How should you dress for hiking?
Whether you're an occasional hiker or an experienced one, it's important to set off in the right clothing, whether it's for a short walk or a hike lasting several hours. These few precautions before you set off will ensure you get the most out of your outing on the D-Day..Depending on the season in which you are planning your hike, your clothing will need to be adapted to cope with changing temperatures and weather conditions. Before you set out on the trails, here are a few tips to follow...
Dress lightly for summer hiking.
Summer is the ideal time to take advantage of the mountain pastures or go for a walk in the countryside. Faced with temperatures that can quickly rise, the watchwords are lightness and breathability. The heat can quickly make exercise difficult and raise body temperature, which is why we advise you to wear light, breathable clothing such as :
- A cotton T-shirt or a technical hiking T-shirt that lets moisture through
- Light-coloured nylon trousers (dark colours can absorb light very quickly) or hiking shorts if the temperatures are going to be very high
- Hiking socks to reduce the feeling of rubbing and heating of the feet when walking
- A windbreaker that can be folded up if the wind picks up
- A wide-brimmed hat to protect the neck and face from the sun
- Sunglasses with high UV protection
- Hiking shoes: forget the thin trainers, flip-flops and sandals. It's better to opt for shoes that provide good ankle support.
If you plan to hike at high altitude or bivouac, don't forget to add :
Autumn hiking, layer up.
Hiking in autumn is all about tranquillity and surprising landscapes: nature is decked out in golden hues, the paths are deserted by holidaymakers, and it's time to (re)discover walking trails with peace and wonder. The only downside is that the weather is variable, so it's worth checking before you set off. When it comes to dressing for an autumn hike, we recommend that you take several layers of clothing, such as..:
- The first layer is comparable to summer clothing, breathable and allowing moisture to circulate. The only variation is the length of the T-shirt and trousers
- In addition: a fleece, warm waistcoat or sleeveless jacket to provide an insulating layer
- In case of bad weather, add a waterproof parka or jacket with water-repellent fabric and a pair of waterproof hiking boots
Winter hiking: insulate yourself from the cold.
Less common, winter hiking is still a memorable experience, as much for its beauty as for its rarity. In a sleepy natural environment, hikers have to contend with more perilous conditions than in summer, autumn or spring: slippery paths, snow-covered trails, persistent fog. Conditions are very changeable, so it's best to check the weather forecast before setting off. Winter hiking clothing must be carefully chosen to provide insulation from the cold and ensure maximum safety. The "3-layer technique", well known to seasoned hikers, involves layering several layers of clothing as follows:
- The first layer (closest to the body) provides comfort and maintains body temperature by wicking away moisture. We recommend that you wear technical clothing such as a long-sleeved Merino wool T-shirt, thermal synthetic tights, etc.
- The purpose of the second layer is to insulate the body from the cold and keep in the heat. Choose a thick fleece or a warm down jacket. For the bottom layer, water-repellent trousers combined with a windproof fabric will complete the outfits
- The third layer provides protection from the elements (cold, wind, snow, rain): it is essential to allow the other layers to breathe and insulate. We recommend that you choose a good technical waterproof and windproof jacket designed for winter hiking.
In addition, plan to cover your extremities to avoid any loss of heat by taking :
Spring hiking, protect yourself from rain.
Even if the weather gets milder, spring hiking can quickly become a rainy affair. Choosing the right hiking clothing can be tricky: you may be too hot, or not covered up enough. To avoid any surprises, we recommend that you pack several layers of clothing, layering them as you would in autumn or winter. Your spring hiking outfit will consist of :
- A long-sleeved T-shirt in breathable synthetic material
- Waterproof trousers with vents or hiking leggings
- A warm, insulating fleece jacket
- A waterproof windbreaker that folds easily into your bag
- Thewater-repellent Hiker cap with fold-down earflaps, ideal for protecting your ears from the wind
- Indiana silk gloves
- Aravis polar snood to keep the air out
- The perfect Olan bucket hat for light rain and wind protection with fold-down earflaps.
To sum up, if you want to go hiking whatever the season, it's important to check the weather forecast and choose the right clothing for the season. All you have to do is enjoy the scenery and recharge your batteries in the great outdoors.