Best hiking clothes for hikers

Pro tip: Don’t go pantless through the wilderness. I cannot stress this enough.

The real advice when it comes to pants/shorts is heavily dependent upon your environment. If it’s going to be cold, shorts might keep you shivering. If it’s going to be hot, pants might get too uncomfortable.
Jeans? Ehhhhh. Sure. ONLY if its going to be a comfortable temperature and you have no other option. Being sweaty and hot while wearing jeans isn’t very fun.

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I’m a big fan of my nerd pants – the Columbia Silver Ridge pants. Although they look kind of goofy, they’re incredibly light weight, dry quickly, and can transform from pants to shorts in mere seconds!
Traveling through woods, not sure what you’ll encounter? Wear lightweight pants. I am horribly allergic to poison ivy and who knows what else, so I like to keep as much of my body covered while hiking to make sure I don’t make contact with anything I’m allergic to.

WHAT TYPE OF SHIRT SHOULD I WEAR?

My favorite options are merino wool long shirts and t-shirts: they’re light, wick away moisture, hide odors, and breathe well – though you will be paying top dollar for them.

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If you’re just starting out, pick an old t-shirt and rock that – you can work on optimizing performance once you’ve got a few hikes under your belt.

Shameless plug: the Nerd Fitness t-shirt does hold up quite well to wear and tear over long periods of time – I’ve been rocking my shirt in heavy rotation on lots of hikes for years. It can also withstand gamma rays and makes you invisible.

if you’re on a multi-day hike in various conditions then having lightweight merino wool shirts you can layer and not need to wash would be great. But just going for a hike in the woods in your back yard? Whatever you would wear while running, training, etc. Aka whatever won’t chafe!

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SHOULD I BRING A JACKET?

I’ve been wearing this Mountain Hardware jacket on most of my hikes and it has been awesome (10 years and counting) – very lightweight so packing it isn’t a hassle, waterproof so it keeps me dry when it rains, and heavy enough to block the wind to keep me warm when it’s chilly.
Don’t go out of your way to buy a new jacket if you have a decent wind breaker, but if you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking or you’re in the market for a new coat, here’s my advice: go to a local store and try out all of the jackets until you find one you like.

Once you find the perfect jacket, go home and check online (you can sometimes find the same jacket for up to 60% less) – then, ask the local store if they’ll price match or just buy it online.

SHOULD I WEAR A HAT?

You should definitely bring a hat. I’m usually rocking my Nerd Fitness hat or my Red Sox hat (booo Yankees), but while hiking in Australia I wore a hat with a giant floppy brim to keep my ears and face protected from the sun.

The tops of your ears and back of your neck are highly susceptible to getting burned while on the trail, so either get some sunscreen or wear a hat that keeps them covered.

The same is true for keeping pesky things out of your hair, the sun from burning your ears and face, and keep you a bit cooler.

WHAT KIND OF BACKPACK SHOULD I BRING?

Digging into the ins and outs of backpacks is far beyond the scope of this article. I’d recommend you check out my friend Chase’s Bag Review Youtube channel – guaranteed to be the most fun you’ll ever have learning about bags.

So what would I recommend for a beginner on a hike? The bag you currently have! If you’re going on a short hike, you can start with simply whatever bag you have. The lighter and more comfy it is, the better.

Multi-day hikes where you’re living out of your bag, packing up and building a tent each day – this is beyond the scope of this article. I have rocked a Kelty Coyote bag that I’ve lived out of for months at a time, and have also used on multi-day hikes.

If you have the means and the time, and you’re planning to go on certain hikes, go to a outdoor speciality store, speak with a professional, and get fitted for your body type and type of hike you’re doing!

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THE MORAL OF THE STORY: VERSATILITY

If your weather forecast is “75 and sunny,” and you’re hiking for the afternoon through a gradually sloping wooded forest, you can severely limit what you’re bringing with you.

If it’s questionable or looks like things might change during the day, versatility is your best bet – a jacket, pants that can become shorts, a long sleeve shirt that you can take off or roll the sleeves up, etc.
Don’t go out and buy all new stuff until you’re sure hiking is an activity you want to invest in. Borrow from friends, make do with what you have Just get started.

BY NOW YOU SHOULD HAVE A ROUGH IDEA OF WHAT YOU WILL BE WEARING!

In your head you should be saying, “Steve how can you read my mind?!
I just decided:

  1. I’d hike in my current gym sneakers.
  2. I have a pair of gardening pants and tall socks I can wear.
  3. I have a floppy hat.
  4. My new Nerd Fitness t-shirt.
    I feel like I’m good to go!

Backpacking guide for hiking beginners

Hiking, walking in nature as a recreational activity. Especially among those with sedentary occupations, hiking is a natural exercise that promotes physical fitness, is economical and convenient, and requires no special equipment. Because hikers can walk as far as they want, there is no physical strain unless they walk among hills or mountains.

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Many persons walk alone, mainly on weekends or holidays, but youth clubs and other groups arrange rambles, or hikes. The normal length of the walk undertaken is 7 to 12 miles (11 to 19 km) for a half day or 12 to 20 miles (19 to 32 km) for a full day. Those organized rambles, combining exercise with enjoyment of the countryside, are in country districts surrounding large towns and follow a planned route. Most densely populated European towns have hiking trails outside them.

For regular and intensive walkers there are available services offered by such associations as the Ramblers’ Association in Great Britain and the Wilderness Society in the United States. Those organizations encourage hiking and preserve footpaths, bridle paths, and rights of way in parkland and recognized open spaces in areas of natural beauty against the encroachment of builders, local authorities, and national undertakings. They also help hikers to obtain hostel accommodation and, by exchange of information and services, enable persons of one country to pursue these activities in others. The Appalachian Trail Conference (U.S.), with the aid of its member organizations in 14 states, maintains campsites and a trail more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km) long between Mount Katahdin in Maine and Mount Oglethorpe in Georgia; it publishes information on conditions of the camps and trail.

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Hiking is basic to many sporting activities and is also a widely recommended and practiced form of physical training. For example, hiking constitutes a large part of mountain climbing; experienced mountaineers know that they must train themselves for the long, arduous hikes over the lower trails and across glaciers and snowfields. Backpack camping, hunting, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and orienteering are other sports and sporting activities in which hiking is important. The ability to walk considerable distances without becoming overtired (an ability generally acquired through practice) also enhances the enjoyment of such other activities as bird-watching, nature walks, field trips of all sorts, and even sightseeing.

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Hiking is used as a test of fitness, notably in England, where it is embraced in the duke of Edinburgh’s scheme for boys and girls, and in Sweden and the Netherlands. In Sweden it was made a national fitness test in the early 1930s, and by the 1970s more than three million Swedish men, women, and boys possessed the time qualification badge. The Nijmegen marches in the Netherlands, organized by the Dutch League of Physical Culture, are open to the world in both civilian and military categories. The test comprises four separate days’ consecutive walking over distances up to 35 miles (56 km) each day, with about 12,000 persons taking part.

Backpacking, recreational activity of hiking while carrying clothing, food, and camping equipment in a pack on the back. Originally, in the early 20th century, backpacking was practiced in the wilderness as a means of getting to areas inaccessible by car or by day hike. It demands physical conditioning and practice, knowledge of camping and survival techniques, and selection of equipment of a minimum weight consistent with safety and comfort. In planning an excursion, the backpacker must take into consideration food and water, terrain, climate, and weather.

Packs hang from the shoulders or are supported by a combination of straps around shoulders and waist or hips. Types range from the frameless rucksack, hung from two straps, and the frame rucksack, in which the pack is attached to a roughly rectangular frame hung on the shoulder straps, to the contour frame pack, with a frame of aluminum or magnesium tubing bent to follow the contour of the back. The Kelty-type pack, which is used with the contour frame, employs a waistband to transfer most of the weight of the pack to the hips.

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Modern materials have revolutionized backpack construction, utility, and capacity. The earliest packs were made from canvas, which, while strong and durable, added considerable weight for the backpacker to manage and lacked resistance to the elements. Today’s packs are constructed of nylon or similar lightweight materials and are usually at least partially waterproof.

Clothing is weatherproof and insulating, including shell parkas, insulating underwear, down clothing, windpants, ponchos, sturdy waterproof boots with soles designed for maximum traction, and heavy socks. Tents may be a simple tarpaulin, a plastic sheeting tube, or a two-person nylon mountain tent. Sleeping bags of foam, dacron, or down and air mattresses or foam pads may be carried. Lightweight pots and pans and stoves are specially designed for backpacking; dehydrated food provides stew-type one-pot dishes.
Backpackers must be able to read topographic maps and use a compass; they must also carry emergency food and first-aid equipment and be acquainted with survival techniques.

In the later 20th century, backpacking became associated with travel, especially by students, outside the wilderness.

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