What to Wear Hiking? Whether it's a light day hike or a multi-day tour in extreme weather - hiking clothing is largely responsible for your well-being while hiking. Shoes that don't fit, underwear that sticks to the body and uncomfortable outerwear turn a relaxed tour into a nightmare after only a short time. This article will tell you what clothes you should wear for hiking?
Hiking shoes protect the foot and give it support. In no case should it be bought too small, because no one can enjoy a hike if the shoe pinch. At the same time, a good hiking shoe is not for everyone. Everyone should choose for himself the shoe model in which he feels most comfortable.
Hiking shoes are available in leather and with plastic coating. Which upper material is chosen depends on one's own taste. However, it should always be breathable. The shape should also be considered. For mountain tours, a higher shaft is needed to protect the ankles. Otherwise, it is rather the own preferences that are decisive.
Many hiking shoes and boots today are equipped with a Gore-Tex membrane. It is the middle layer in the shoe that lies between the upper and the inner layer.
The optimal jacket for a hike is rainproof and yet breathable because especially in the mountains the weather is very changeable. Pockets and additional compartments create space for small items of daily use such as snacks, cell phones,s or cameras. Also, the hood should not be neglected. Comfortable with the right fit, a good hood can be closed well in heavy rain without restricting the field of vision. Softshell jackets are comfortable, water and wind-resistant jackets that stretch and fit the body well. Hardshell is often found in the so-called functional jackets. This clothing consists of several layers of film and is in no way inferior to rain jackets. Hardshells are preferable to softshells for hiking in extreme weather conditions. The only disadvantages are the rustling and the less good body fit.
Information about the water column refers only to the material. In heavy rain, it is not uncommon for the water to penetrate through the seams. An additional thin rain jacket is useful, especially if the functional jacket is new and has not yet been put to the test in the rain.
A good pair of hiking pants are breathable and sturdy. They should be wide enough so that in cold weather another pair of pants can be pulled underneath. Jeans and leather pants are only suitable to a limited extent. Pants made of synthetic materials such as polyester or mixed fabrics of cotton and polyester have prevailed. Whether they are short, half-length, or long depends on the application. In changeable weather, zip-off pants, which can be converted into shorts by detaching the trouser legs, prove their worth. Experienced mountain hikers often wear knee breeches in combination with knee socks in summer.
In cool weather, a warm sweater also belongs in your luggage. Fleece sweaters or jackets have the advantage of keeping you very warm while being lightweight. Even better warm wool sweaters. These make themselves however with the weight noticeably.
Shirts have the advantage that they are thin and dry quickly. When temperatures rise, they can be unbuttoned and rolled up. However, they should not be too tight and be easy to tuck into your pants without slipping out when you move. Shirts and blouses made of functional fabrics are particularly breathable and do not stick to the skin at higher temperatures.
Stockings for hiking should wick moisture to the outside. Only hiking socks made of synthetic fabric can do that. If you don't like the feel of these socks at all, you can put very thin cotton socks underneath. In cold weather, additional thin wool socks are pulled over. At the latest now sufficiently large hiking boots prove themselves.
Gaiters protect feet and lower legs from external influences. Especially in snow, rain and swampy terrain, they prevent moisture from penetrating. On mountain tours with crampons and areas with thorny undergrowth, they protect against damage to clothing and injuries. They should not be too wide, because then they slip during movement. A full-length zipper and a strap under the sole of the shoe reinforce support and comfort.
Underwear must also be breathable because the best hiking clothes are of no use if the underwear, which lies directly against the body, makes you sweat. Underwear made of microfiber does not absorb moisture but conducts it to the outside. Here you should not save at the wrong end but select functional underwear.
Cap / Gloves
Mittens keep you warmer but restrict fine motor skills. As an alternative, finger gloves with a mitten cover that can be folded back if necessary are suitable. As warm as wool gloves are, they quickly get soaked in the rain. Water-repellent and well-insulated gloves are preferable to all others. Thinsulate gloves are only suitable for light tours in the low minus range. Hats must primarily keep warm without slipping. Breathability is more important than water-repellent properties because, in the event of rain, the hood can also be pulled over. For winter hikes, caps with face protection are well suited. An all-rounder is the Buff, a cloth in the form of a tube, which can be used as a scarf, balaclava, headband and more.
For tours in summer and especially in the high mountains, sun protection is a must. Sunscreen should have SPF 50+. Headgear with UV protection and neck protection makes sense not only for people who are sensitive to the sun. Sunscreen not only protects against sunburn and sunscreen but also prevents skin cancer. As early as 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) attributed the greatest risk of cancer to UV radiation. More information is provided by Cancer Aid on its website.
Summary of what to wear on a hiking
For one-off and very light tours in pleasant weather, no one needs to equip themselves completely with hiking clothing. Comfortable shoes, breathable underwear and a good rain jacket for emergencies are sufficient.
But those who want to go hiking more often will benefit from suitable functional clothing. As a beginner, it is easier to choose your hiking clothing from a manufacturer such as Cycorld to choose. This has the advantage that the individual garments are already coordinated in their function. Experienced hikers, on the other hand, already have more experience and can best put together their own clothing.