Essential Hiking Clothes You Should Bring Along On Your Trip

Written by Wendy Tucker

Hiking is a fun and healthy activity, there’s no doubt about that. However, many people tend to underestimate what a hiking trip is or what it might become. Hiking can be full of unexpected events to say the least, especially if you’re considering a longer and more demanding trip like hiking through a dense forest or scaling a mountain slope.

If that’s the case, you must dress for the occasion or what is usually quite a pleasant expedition, can turn into a real nightmare for you. So why ruin a perfectly good and relaxing hike into a disaster just because you didn’t dress properly? That’s a rookie mistake you should avoid at all costs. With that in mind, here are a few essential hiking clothes you should bring on your trip.

A proper jacket


Prolonged and demanding hiking trips means you’ll run into pretty much any weather conditions you can imagine. If you think that just because it’s the middle of the summer that you won’t need a proper jacket, boy you’re in for an unpleasant surprise.

Consider this. The higher the altitude, for example, the colder it gets. Why else would there be snow on mountain tops all year-round? Moreover, the denser the forest the more shade there is, the more shade the higher the humidity will be and you’ll be drenched even if there’s not a single raindrop for miles around.

Therefore, checkout sites like Cortazu and look for proper hard shell jackets so you don’t end up freezing to death or getting pneumonia. Better safe than sorry and even if you don’t end up needing a jacket, to begin with, it’s very important that you bring one along.

Sturdy pants


Obviously, you need a good pair of pants when going on a hike unless you’re an exhibitionist. If that’s the case, you won’t have much fun running through bushes and branches.

Sturdy pants are a must-have on hikes because they not only offer great comfort and agility for you to move freely but they also offer a layer of protection against thorny and edgy stuff that grows in nature.

The ones with multiple pockets are a great choice because you might need extra stuff that won’t or shouldn’t fit in your backpack. In addition, always consider the weather. It might be warm enough for shorts or light pants but that might change suddenly and you’ll end up freezing. Moreover, if the terrain gets harsh, a pair of sturdy pants may mean a difference between just a mild bruise and a serious open wound should you stumble and fall down.

A pair of boots


Boots are your best friend on a hiking trip. Without them, hiking is much more unpleasant than you can possibly imagine, especially on rough terrain. Comfy, sturdy boots designed for hiking purposes should be your top priority.

They offer stability, protection and comfort when hiking through any kind of terrain. If you think sneakers will do just fine then you must really hate your feet or you feet will end up hating you, it all depends.

Therefore, never underestimate how demanding a hiking trip can be on your legs and feet and how much beating they will take unless you have a great pair of boots.

Aside from boots, socks are your next best friend. Wool socks, in particular, offer added cushioning to absorb impact from hiking. Today, you have waterproof and anti-bacterial socks that will protect you from extreme elements.

A hat


During a hiking trip, a hat can be a very convenient piece of clothing to have. You may not think of it as such but it doesn’t matter what you think. Jokes aside, always bring a hat with you no matter what the weather conditions may be.

You need to protect your head or you may end up in trouble. For example, you’re on a hike during a sunny day. It’s warm but there’s a gentle breeze that cools you off. Next thing you know, you’re dizzy, nauseous and are about to go down like a log.

What you didn’t notice is that you got a heat stroke. Don’t let the subjective feeling fool you because nature can be harsh and if you’re not clothed properly it will lay its vengeance upon you. A simple snapback could’ve saved you the trouble.

Clothing advice for hikers

Now that we covered the essentials, let’s talk about how to dress properly. Yes, no one mentioned underwear, shirts, sweaters etc. because you wouldn’t forget those, wouldn’t you? In any event, the important thing to consider is layering clothes.

Depending on the length of a hiking trip, terrain, weather conditions and so on you may need to layer more or less clothes. Clothes keep you protected from elements and keep you warm and dry, which is imperative on hikes.

On some occasions, you may need gaiters and gloves to prevent mud, rain or dirt from getting into your clothes and boots. Be sure to plan for those if you expect rough weather and terrain. Next thing to focus on is the choice of fabric. Hiking clothes fabric should be durable and have some of the following properties:

  • Wicking
  • Insulating
  • Waterproof
  • Rainproof
  • Breathable
  • Sun protection (UV protection)


Some of the clothing fabric that you may want to consider for your hike includes:

  • Wool
  • Polyester/nylon
  • Fleece
  • Silk
  • Cotton
  • Leather

The most important part is to dress properly. Don’t worry about fashion but focus on convenience and usefulness. If you run into a bear, it certainly won’t care if the color of your boots matches your fedora.

That said, you shouldn’t even bring a fedora on a hiking trip, in the first place. Therefore, take your time and choose your clothes accordingly so that you can actually enjoy the hike.

Closing Words

Hiking clothes and gear may seem like a bit too much to people who have never been hiking before. However, there’s a good reason why these clothes are called hiking clothes, to begin with. Therefore, don’t underestimate their importance and make sure you’re properly clothed for your hiking trip.


Wendy Tucker


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