Hiking Clothes and What to wear

Spending time in nature has multiple health benefits. Time spent outdoors improves our physical, mental and social well-being. Being exposed to nature reduces stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol, a Japanese study shows. 

Another research study has indicated that nature has restorative influences on our mental health, such as affecting a more positive emotional state. 

When it comes to outdoor activities, hiking is a popular option. It improves cardiovascular fitness, engages the muscles, and provides stress relief, according to Harvard Medical School. And, let’s not forget all these spectacular sights. 

So, there are no excuses for wasting your time scrolling different social media channels all day long! But before you immerse yourself in hiking adventures, you need to prepare well and prevent unpredictable elements from spoiling your fun outdoor activities.

The first thing every newbie hiker asks themselves is how to dress appropriately. 

Your hiking outfit greatly depends on weather conditions. 

Nevertheless, there are two general rules when it comes to hiking attire: dress in layers and always wear moisture-wicking apparel that doesn’t retain moisture and allows it to evaporate faster.

Next-to-Skin Layers

There is no need to put on heavy base layers when you are hiking in summer. If you are planning to hike in cold weather, putting on heavy base layers makes sense.

Cotton and other natural fabrics are a big no-no when they’re right next to your skin as they hold onto the excessive moisture leaving your clothes damp. Cotton is inefficient when it comes to wicking and drying. 

The same goes for hiking in rainy weather. You should avoid cotton as it soaks up sweat and moisture, stays wet and makes you feel cold.

When choosing hiking gear, keep in mind moisture-wicking materials. Opt for synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon and natural ones like merino wool. What sets them apart from other fabrics is their wicking and quick-drying ability which makes them ideal for next-to-skin layers. 

Insulating (Mid) Layer

Layering is the best choice as it allows you to remove the excess clothes when you warm up and to put some extra clothes when it gets chilly.

Always pick the hiking wear that keeps you warm but dry. 

Again, moisture-wicking materials are essential. 

Short sleeves and shorts are a great option when hiking in warm weather. 

Also, when things get a bit chilly a warm top or jacket like polyester fleece works great. In case it gets really cold, have a lightweight puffy jacket ready! 

These jackets compress well and therefore fit easily in your backpack. 

Outer Shell Layer

To be properly prepared for any hike, one of the most important items are high-quality hiking boots or trail shoes. The right pair of snow boots should withstand the harsh weather and protect your feet from freezing.

 If you’re in for rugged terrain, sturdy footwear will protect you from rocks and roots while providing support. 

When it comes to the shell layer, think warm, waterproof and windproof.

 Also, you want outdoor apparel that won’t tear easily. Zip-off pants are popular among hikers as they can have both pants and shorts depending on the temperature. 

Cargo pants and shorts with functional pockets allow stashing things.

If there is a chance of rain pack a waterproof and breathable rain jacket.

A Few More Tips

Protect the head.

A brimmed hat shields your face and neck from the sun in hot weather, while an insulated cap defends your body from losing heat through your head. 

As for socks opt for wool or synthetic, high-tech materials that wick away moisture. 

Waterproof gloves are your best friends when hiking in biting cold.

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen! 

Staying close to nature and being active undoubtedly has many health benefits. A positive impact on vitamin D levels, improving metabolism rate and building a more positive outlook on life are just some of them.  Make sure to include waterproof, breathable outdoor apparel with moisture management abilities to keep you comfortable in a variety of conditions and you are good to go!

 


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