So you have finally bit the bullet and booked a trip to your favorite getaway country. Whether it’s the Himalayas, the Andes, or Skaftafell, there are plenty of beautiful mountain ranges around the world for hikers looking to find a little more adventure. Plenty of countries such as Brazil, China, and France offer dense forests that are perfect for a stroll through. But what should you wear to make sure you have the best time on your hike? Here’s a list of the most functional things you need to have on you in order to have the most fun you can:
Normally you would want to advise people to wear natural and breathable materials, but that’s not the case when you are hiking. The best hiking clothes that you can put on are made of synthetic materials that stay dry. This helps guard against sweat. When you are scaling the stairs of the Incas in the mild rain, you’ll be glad to have left your cotton shirt at home. Cotton traps sweat and can give you the chills if you are going up a mountain; the higher the altitude, the lower the temperature, so make sure to keep something that takes out moisture.
Have the Right Layers
Go for a moisture wicking base layer on the bottom that hangs to your skin, that way you can get rid of as much sweat as possible. You want to make sure hat your clothes are lightweight so that they don’t weigh you down. You can go for long sleeves or short sleeves in the end. Be cautious though, if you are hiking in a forest or mountain with a lot of sunlight exposure, that can leave your arms vulnerable to both UV damage as well as the elements. The last thing you want is to have scratches or rashes all over your arms.
If it is extra cold out, make sure you have a sweater for warmth and maybe even a waterproof fleece to keep moisture from seeping onto your skin. The worst thing on a hike is being wet the entire time. It also can make you much more prone to sickness, regardless of the temperature. No matter what the weather report says in the morning, you never want to leave your house without a good rain jacket. It doesn’t hurt to be cautious. The same thing goes for a hat. Make sure it’s warm and waterproof.
Should You Go For Pants or Shorts?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both, quite honestly. Wearing shorts gives you the most flexibility and won’t make you as hot as you would be in pants. If you are going for a tour in low altitudes and the hiking has minimal climbing, this could be a good option for you. Pants however, can be great the weather is cold or if you are in an environment with a lot of plant life around (for example, in the Amazon rainforest). It’s also a great option for anyone hiking where there is a great risk of mosquito or tick bites, as it lessens the likelihood of your exposure to certain contagions
The Right Things On Your Feet
Most importantly of course, is what to wear on your feet. There are all sorts of hiking boots that you can spring for, but you want to make sure to hit some of the basics first. Depending on where you are going, you are going to want to make sure your boots have the right traction for the environment you’re in. Does it rain a lot? Is the hike located at primarily high altitudes?
You want to make sure your shoes are comfortable, durable against the elements, and fit your foot shape properly. Try on several pairs before committing to one. If you are going somewhere wet or excessively muddy, waterproof material can be a great investment. If you have many more rocks and dry land, then you may want to go for a boot that comes up to your ankles so that you don’t hurt them while you are hiking.
You want to make sure to have the right shoes so that when you get to the top of the mountain in Switzerland or Thailand, you can focus more on getting the perfect photo rather than the constant aching of your feet. If you’re unsure of what to get, don’t be afraid to ask the people who work in a sporting goods store. As for socks, go for synthetic hiking socks or wool socks that get rid of moisture and give your feet room.
There are plenty of amazing hikes and climbs that you can do around the world. Many countries boast some of nature’s most magnificent wonders, and it’s worth it to see them at least once in your lifetime. But you should not be stopped just because you have a minor wardrobe malfunction. Follow these basic guidelines and you are sure to have the most wonderful hiking experience in the world.