Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Strut with Style on the Trail: How to Dress Right for Winter Hiking

Many believe that hiking is one of the best ways to lose weight, maintain shape, have sheer bliss, and participate in sustaining a healthy lifestyle. And there are, indeed, a number of health benefits of hiking. The best thing about it? It can be done any season! 


Yes, contrary to popular notion, hiking is an activity that can be done all year round, even in frigid climates. It is, therefore, essential to know how to dress right. 


Unlike a hike in the spring, summer, and fall, a winter hike requires you to wear a lot of extra clothes and gear. If those starting are not 100 percent sure of what to buy or get, they will definitely find themselves with exceedingly costly merchandise and an empty wallet. 


It is often helpful to pause and ask oneself if the clothing piece is really worth the money. It is possible to strut in style without having to go bankrupt. As a guide, here are a couple of tips on how to dress right for a winter hike. 


Learn the Basics of Winter Clothing 


Familiarizing oneself with winter hike essentials can make or break the game. To start, base layers are clothing pieces that should be the first layer when you’re suiting up for the winter weather. For a winter hike, it is better to have a long-sleeve top and with a full-length bottom. 


Like anything in the world that is governed by directions, base layers also have rules. These should be made out of moisture-wicking materials so sweat is quickly drawn away from the body and toward the middle and outer clothing pieces. The fabric should sufficiently warm the body as well.  


After the base layers, there should be the middle layer. This section holds the key to additional insulation. The most popular kind of middle layer is a fleece jacket made entirely of polyester. To have the ultimate experience, it should be extra soft yet lightweight and breathable. 


Outer layers, on the other hand, perform as the first defense against harsh winter conditions. The suggested outer layer is a windproof and waterproof kind, preferably with a hood sewn on. For better insulation, look for an outer layer with a polyester insert and nylon shell.  





















Photo by Fabrizio Conti on Unsplash

Bottoms and Other Winter Accessories  


When looking for pants that can protect the body from cold weather situations, it is essential to pick a pair that is lined and waterproof. Once again, polyester is the perfect material for this job. Couple that with nylon, and you’ll have the ultimate protection. 


Add mittens and a pair of gloves, which are necessary to complete the winter-hike ensemble. However, when planning to spend a long time outdoors, choose a pair that includes a nylon outer shell with a polyester lining. For emphasis, have gloves that are waterproof, windproof, and insulated. 


Winter hats and socks are also a bonus. While others may find these far from fashionable, wearing hats and socks can ultimately improve the overall look. Plus, these give the body more protection from the unsympathetic weather. 


An acrylic or fleece hat dries faster and is, therefore, the ideal choice for a winter hike. Since a hat can only cover a certain extent of the head, a wool balaclava may be the better option.  


When shopping for socks designed specifically for winter, search for labels with words like wool, merino, synthetic insulation, and synthetic wicking. All these materials allow the socks to have superb moisture-prevention properties. For extra protection, opt for sock liners made from silk. 


Consider Selling or Swapping Some of Your Current Hiking Gear 


The design of the hiking gear is optimized to keep the human body insulated or adequately protected under certain conditions. Hence, it’s often expensive. But a decent-quality gear is worth spending on if you plan to be comfortable out in the wild. 


If you’re on a tight budget and you can’t splurge on new equipment, consider finding swapping deals online. You may also sell some of your current gear to buy a seasonally appropriate hiking garb. 


Bring Additional Layers on a Hike  


When ready to go on a winter hike, especially if foreseeing high chances of camping afterward, pack numerous layers to mix and match depending on the temperature. When starting the hike, it is better to wear a vest and a light base layer. The body will warm up as soon as one furthers into the hike. 


Have around a light jacket on the outside of the backpack to take out quickly as soon as the air becomes too cold. If the temperature rises significantly, switch the light jacket for warmer outerwear and slip-on mittens or gloves. When out hiking, bringing a pair of tights or thick leggings may come in handy. 

Featured image: Photo by Toomas Tartes on Unsplash

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