One of the most important preparations before you hit the hiking trails is knowing what to wear. It’s one of the most common questions being asked by beginners.

But whether you’re a hiking newbie or an advanced hiker, you need to have appropriate clothing for your outdoor adventure.

First of all, you need to determine when and what type of hiking you’ll be doing to know what is proper to wear. Are you going to go on a hike in summer or in winter? Is it going to a be short or long hike? What’s the environment on the hiking grounds?

Here, we’ve listed some tips on picking out which clothing best suits your hiking activity.

Footwear

You need to wear sturdy shoes, and they should provide your foot with support and protection from rocks, as well as give you traction on dry and wet surfaces.

Available options are backpacking boots, hiking shoes, trail running shoes, and sandals.

If you’re going for multi-day hiking, hiking boots are the way to go. They give your feet more support, protection, and traction on any kind of terrain and weather condition.

Meanwhile, hiking shoes or trail running shoes are great for short hiking trips. They are lighter and less bulky than hiking boots and allow a good grip and enough support for your feet.

If you’re taking a hiking trip in summer, you can opt for hiking sandals. It’s perfect for tropical climates and easy trails with a few river crossings as it allows your feet to breathe.

In choosing what socks to wear, you also need to consider the weather, the environment, and what type of shoes you will wear.

If you’re hiking in winter, pick thick woolen socks to keep your feet warm and provide enough cushioning, while lightweight socks are for lightweight hiking shoes.

Meanwhile, opt for tall socks if you’re hiking through grass, tall plants, bushy areas, etc.

Bottoms

You’ll want to be able to move freely when it comes to hiking, so denim jeans are a big no-no.

But like everything related to hiking, you need to know the environment during your hiking trip.

Shorts with a liner are great for summer hikes and if you’ll be swimming in the river or lake. On the other hand, you should go for pants for hiking in colder weather.

As for the material, your bottoms should be lightweight, made from a quick-drying fabric, and stretchable.

Top

Whatever your hiking trip is, you should never go for cotton shirts because cotton holds onto water, which means it will keep you sweaty during summer trails, and chilly on wet and cooler hikes.

A tank top would keep you fresh on hot days—just make sure you apply sunscreen to keep your skin protected from UV rays.

Casual t-shirts are fine in warm weather, as long as they are quick-drying and are lightweight.

Meanwhile, go for a long-sleeved shirt in colder weather or if you want your skin to be protected from insects or from the sun. For added protection from chilly winds, layer your shirts and wear a warm jacket.

If you know it’s going to rain, bring a rain jacket to block rain and wind while hiking.

Accessories

Some of the accessories you should bring include hats, sunglasses, and a pair of gloves.

Your ears and the back of your neck need to be protected from the harsh rays of the sun, and a broad hat will definitely to that job nicely. Opt for materials that are quick-dry if possible.

Whether you choose to hike in summer or winter, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV exposure, and from foreign objects that come with the wind.

Gloves, on the other hand, protect your hands from rough terrain in extreme trails, or from frostbite during winter.

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