Not bringing the right clothing for a hiking trip can be detrimental for your safety and health. Having a good clothing option for any kind of weather is a must when hiking in areas that you are not familiar with. There are some types of clothing that are better than others.
Here are a few tricks to follow when packing for a hiking trip:
- A good pair of hiking shorts are a must. If you go to a sporting goods store find water shorts that have a built in liner. They dry very quickly and are water repellent. Also, you can wear spandex or Lykra shorts under them to prevent chafing. They are tight shorts and dry fast.
- You want to try and wash your clothing as much as possible. Clean clothes are actually warmer because if you wear dirty clothes they accumulate oils and repel heat from your body. To dry your clothes you want to twist a rope in half before hanging it between two trees. Don’t forget to pack clothes pins or you can just drape your clothing items over the rope.
- During any time of year, depending on where you are hiking, you want to wear a hat for sun protection and to better resist any nasty weather that may come through. It may be more difficult in the winter months so protect your face and head at all times with some protection.
- Even wearing the right color of clothing can alter your experience on a hiking trip. If you know that you for sure are going to be getting wet, I would recommend wearing dark colors because they do tend to dry faster than lighter clothing. If you are not planning on getting wet and know that bugs will be a big issue, wear lighter colors because they repel insects better than darker colors. What I would do is pack some darker and lighter clothing to be able to determine what to wear the day of rather than guessing and being wrong. The outdoors is always changing and you never know what you are going to get.
- Also, the clothing material can be another component to take into consideration. NEVER wear all cotton- it becomes very heavy when it is wet and hiking in heavy gear is not what you want to face. The fibers dry very slowly and it holds moisture next to your skin causing that quick change in weather to go from alright to bad. Your health can be put in danger in colder situations also so be prepared and never wear cotton.
Photo: Gunnar Hildonen