You want to be comfortable on your hike, but you also want to be stylish. Here are some tips on what to wear for hiking, so you can look good and feel good while you’re out on the trail.
Hiking Clothes for Men
On the whole, men can get away with wearing fewer clothes than women when hiking. This is because men generate more heat and are less likely to suffer from hypothermia. However, there are still a few basic items that every man should take hiking.
The first item on the list is a good pair of hiking boots. There are many different types of hiking boots on the market, but the most important thing is to find a pair that fits well and provides good support. Look for boots with a waterproof and breathable membrane, as well as a robust sole that will protect your feet from rocks and roots.
Next, you’ll need some base layers to keep you warm in cold weather. Merino wool is a great material for base layers because it is lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying. A merino wool t-shirt and a pair of merino wool socks will go a long way towards keeping you comfortable on the trail.
In addition to your base layers, you’ll need a few other items to complete your outfit. A waterproof jacket is essential for keeping you dry in wet weather, and hiking pants will protect your legs from scratches and scrapes. A hat or bandana will keep the sun off your face, and a pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from glare. Finally, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, lip balm, and insect repellent to keep your skin protected from the elements.
Hiking Clothes for Women
Women’s Hiking Clothing
The key to layering for comfort in a range of conditions is to use materials that work together to manage moisture. From moisture-wicking base layers and insulating mid-layers to waterproof outer layers, we have you covered—for early starts, summits, and everything in between.
Sturdy, comfortable footwear is critical for a pleasurable day hike. Avoid new shoes or those with little tread. Choose shoes or boots with good ankle support to protect your feet and ankles from injury on uneven terrain.
To prevent blisters, wear socks that fit well and wick away moisture. For added warmth and protection in cold or wet weather, wear a liner sock beneath a thicker wool sock.
For maximum flexibility and comfort, choose quick-drying pants made of synthetic or wool fabric. Avoid cotton jeans—they will hold moisture next to your skin and take forever to dry if they get wet. In warm weather, convertible pants (zip-offs) are popular because they can be worn as shorts when the temperature rises. When hiking in cold weather or in areas with tall grass or bushwhacking, consider wearing gaiters (a type of leg cover) over your pants to keep out debris.
As with pants, synthetic-blend or wool shirts are best because they wick away moisture and dry quickly if they get wet. In hot weather, choose light colors that reflect the sun’s rays; in cold weather, dark colors will absorb more heat from the sun. Long sleeves will protect your arms from the sun (and bugs). Buttoned shirts are best so you can keep the collar up to protect your neck from the sun; if you prefer T-shirts, choose ones with a collar for the same reason.
A shell layer (waterproof/breathable jacket and pants) is essential clothing for day hikers venturing into any kind of inclement weather—even if the forecast is good! A shell will also protect you from windblown sand or dirt on dusty trails; from the brush when bushwhacking; and from tree branches when scrambling underbrush—not to mention keeping you dry if you fall into a stream crossing!
Hiking Clothes for Kids
Just like with any outdoor activity, the key to comfortable kid hiking is layering. Kids will quickly overheat if they are wearing too many clothes, but they will get cold if they are not wearing enough. The key is to have your child wear several layers of clothing that can be removed or added as necessary.
On the bottom, kids should wear a pair of sweatpants or thermal underwear. If it is cold outside, you may also want to put a pair of long johns on top of the thermals. On top, kids should wear a fleece shirt or sweater and a waterproof jacket. If it is really cold outside, you may also want to add a scarf, hat, and gloves.
Kids’ hiking shoes should be comfortable and broken in before you hit the trail. You don’t want your child to be dealing with blisters while you are trying to enjoy the hike! Make sure that the shoes have good tread and support and that your child’s socks fit well inside them.
Hiking Clothes for Dogs
Dogs hiking clothes should be comfortable, durable and offer a good range of motion. When picking out a shirt or jacket, make sure the fabric is breathable and quick drying. A lot of companies make specialized canine hiking gear with all the same features you would want in your own gear.
Many dogs hike in their regular collar and leash, but there are also harnesses made specifically for hiking. These have extra padding in the chest and belly areas for comfort and stability, and some even have a built-in bowl for water. If your dog will be hiking in warm weather, consider getting a cooling vest or bandana to help them stay comfortable on the trail.
Hiking Clothes for Hot Weather
Hot weather hiking presents different challenges than hiking in cool or cold weather. In hot weather, you need to be more concerned about staying cool and comfortable, and avoiding heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. The key to staying cool when hiking in hot weather is to wear clothing that will keep your skin dry and allow your body to breathe.
Here are some tips for choosing the right clothes for hot weather hiking:
-Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen. Avoid synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon, which will trap heat and moisture against your skin.
-Dress in layers so that you can peel off clothing as the temperature rises.
-Wear a wide-brimmed hat or visor to protect your head and face from the sun.
-Apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin, and reapply it regularly throughout the day.
-Carry plenty of water, and drink often even if you’re not thirsty.
Hiking Clothes for Cold Weather
When you’re hiking in cold weather, dress in layers so you can adapt to changes in temperature. You want your outer layer to be windproof and waterproof to protect you from the elements. A fleece or thermal top will provide insulation, and a Woolen hat will keep your head and ears warm. Gloves and a scarf will help keep you cozy, too. In really cold weather, you might even want to consider wearing tights or thermal underwear under your pants to keep your legs warm.
Hiking Clothes for Rainy Weather
Wearing the right clothes while hiking is important for both comfort and safety. If you will be hiking in rainy weather, be sure to dress in layers and choose materials that will help keep you dry.
A waterproof outer layer is essential to keep your clothes from getting soaked through. Look for a jacket or rain poncho that is breathable, so you won’t get too sweaty while hiking. You may also want to wear waterproof pants or rain gaiters to keep your legs dry.
Under your waterproof layers, dress in warm, quick-drying clothing. Wool or synthetic materials are best, as they will help wick away moisture. Avoid cotton fabrics, as they tend to hold onto moisture and can make you feel cold and clammy.
Be sure to wear sturdy, comfortable shoes with good traction. In wet weather, it is especially important to have shoes that will grip the ground and help prevent slips and falls.
Hiking Clothes for Snowy Weather
In cold or snowy weather, layering is key to staying comfortable while hiking. Thermals made of wool or synthetic materials are a good first layer as they will wick sweat away from your body and keep you warm even when wet. A fleece or woolen sweater is a good second layer, and a waterproof jacket is essential for the outer layer. If you will be hiking for long periods of time or in deep snow, you may also want to invest in some snow pants. For your feet, make sure to wear socks made of wool or another material that will wick away moisture, and consider wearing two pairs if it is very cold. Waterproof boots with good traction are also a must in snowy conditions.