How to properly dress for hiking


If you’re a fan of hiking and spending time in the wilderness, you are aware that weather conditions change there within a second and may easily catch you unprepared. Even if you keep up with a weather forecast, conditions at various heights may deviate from the predictions significantly. Feeling cold or too hot, getting wet or too sweaty, hauling soak clothes that burdens you along the way, all of this easily ruins the enjoying and fun in nature. The common saying states that there is no such a thing as a bad weather, only wrong clothing. When considering what to wear hiking, be aware that the full commodity is under the influence of internal and external aspects. Many manufacturers offering sportswear and hiking gear have all of this handled and prepared, but you should, nevertheless, learn a thing or two about proper dressing when heading for hiking.

The right fabric is essential

Rule number one would be to avoid 100% cotton in any case. Although cotton is pleasant and comfortable to wear on any other occasion, it causes trouble during hiking. Cotton items absorb sweat and get heavier afterward significantly, with the very slow process of drying. Wearing cotton clothes will make you feel as if you got caught out in the rain after a certain length of climbing. Merino wool, polyester and nylon are recommended fabrics for the base layer of your clothes. Merino wool is a great choice for basic clothing layer, as well as for socks.

Unlike average types of wool, this fabric isn’t rough or itchy, it will keep you warm without getting heavy or cold when wet and its excellent absorbing capacity will prevent moisture from sticking to your body. Marino wool is, also, perfect fabric to prevent sweating odor, especially if used for socks. Nylon is another wise choice for hiking cloths fabric since this synthetic material is water-resistant, cheap, elastic, durable and easy to pack. Due to the similar traits and possibility to wick moisture and dry quickly, polyester is as good as nylon for cloths items.

Multilayering for better comfort

The trick with wearing clothes in multiple layers while hiking is that it will keep you prepared for various climate changes, control your body temperature and sweating and enable you to purchase clothes items suitable for all seasons. Roughly speaking, organize your dressing in base, middle and outer layer. Every layer should serve a specific purpose. The base layer should wick the moisture and control your sweating, while mid layer regulates body temperature by catching heat within the fibers. The layer at the surface protects you from mild mechanical injuries, wind’s and water’s direct influence.

Remember basic rules

When considering what to wear hiking, you should stick to three main guidelines. Purchase high-quality cloths items provided by reputable sportswear manufacturers. Choose an adequate fabric with desired properties for the hiking conditions. Organize your clothes into, at least, three layers according to the fabric traits. Finally, choose the versatile garments that will serve you properly regardless of the season.


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