What to wear hiking

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So, you're planning on releasing the explorer inside of you and getting into hiking. First thing's first, you need to make sure you consider what to wear hiking, with specialist walking clothing, footwear and accessories essential for your comfort and success. Helpfully, our handy guide will take you through all the items you should purchase if you're planning a hike over the trails, hills and mountains.

We're going to talk about footwear first - the most important part of your hiking gear. Your everyday pair of trainers just aren't going to cut it over harsh terrains, you need a specific pair of hiking boots or shoes. Choosing between walking shoes and boots can be tough and is often a matter of personal preference, but as a general rule, boots are better for steeper climbs and shoes better when the going is easier. Proper hiking shoes provide cushioning in all the right areas, support to your feet and ankles, and rugged grip to the sole, all combining to keep you on your feet and heading in the right direction. Hiking boots are pretty similar, save for the extra support and protection afforded to your ankles and lower legs which will really come into its own when you begin to take on mountains. Don't forget to also consider a pair of walking sandals if you're looking to hike in warm weather over relatively easy terrain.

Now the footwear is sorted, let's look at your hiking clothing, which largely depends on weather conditions. On a summer hike, a simple walking top or t-shirt is suitable, especially if it has moisture-wicking materials to help you stay dry and comfortable. If it's cooler, fleeces and fleece jackets are a popular pick with ramblers as a mid-layer, while an additional base layer is a good idea if you're the type to feel the cold. If rain and wind are forecasted, be sure to take a waterproof jacket; either a lightweight one if it's still warm outside or a thermal coat if it's cold. A good waterproof rain jacket is probably the best purchase you'll make for hiking.

In terms of clothing for your bottom half, again it is weather dependent. We recommend a good pair of walking shorts for any hiking in average to warm weather, with walking trousers saved for the real winter months. Both hiking shorts and trousers will provide ample pockets for all your essentials, as well as easy comfort and fit to give you the required freedom of movement for proper hiking. If you're expecting really wet weather, invest in some waterproof trousers.

Also essential when talking about what to wear hiking are accessories and equipment, designed to make your hike easier. You need to stay hydrated with a water bottle or hydration pack, while helpful items like walking poles, walking socks and GPS devices can also enhance your hiking experience. And finally, be sure to pick up a proper hiking rucksack to carry everything in.