If you’re new to hiking or want to expand your knowledge of how to best prepare yourself for a hike, you’ve come to the right spot. In this post, we’ll discuss the 3 best tips for dressing for your next hike so that you can spend more time smiling and less time worrying. Let’s get started!
There is a common saying in the outdoor industry that offers everything that you need to know about how to dress for hiking: cotton kills. Now, we don’t mean that it literally constricts around your body and takes you down like a Burmese python! On the contrary, cotton will slowly deplete your body of one of your most valuable resources: heat.
Cotton pulls heat from your body when it gets wet. Moisture (whether that be from precipitation or sweat) quickly gets absorbed by cotton. That moisture will ultimately lead to you losing body heat because of conduction. The cold air touches the wet material and exchanges heat from your body into the atmosphere!
The best fibers you can wear while hiking contain no cotton at all. In fact, polyester, nylon, and wool are some of the best fibers you can wear due to the fact that they are moisture wicking and also retain their insulation properties even when wet.
Layers, Layers, Layers
The next most important thing to keep in mind before you hit the trail is to bring plenty of warm layers. That sunny, warm weather can quickly change into a cold thunderstorm in a matter of minutes, so it’s important to have something in your backpack that you can throw on in a hurry to stay safe from the elements.
The most common layers you can bring include:
- A fleece jacket
- A rain coat
These two layers are the warmest and least bulky items you can bring with you on your hike to keep you safe. And remember, only buy these items if they are made from polyester, nylon, or wool!
Foot Ware Considerations
Another incredibly important part of your hiking clothing system is your foot ware. Let’s think about your foot ware as a system rather than just shoes. The two pieces that go into your foot ware system are:
- Foot ware
Your socks and the actual foot ware you will use on the trail work as a team. Again, the most important thing about your socks is that they are made out of a synthetic fiber or wool. And as far as foot ware is concerned, buy a set of boots or trail runners that properly fit your feet and are comfortable to walk around in.
A pro tip here is to try to buy a set of foot ware that is a size above what you usually wear for your street shoes. This will help give your feet room as they swell throughout your hike, which ultimately will help you avoid blisters or hotspots!
Alrighty! We’ve covered a lot, so let’s recap real quick. Remember to wear the right fibers when you hit the trail so that moisture doesn’t get absorbed into your clothing. Bring plenty of layers so that you’re able to deal with the unpredictable changes in the weather. And always be sure that you wear a sturdy, yet comfortable set of foot ware so that your feet are comfortable and protected from start to finish.
If you’re looking to pick up some fantastic clothing for your next hiking trip, be sure to check out Naviskin. We’ve curated a fantastic arrangement of outdoor clothing that will help you build out your hiking wardrobe so you can hike in pretty much any weather condition you encounter. From tops to bottoms, we’ve got it all!