Clothes for hiking
Hikers always have too many questions and doubts when it comes to what clothes to wear for hiking. Because of weather conditions, which dramatically change over the course of the day, choosing the right clothes is a very important part of the process.
So, when venturing into the hills and mountains you should take suitable protective clothing for every conditions. Hopefully this list will show you exactly what we mean by things like soft-shell climbing pants, insulated climbing parkas, shell pants and balaclavas. Follow the links to the different products for specific examples of what we're talking about.
Equipment for your upper body
The base layer works best when snuggly fitting, meaning some stretch is needed in the fabric. Worn next to the skin, its main function is to manage the moisture from sweating. Moisture management is important, because as soon as activity levels drop, the cooling effect of moisture is no longer desirable. Conventional cotton clothing is disastrous if used as an active base layer because it absorbs and retains moisture.
In colder conditions a thicker base layer provides extra insulation, whilst an important consideration for summer is the level of sun protection factor (SPF), as often the base layer will be worn as the only layer.
For this base layer you'll need wicking T-shirt, 100% breathable polyester, for hot days tou can choose light colors. Your non-cotton workout shirts are great for this.
And also we recommend light synthetic long-sleeved shirt with hyactive technology, offering warmth and moisture transport in warmer conditions.
The middle layer provides the main source of insulation, which helps prevent the loss of heat. It does this by trapping air within the insulating fabric, which typically might be either a woven fleece material or synthetic fibre wadding. A good middle layer will allow moisture from the base layer to travel through easily, and retain much of its insulating properties even when damp.
The outer layer does this, by providing a windproof and waterproof barrier. Wind will strip the warm air from insulating layers unless it is protected against, so this is one of the most important parts of the clothing system. Protection from rain and snow is also important, as soaked inner layers are heavier, less comfortable and less efficient as insulators. Again, the outer layer ideally needs to allow moisture to escape through venting and the use of breathable fabrics.
A good hood is a valuable feature, allowing visibility whilst protecting the head and preventing the ingress of water. Pockets which can be accessed when wearing a rucksack or harness are useful, as is a pocket big enough to hold a folded map.
We recommend waterproof/breathable storm shell jacket with hood. This should be a simple shell, not a heavy ski jacket. If the weather is good, this layer probably won't even leave your pack, so make it LIGHT!" .
For your lower body
You'll need a pair of gore-tex windproof, waterproof and breathable trousers. Some medium weight polar fleece trousers, some medium weight thermal leggings, a pair of walking trousers (not cotton), some nylon shorts (again, not cotton) quick-drying and finally, some lightweight long-johns.
Soft-shell climbing pants - You will wear these everyday of your climb or trek. If there's one thing you purchase for your trip this should be it. Non-insulated Schoeller-type fabric is best.
Waterproof/ breathable storm shell pants - Gore-Tex or equivalent material. These pants need side-zips to allow you to put them without taking off your crampons and boots.
For your hands
You will need wind-stopper ventilate and windproof material, excellent warmth retention.
Light liner gloves and Mid-weight Glove
For your head
You’ll need a heavy weight warm hat or balaclava, a lightweight warm hat and a face mask to protect yourself from the wind. A lightweight balaclava fits best under a helmet. Take a sun cat, 100% UV protection glacier glasses and a headlamp with batteries and bulbs.
For your feet
Lightweight, hiking boots, breathable and waterproof hiking boots give you the support you need for extended trips with a heavy pack.