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What to wear when you go hiking

Hiking can be a fun activity but it’s always difficult to decide what to wear. I have been on hikes where I have forgotten to bring warm clothes and have had to wear every item of clothing I own to keep warm. I have been on hikes where I have worn just t-shirt and shorts and I have been on hikes where I have been bundled up warm in winter coats and shoes. The key thing to remember with a hike is that it all depends on the weather, where you are going and what kind of a hike it is. I will share some tips for you.

Hiking when climbing a mountain in cold weather

Think the Ben Nevis during winter or Mount Etna in Sicily. Ok, so full disclosure, Mount Etna is the one I misjudged and ended up not taking the appropriate clothing. I had gone to Sicily when the weather was warm and had assumed that the weather when I go to Mount Etna would be nice too, but it certainly was not so I layered up and wore everything I owned. I also thought perhaps my strategy should be to walk really fast to get my heart rate up which would warm me up. It sort of worked but I wouldn’t advise it.

So, what should I have worn;

  1. Hiking boots – even though I had trainers, the hiking boots would have been perfect to get better grip when on unstable surfaces and to help ankles when going downhill

  2. Walking trousers – make sure they are stretchy

  3. Waterproof over trousers – in case it starts raining or when in the snow waterproof over trousers are perfect

  4. Gaiters – these are perfect and essential if you don’t want water going into your shoes

  5. Base layers – a quick drying baselayer top

  6. Waterproof warm Jacket – make sure you get one with a hood so that you can use it if you get cold or it starts raining

  7. Layers – if its cold then layer up, but not too many otherwise you will be hot when you walk up and the last thing you want is to be carrying your jacket in your hands

  8. Waterproof gloves if the weather is really good unless you prefer to keep your hands in your pocket.

Hiking in mild weather

  1. Hiking shoes – these are a must and will keep you comfortable. If the surface is more even you can use trainers

  2. Walking trousers – stretchy ones will do. You don’t need waterproof over trousers if it is not going to rain but you can keep them in your backpack

  3. Jacket – if the weather is nice a jacket should be enough but if you are anticipating the weather to be cold add a baselayer and you can never go wrong with a waterproof jacket so I would advise taking this.

Hiking in hot weather

You probably want to stay cool if you are hiking in hot weather particularly since you will need to warm up even more as you walk.

  1. Lightweight walking shoes

  2. Shorts – light and easy to walk in, of course if your skin is exposed you may get bitten so if you prefer walking trousers then they are a good option

  3. T-shirt – you can go full sleeves if you are concerned about getting bitten

Other things to take with you

Other products to take with you include for any type of weather conditions are; backpack, food and drink, torch light, first aid kit, insect repellent, sunglasses, suncream. Extra socks are also a good idea usually.

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