Hiking really isn’t the place where the fashion industry gets their inspiration. Fashion meets practical and comfortable is more like it, and there are some definite mistakes you can make with your hiking fashion.
Follow these 5 simple and common sense guidelines for a more comfortable hiking experience.
Tip #1: Never wear cotton! Have I repeated this in enough posts, guest blogs and websites? I don’t think so. I still know less experienced hikers who choose to wear cotton and some pay for it dearly. Whether it’s cotton socks that lead to bad blisters or cotton underwear that leads to, well, you know, after hours of hiking uphill in cotton briefs my own dear husband paid a price, cotton has no place in sports or hiking. It absorbs moisture and body odours. But it’s the moisture absorbing qualities that makes it an enemy to hikers. Nor does it dry quickly. Wear layers of wool and polyester fabrics for best results.
Tip #2: Over dressing from the start. It’s best to start off a little on the cool side. Within minutes your body temperature is going to rise and you don’t want to overheat or start sweating too much. Keep your layers to a minimum to start off and let your body warm up from the hiking.
Tip #3: Not layering up when you stop hiking. If you stop on the trail or at base camp, no matter for how long it’s best to throw on another layer. Your body is going to cool down quickly and being chilled is not good while hiking. Keep an extra layer in an easy to reach spot of your hiking backpack and when you stop for lunch along the trail throw on that extra layer to keep your body temperature better regulated.
Tip #4: Allowing yourself to sweat too much. Ok, this one might be tough to accomplish and some people do sweat more than others, but if removing a layer or two will help to prevent some of your sweating then do it. Take off the layers. Sweating is our bodies way of regulating our core temperature and it also draws away our body heat. If you start off your day over dressed and then sweat a lot you aren’t doing yourself any favours. Listen to your body is the best advice I think anyone can give.
Tip #5: Mind your head please! If the weather is warm and sunny protect your head, neck and shoulders with a wide brimmed sun hat. And if you are hiking in cooler weather wear an insulating hat (fleece, wool etc.) to prevent too much heat loss from your head.
Hiking has its own fashion guidelines and if you follow these easy tips you’ll enjoy your hiking experience that much more.