. You should spend a few days putting them to see if you feel comfortable all the time, and if not, why. If you take a loan from friends, they can also give you advice and share your personal experience.

Be smart and enjoy your next hiking adventure!


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