Prepare for a long day on the trails with hiking clothes that will stay comfortable for miles. Discover men's, women's, and kids' options at The North Face to create the perfect hiking outfit.
Summer Hiking Essentials
Hiking can be a year-round activity depending on where you live and your desire to explore in less than ideal conditions. However, summer is by far the most popular season, with the warmer months of spring and fall coming in second. When hitting the trail in warm weather, be sure you wear the proper attire to stay cool, comfortable, and protected from things like the sun or the unexpected storm. Consider the following for your summer hiking outfit:
- Lightweight Shirt: Whether you choose a classic t-shirt, a tank top, or an athletic shirt, keeping your top lightweight is key to staying cool. If the morning or evening are predicted to turn chilly, you can always layer on a jacket or a hoodie and tie it around your waist when you don't need it. Bonus points for choosing something moisture-wicking which will help you stay dry and prevent discomfort.
- Shorts or Convertible Pants: Freedom of movement is key, especially if you may encounter some scrambling. Shorts are a great choice for summer hiking. Alternatively, choose convertible pants (zip off pants) that can turn into shorts by zipping off the bottoms of the legs.
- Hiking Boots or Shoes: Prevent slips, falls, injuries, and discomfort by wearing a good pair of hiking boots or shoes. Boots are ideal for more rigorous and challenging terrain while hiking shoes are a good choice for easy to moderate conditions. Pay attention to ankle support.
- Sun Protection: Because you'll be outside for an extended period of time, in addition to sunscreen, bring along sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and consider UPF clothing.
- Hiking Socks: A quality pair of hiking socks can help prevent blisters.
- Hiking Backpack: A backpack is a must to hold other essentials like water, snacks, phone, first aid, and more.
What To Wear For Winter Hiking
Hiking in cold weather requires many of the same types of clothing, just more of them or more insulated versions. If you plan to hike in the winter, consider these items to put together your winter hiking outfit:
- Layers: Layer your clothing to help stay warm. You can remove layers as your heat level or the outside temperature increases. Consider a baselayer or thermal layer first. Then, don a fleece, hoodie, or jacket. For extra warmth, you can wear three layers - a baselayer, a mid-layer of a fleece, and a shell jacket on top for protection from the elements.
- Insulated Pants: Consider wearing insulated pants to help keep your lower body warm.
- Winter Hat and Gloves: A knit beanie and a pair of gloves is a must. If you don't need them, stash them away in your backpack.
- Hiking Boots or Shoes: Hiking boots are still a necessity in winter as much as in summer. In fact, if snow is likely, traction is even more important. Be sure to pay attention to ankle support.
- Wool or Thermal Socks: Consider thicker socks for winter hiking. These provide extra insulation while still offering moisture-wicking properties.
- Hiking Backpack: A backpack is also necessary for winter hiking, not only to carry water, snacks, and more, but also because it can hold layers as you shed them. A ski backpack is a great choice if you plan to do any skiing along with your hiking.
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