The clothes that you wear determine your level of comfort while on a hiking excursion. They should allow freedom of movement, keep you warm and wick sweat away from your body. Hiking gear delivers comfort and protection. Furthermore, these clothes are combined with boots and accessories such as sun hats. Here is more about how you can pick the right hiking clothes.
Identify the correct fabric for your upper wear
Upper wear consists of your base layer, t-shirt, sweater, fleece and jacket. It covers your torso and vital organs. The fabric of your hiking upper wear determines factors such as their warmth, weight and water resistance.
During the hike, you’re bound to get hot and sweaty. Fabrics such as cotton absorb sweat but don’t wick it away from your skin. As a result, the material sticks to your body and can cause chills if the atmospheric temperature drops.
For hiking upper wear, the best fabrics wick moisture away from your skin. Some examples of these include polyester and TECHWICK. They are both synthetic in nature. These fabrics also release pent-up heat and allow your body to breathe better.
Synthetic fabrics are used to create skin-tight base layers. You can wear this layer under other hiking clothes. It will remain cool in the hot weather and keep you warm in cold weather. Best of all, this layer is incredibly light.
Another unique material for hiking clothes is Merino wool. It is a unique material that wicks away moisture from your body and gets rid of odors too! It is a hiker’s best friend when conquering colder climates.
Choose lower wear that combines form and function
Your lower wear comprises pants and shorts. You should pick lower wear depending on your hiking destination and prevalent weather. If you are going on a leisurely hike in warm weather, a pair of shorts is perfect. They are cooler and give you more freedom.
If you are traversing a bushy trail or slogging through dense jungle, pants are definitely in order. They protect you from getting scratched up by vegetation and keep your legs warm in case the temperature drops.
Your lower wear should be made of fast-drying fabric such as nylon, polyester or spandex. These fabrics keep you warm by wicking moisture away from your body. Furthermore, your lower wear should have as many pockets as possible. Cargo shorts and pants are perfect for hiking. They provide ample space for storing gadgets such as your smartphone, GPS navigator, torch, knife and compass. With lower wear, the more pockets available, the better!
Your footwear needs to be sturdy
When you’re going on a hike, it is necessary to have ideal footwear. This includes your socks and boots. No matter what the weather is like, you can expect your feet to sweat. As such, your socks should absorb this sweat and wick it away from your skin to keep your feet dry. Wear synthetic socks made of polyester or nylon. These materials are excellent at absorption and promoting airflow.
Your boots are a core component of hiking clothing. Match your boots with the expected terrain. If you intend to hike through dense jungle with wet, muddy trails, make sure that your boots contain Gore-Tex to keep them waterproof. If you intend to explore desert terrain, ensure that your boots have breathable mesh fabric sections. Moreover, if you intend to scale a mountain, wear waterproof boots with hitches for snowshoes.
As you pick some boots, make sure they provide ample space in the toe section. You should be able to wiggle your toes comfortably. This provides extra room when your feet expand due to heat. Also, make sure that your heel is not floating above the insole as you walk. If it does, you could end up with major blisters. A spacious toe box and a firm heel are signs of perfectly fitting boots.
During a hike, you are only as comfortable as the clothes you wear. Our guidelines can assist you to pick the most ideal hiking gear. Not only do hiking clothes keep you warm, but they also protect you from adverse weather and keep you alive!