The most essential clothing to take on a hike is:
- Clothing in anticipation of the cold: Fleece jacket, poncho or waterproof jacket, technical underwear which retains body heat and allows continuous perspiration.
- Special hiking clothing: hiking pants with light fabric and a perspiration system, modular pants that change into shorts, technical t-shirts in light and quick-drying fabric, fairly thick hiking socks with a special padding on the heel and the heel soles.
- Change of clothes: underwear, swimsuit, leggings or yoga-type pants for comfortable nights, a microfiber towel for quick drying.
HOW TO DRESS FOR A HIKE
When hiking, it is advisable to dress in a 3-layer system:
A breathable layer: made up of “hydrophobic” fibres, this is the layer that keeps you dry by wicking your sweat to the other layers.
An insulating layer: this insulates against the cold. The choice of this second layer (sweaters, down jackets, fleeces) is made according to the outside temperature and the intensity of the effort.
A protective layer: this is the role of the windbreaker or raincoat to protect you from the outside elements.
HIKING SHOES: HOW TO CHOOSE THEM
Shoes can be your best ally or your worst adversary when hiking. Here’s what to consider for the comfort of your feet (and whole-body) when choosing hiking boots:
- Consider the terrain and the duration of the hike: Very stony or slippery terrain would require high boots with large crampons. A hike by a lake or in a rainy region would require waterproof hiking shoes.
- One size more is essential: With walking, especially at altitude, the feet tend to swell. It is, therefore, necessary to plan a size more. Some people would need two sizes depending on the body and the feet, but the size is a good safety measure to start. It is also crucial to take into consideration the volume of the socks that one would have chosen.
Conclusion: Avoid cotton clothing to prevent hypothermia. Once wet, cotton clothes no longer breathe and can suddenly cool off when you stop exercising.