What To Wear Hiking: How to Choose the Right Clothes

Hiking is, of course, a joyous adventurous activity regardless of the destination. You can choose to go through the forest or along mountain trails. In any instance, the weather may be a friend or an adversary. To prevent the latter scenario, you’d be wise to stock up on additional clothing. Even in the summer, hypothermia and frostbite are possible. If you become soaked as a result of a severe downpour and are unprepared, the wind chill factor might create major issues.

We’re sure you’d like to avoid all of that and instead have an enjoyable and memorable time the next time you go hiking. We’ve developed a list of apparel items that will keep you comfortable on your next hike. Additionally, you can get really valuable and extensive information about all sorts of apparel and shoes.

Choosing clothes depending on the season

The majority of things in this section may end up in both winter and summer categories, which we will note. Nonetheless, certain goods are definitely important for the season’s special requirements. It is possible that it will rain while you are out camping. Therefore, for further information, read our article on how to pick the finest rain hunting gear.

What To Wear Hiking All Seasons

Waterproof boots – These are necessary regardless of the season in which you hike. Water is almost everywhere regardless of the weather conditions (unless you decide to hike in the desert). During wet seasons such as spring and fall, the waterproof boots will keep you warm and even protect you from frostbite. Avoid purchasing inexpensive boots. Rather than that, visit your nearest hiking and climbing store and inquire about suitable all-season waterproof footwear. If you’re still undecided, we have some excellent evaluations of the finest hiking boots that you should read.

Apparel – Whatever the temperature, carry a couple sets of underwear with short and long sleeves in your rucksack. Lycra or polyester underwear is the greatest choice since it keeps the body warm, allows sweat to escape freely, and allows the skin to breathe. Even in the summer, evenings may be rather cool.

Additionally, the windproof and water-resistant jacket is critical. Water may be a severe element in nature — sudden rain, excessive moisture in the air, powerful water currents caused by melting snow, and so on. The waterproof jacket and pants provide the finest protection. Being windproof is particularly critical, as the wind chill effect may rapidly drop your body temperature.

It’s also critical to understand how layers of clothing operate, which is why you should read our essay on the subject.

What To Wear Hiking Summer

Summer Boots (sneakers) – If you’re planning a vacation to the mountains, you could encounter less rivers and streams. While we still recommend waterproof boots (snickers), if you are certain there will be no rain and minimal water sources, you may bring your shoes. In this scenario, we recommend that you check your route on a map. Check to see whether you come across a river, creek, or marsh. Prepare ahead of time. Obtain a comprehensive map on which you may trust.

Clothing – In addition to the required undergarments (for cold evenings), you can safely bring a flappy shirt (to let your skin breathe). Avoid wearing tights unless they are made of synthetic fabric. Otherwise, you will feel hotter, which will ruin the enjoyment of your trip. Additionally, bring a summer hat with a rim to provide shade for your eyes from the midday sun (the morning and evening light is healthy). Assemble a hat with a floppy brim large enough to cover the back of the neck and even a portion of the shoulders. Sunglasses are also required.

For rainy days, it’s a good idea to take a poncho in your backpack. While a poncho is rather worthless in the winter, it is an incredibly useful and important tool for any other three seasons. You must be shielded against unexpected downpours.

Winter Clothes – Adding to the ‘All seasons’ category, we should mention that the best method to remain warm is with some wool clothing. Cotton garments wick away perspiration from your skin, and each time your skin comes into contact with moist areas, you feel chilly and uneasy. Rather than that, wool clothing is the ideal option for winter hiking. Additionally, wool may retain its warmth when wet. Even when wet, it dries rapidly. Additionally, it does not retain odor (if you go for wool socks, which we strongly advise).

Pack wool clothing to wear over the underwear, and then the waterproof jacket and pants as the outer layer. Maintain a supply of wool socks in your bag. Always sleep with a single pair of socks (if you plan to go hiking for several days). Prepare to use a different pair of socks for each new day of your journey.

What To Wear Hiking Winter

Naturally, the list would be incomplete without including the pair of gloves. Pack multiple pairs. Choose a pair of thin-layered gloves that are warm and feature a thicker variety that is water- and wind-resistant. In the event of really cold weather, you can combine the thinner and thicker pairs of gloves. This may also be used to re-warm your hands if they have been exposed to the cold for more than 5-10 minutes.

To ensure you have everything, check out our list of winter hiking essentials. This list was compiled by experts in outdoor activities, making it quite credible.

Several more tips from seasoned hikers

If you’re new to hiking, you’re better off borrowing clothing and equipment from friends. You don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on your first hiking experience just to discover it’s not for you. Additionally, there are several websites dedicated to lending useful things and products.

Additionally, you must be aware of and conversant with the materials used to construct the various pieces of equipment and clothes that you must prepare. As previously said, you should always select for synthetic fabrics such as Lycra, Polyester, or even Nylon. Almost all high-quality underwear is constructed from these or similar synthetic textiles. They are the pinnacle of hiking, trekking, and climbing. They dissipate your body’s stored heat and moisture and keep you comfortably comfortable. Additionally, you cannot overheat, since these fabrics are breathable and lightweight.

For summer trekking (or in warm weather), the Techwick material is an excellent choice. You can even wear a tight t-shirt if you want to. As mentioned previously, wearing a cotton t-shirt (that is also a tight one) throughout the summer (or the unpredictable spring and fall) might leave you feeling uncomfortable and even cause hypothermia at lower temperatures.

When it comes to the shirt, keep in mind that a significant quantity of flesh will be exposed to the sun. If you’re OK with that, bring some sunscreen with a high UV factor. Additionally, you may come across bugs other vexing insects (buy some DEET-based insect repellent). If you are unfamiliar with the hiking region, you may meet pests, since not all insects are as innocuous as the fly or the rare ant.

Shirt for Hiking

Additionally, you should not disregard the foliage that comes into touch with your skin (especially the legs). Certain toxic or allergic plants can cause rashes, discomfort, and other adverse reactions. The nettle is a simple and harmless example, as it produces only temporary irritation. There are still some plants, such as poison ivy, that you should avoid. To do this, regardless of the temperature, choose for a long-sleeved top and slacks. Protect your skin if you do not wish to have an unpleasant experience.

The long-sleeved choice is also appropriate if you want to hike in a rough terrain with substantial elevation changes. The higher you travel up the mountain, regardless of the season, the colder it becomes. While the sun remains intense and can still cause sunburn, the air can be brisk and cool. Therefore, if you are planning such travels, bring pants that cover your legs, keep you warm, and protect you from plants and insects. Alternatively, look for pants that zip off to transform into shorts. That is quite probably the ideal choice.

Additionally, we should explore the boots in greater detail. They must be paired with a pair of well-fitting socks. If you’re going over more rugged terrain, such as rocky hills, pick footwear that extends above the ankle. This provides support for the ankle and protects it from stress. If you purchase such boots, be sure to get high socks to protect your ankle and prevent the boot from rubbing against your flesh. This might result in painful blisters and affect your walking ability. If that occurs, you may find yourself slowing down, which will undoubtedly alter your future objectives.

As previously recommended, obtain wool socks. They are more substantial, warm, and breathable. Of course, if you’re not planning on hiking in such adverse circumstances and will remain on the main trail, invest in some lightweight summer trekking footwear and shorter socks. Socks made of synthetic material are recommended for such situations. They are significantly thinner and, once again, breathable. However, be careful that if your sneakers are brand new and have never been worn before, you may get blisters.

Because the socks are very thin, they will be insufficient to protect your skin. Therefore, several days before trekking, use your boots or shoes to allow them to loosen up and become more flexible and comfy on your feet.

Finally, keep in mind that the size of the feet fluctuates during the day. They expand in warmer temperatures, in the nights, and in a few other limited circumstances. Choose hiking shoes that have some space inside for your feet – either to allow for movement or to provide extra space if your feet swell after hours of walking (which is the usual case). If they feel too small, request a larger size.

Tight shoes cause discomfort, blisters, and can reduce blood flow to your legs, which can easily result in your feet becoming chilly. Additionally, the perspiration cannot quickly evaporate, leaving your skin packed, hot, chilly, and unpleasant. In this case, we recommend that you try on the boots you’re interested in towards the end of the day. This manner, you’ll ensure that you get a pair of boots that is somewhat larger than the size you would normally purchase. Additionally, this will serve as a good strategy to prevent wearing small, uncomfortable shoes. To understand how to properly break-in your boots for more comfortable hiking, visit our article on the subject.

Additionally, there is a chance of purchasing an incorrect size, which will feel nearly as if your boot is flapping and will keep you uncomfortable. It puts tension on your toes in order to maintain the shoe tight to your foot, which might result in pain. A larger shoe size may also mean a larger opening, which means the boot will not be too tight around your ankle, which is precisely what you want — the boot must give ankle support. Take note of these particulars.

Boots for Hiking

Another piece of sound advise is to always have three layers of clothing on hand. Even in the summer, elevation regions get quite chilly following sunset. Thus, for appropriate clothing, the first layer should be light and breathable underwear. The second layer consists of heavier, more warmer clothes, such as wool or fleece. And then there’s the outer layer, which protects against wind and rain.

Look for HyVent, Gore-Tex, NeoShell, and SystemThree technologies. If the weather forecast indicates inclement weather, but you still want to go hiking, carry all three types of clothes. If you’re certain the weather will be warm for days or weeks, the underwear and wool/fleece clothes will suffice.

Another critical point to remember is that some conditions or circumstances may extend your time in nature or on your hiking excursion. As a result, you must always be prepared with additional clothing and other goods in order to survive those additional days out there. Don’t assume that because the weather is wonderful, nothing will go wrong. Therefore, our advise is to always carry an extra of everything. Additionally, be prepared with a few additional goods that may come in handy if things go wrong. To that end, check out our post on hiking basics — you’ll discover all you need to know about being prepared.

Extra clothing might be helpful in the event of unexpected harsh weather. Prepare with more than the bare minimum clothing, depending on the level of difficulty of the walk. There are several instances when a pleasant mountain walking experience degrades. A prepared hiker is a happy hiker. Generally, unprepared hikers overlook the necessity for additional clothes, but skilled mountaineers do as well. Therefore, resist the need to pack lightly. Avoid unnecessary danger by carrying a little heavier bag. You will be grateful for that one day.

Regarding the weather, here is our suggestion. Before departing, contact NOAA. They provide a 5-day prediction. Additionally, their weather reports are far more dependable than those provided by certain local forecasters. Additionally, it is a good idea to check the discussion board, where some professional meteorologists debate the weather.

Additionally, it is critical to have the proper hiking equipment.
Never leave home without your sunscreen and eyewear. They can alleviate considerable discomfort in the event of a skin burn.

Additionally, evaluate the backpack’s capacity. Are you planning a winter hiking trip? Is your hiking route located in a region that is a few thousand feet above sea level? Do you wish to go on a day hike only for pleasure purposes? A 35-liter backpack may be sufficient for a one-day journey. If you want to hike for several days, invest in at least a 50-liter backpack. You must cram everything in, from clothing to food and water. If you’re still unsure about which backpack to choose, check out our reviews of the best hiking backpacks — they should help!

Additional tips on selecting an outer layer jacket – down is a form of insulation. It is the softer feather layer that many bird species have. Generally, ducks are used to generate down for insulating items such as jackets and sleeping bags. It is extremely warm and light, but may be somewhat costly, and is thus only recommended for expert, highly experienced mountaineers.

The disadvantage of down insulation is that it is prone to become wet, and once wet, it takes longer to dry than synthetic insulators. Additionally, when down becomes wet, it loses its ability to retain body heat, and you might rapidly get chilly. There is also an ethical component to this practice, as birds are kept in substandard circumstances and have a brief and unhappy lifespan, to put it mildly.

To add to the material discussion, fleece is an excellent alternative for summer trekking or in mild climates. When used in conjunction with warm, high-quality underwear, the fleece may offer comfort and breathability. It is a far less expensive choice that is both light and soft. If you come across a thicker fleece, keep in mind that it is best suited to considerably colder circumstances. Therefore, consider the weather before making a choice. Polartec is the most popular brand on the market. Their low, medium, and heavy categories are denoted by the numbers 100, 200, and 300.


Concerning coats, you may be wondering whether there is a reason to consider purchasing a jacket (or fleece) with a hood. Occasionally, you may have forgotten your hat and regretted it, but if your jacket/fleece had a hood, you would have avoided some later difficulty. Additionally, firms frequently manufacture coats with detachable hoods, so if you’re not fond of your jacket’s hood, remove it first, but don’t forget the hat.

Finally, a word regarding those who may be allergic. Certain individuals may be allergic to or have an adverse reaction to down products. If you are aware that you are prone to allergic reactions when exposed to animal products, hair, or feathers, visit your physician or just choose for the synthetic equivalent.

To summarize, in order to enjoy your hiking vacation, you must make several mindful and prudent selections regarding the most appropriate attire for you. Always try on clothing before purchasing. Avoid internet buying unless you are familiar with the brand and have tried their items previously. Ascertain that everything you purchase is supremely comfy and that there is not the slightest suggestion of ‘what if…’ This is particularly true for hikes lasting longer than a day or two. It is true that even a two-day excursion can devolve into disaster if poor decisions are made at the shop. Consider our assessments of the best hunting clothing for your protection.

Alternatively, if you choose to borrow clothing, try on a variety of coats, jeans, and boots. You should spend a few days wearing them to see if they provide constant comfort and, if not, why not. If you borrow from friends, they may also be able to offer guidance and share personal experiences.

Therefore, be prudent and have fun on your next trekking expedition!