Which clothes should you bring?
During your hike you will encounter various weather conditions. One moment it can be wet and windy, and the next moment it can be extremely hot with sweat dripping from your head. Correct clothing will protect you from feeling cold and will help you to stay dry and fresh. The challenge here lies in taking as little as needed, whilst still being able to wear something comfortable in every situation. The secret? Wear layers! It doesn’t matter if its hold or cold: wearing layers is key.
For your upper body the layers are as follows:
Base layer: A t-shirt or long sleeve made of merino wool or a synthetic material
For your base layer it is recommended to choose merino wool or a synthetic material. Clothes made of merino wool have very good insulation properties even when wet and they do not smell. Do not use cotton t-shirts, because these will make you sweat more easily and can cause friction.
Second layer: A (fleece) vest or pullover for insulation
The second layer is used to prevent heat loss. The (fleece) vest will create an extra layer of air and will keep you warm. This is ideal for cold mornings when you start hiking. The advantage is that when you get to warm, this layer is easily removed.
Third layer: A breathable and waterproof hard-shell against the rain
The third layer will protect you against rain and wind. It will ensure that your other clothes stay dry and keep their insulation properties. This layer is essential for thru-hikes, but hopefully you won’t need it very often.
Fourth layer: An insulated (down) jacket for when it gets cold
When you have arrived at your hut or camping spot and stop walking, you can get cold quickly. An insulated (down) jacket will be very handy during those moments. If you are cold whilst hiking this (down) jacket will provide extra warmth. Make sure that the (down) jacket remains dry, otherwise it will lose its insulation properties.
For your lower body it’s also recommended to work with various layers.
Base layer: A pair of leggings for when it gets really cold
Leggings can be a nice base layer when temperatures are cold (for instance in the morning). Remove your leggings as soon as your start sweating. Depending on the type of leggings, it’s also possible to use leggings as your main hiking trousers.
Second layer: Long (zip-off) trousers
Some comfortable (zip-off) trousers can be used as a base or second layer depending on the temperatures and weather conditions. Make sure these trousers are breathable and fast-drying for optimal comfort.
Third layer: Wind and waterproof pants
This layer will protect you against the rain and wind. Remove this layer when it’s dry and warm.
By wearing different layers depending on the weather conditions, you will allow your body to function optimally without excessive sweating or using too much energy to stay warm. This will make sure that your energy levels remain as high as possible!
Socks and underwear
Your feet will endure a lot during your hike. Therefore, the right socks are key. When using the right socks, you can prevent blisters and other painful spots on your feet. Good socks regulate the temperature, moisture and provide shock absorption. It is important to choose the socks that are best for your shoe type. The sock will fill in space within your shoe to prevent your feet from sliding. Try thicker and thinner socks and see what feels best for you. Choose the material that you find most comfortable, but do not choose cotton.
Obviously, your underwear also needs to be comfortable and should not rub or irritate when walking. Choose material that regulates moisture and temperature. Try different materials and wear them for longer periods of time to test if it’s the right choice for you.