Hiking Essentials: What to Wear While Hiking 

While hiking there’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing!

While hiking doesn’t technically require any special clothing, you will feel more safe and comfortable on the trail if you dress appropriately. 

Bugs, weather, and rough terrain can all put a hamper on your hiking trip, but the right clothing can protect you from the elements, bugs and even slips and falls.

Read on to discover our tips for the best hiking essentials and what you should wear while on the trail. 

General Tips 

  • Shop with coupons: Hiking gear can get expensive, especially when you start shopping for technical materials. By shopping with coupon codes, you can buy the gear you need at discounted prices. For instance, Asics offers hiking shoes, sweat-wicking gear and weather-proof jackets, and with these best Asics promo codes, you could save up to $50. 
  • Dress in layers: When you dress in layers while hiking, you can easily shed or add layers depending on the temperature outside. Typically you should start with a sweat-wicking tee and then add extra layers like a wind-breaker or insulated jacket.
  • Choose synthetic materials: Cotton kills while hiking. Cotton will get wet when you sweat and remain attached to your skin and can leave you feeling cold when it’s chilly out. Ideally your hiking clothes should be made of synthetic materials that dry quickly. 
  • Dress for the season: As you get serious about hiking, you should have different clothing for different seasons. In the summer it’s important to protect yourself from the sun. In the winter, you’ll need more layers and insulated gear to beat the cold. 

What to wear – on your feet

Hiking shoes are by far the most important piece of clothing. They’ll protect your ankles and your feet from rough terrain and the elements. 

There are 1000s of different models out there including both boots and hiking sneakers. The important thing is to choose a pair of shoes that fits comfortably, has appropriate traction, and are durable enough to protect your feet from rocks and thorns. 

The socks you wear are important too. Socks can protect your feet from painful blisters and hot spots and help your body regulate its temperature. The best material you can choose is wool – but it’s pricey. Wool is sweat-wicking meaning it will keep sweat away from your body but if it’s out of your budget you can opt for nylon or polyester instead. 

What to wear – on your lower half

There are many options for what to wear on your lower half while hiking. These include shorts, hiking pants and leggings. What you wear will depend on the weather and your preferences. 

If you’re just starting out, investing in a solid pair of hiking or outdoor pants is the way to go. Hiking pants transform into shorts through a zipper system allowing you to cool or warm up quickly. 

Don’t forget – you can invest in sweat-wicking underwear too! Whichever you choose, make your pick a pair of seamless underwear to avoid chafing. 

What to wear – on your upper half

You have a lot of options for your upper half as well. While you should always start with a base layer of a sweat-wicking t-shirt and then add shells and other thermal layers depending on the weather. When it’s really cold out, you’ll want to add several layers so that you can adjust your body temperture accordingly. 

You can also add layers to protect your extremities. Hats, neck collars, gloves and gaiters can all be used to regulate your temperature and protect you from the elements. 

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