What to Wear on a Hike

When you start out on a hike, it's better to be wearing too much than too little. You'll want to be prepared for the worst, even if the weather is beautiful when you begin. Of course, you probably don't need to carry your snow gear for a mid-July walk through low altitudes. You will, however, want to wear or carry clothes that will protect you from rain, winds, and a sudden drop in temperature.

Dress yourself in several thin layers. This way, you can strip off layers if you feel too warm. Choose a soft material that absorbs sweat for the layer next to your skin. For your outer layer, try a light, breathable windbreaker. Also, toss a sweatshirt into your pack.

Even if rain doesn't look likely, it's best to come equipped with rain gear. In wet weather, a wet hiker can become frostbitten and hypothermic, even if the temperature isn't all that low. Bring along a large, foldable poncho for protection.

You'll also need a sturdy, comfortable pair of hiking boots or walking shoes designed for off-road terrain. Be sure to break them in gradually by wearing them around the house before you take them on the road. Invest in a good pair of socks to protect your feet from blisters. Nicely padded Orlon socks or wool socks with nylon liners work well.

Get more preparation tips by reading the next section of this article. It details the other items you should pack for your adventure.

To learn more about walking, see: