It is hard to plan what to wear for a hike. Even when I think I have it right, I still find that I need to adjust my wardrobe a little bit once I get to the trail. For example, it may be cooler or hotter than I thought, or windy when I thought it wouldn’t be.
Part of the problem is that I have a two hour drive to get to most trails and the weather where I live is vastly different than the weather near the mountains. So I always feel as if I need to adjust things once I get there. So, I just take with me a bunch of options so I can change things around if I need to.
So, I understand that choosing the right hiking clothing is a bit of an art. Each hike is different and everyone’s bodies are different. There are a lot of factors involved with choosing the right clothes.
Don’t fall into the trap of being unprepared for your hike! Here are some factors to consider when getting dressed:
Weather. Check the weather on the trail before you get dressed so you can get a close approximation of what you need.
Layering. Another key aspect of dressing properly is to be sure to layer. Even in the summer, layering is a good thing. For instance, if you think it may rain, you will want to put a hard shell in your pack to throw on if it starts getting wet.
Gear. Another important part of dressing for your hike is to make sure you have the right hiking gear such as gators (to keep mud and snow out of your boots) and the right shoes and socks.
Fashion. Yes, it is possible to find cute hiking clothes if that is something you care about. I just tried on a dress in special material that you can hike in, and I love using workout skirts.
I thought I would share with you some of the best hiking clothes, including hiking clothes for women, that you can choose from. Most outdoor specialty clothing choices are made of special materials that are designed to maximize comfort. Here are some of my top choices (they’re all links to Amazon):
- Columbia Sportswear Silver Ridge Convertible Pants – Extended – Convertible pants are a must have! Some days, I begin a hike in the cool early morning and then get hot enough to want to where shorts. With these pants, I can zipper the “pants” part off, leaving just the “shorts”.
- Thorlo Men’s Coolmax Lt Hiker Crew Socks – I am so addicted to these socks, I actually wear them every day – not just on hikes. Yes, I wear them under my fashionable shoes!
- Columbia Sportswear Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Short – These shorts are so practical, they’re perfect for summer hikes.
- Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Short Sleeve Shirt – Everyone needs a shirt like this of hiking – it’s so versatile!
- Columbia Women’s Sandy River Cargo Short – I understand these are useful so I keep them around. But truthfully, I prefer to wear regular hiking pants or convertible pants.
- Columbia Women’s Bug Shield Long Sleeve Shirt – Where I hike, bugs are a problem. That’s why I love this shirt – it really does help!
- Wigwam Unisex Merino Comfort Hiker 2-Pack Socks – I love all hiking socks and can’t live without them!
- Exofficio Women’s Bugs Away Lumen Pullover Hoody – I haven’t always been a fan of hoodies but I’ve recently come to terms with how practical they are. The fact that this hoody repels bugs is an even bigger bonus.
- Coleman PVC/Nylon Rain Suit – I got stuck in a really bad rain storm during one of my hikes. Good thing I planned ahead and packed a rain suit! I also like to go deep sea fishing in suits like this – those days can get really wet.
- Coghlan Bug Jacket – This bug jacket is a good alternative to the hoody I mentioned above.
As you can see, standard hiking clothes include socks, lightweight pants or shorts, shirts made of special sweat wicking material, and an outer layer to keep out bugs or moisture.