The crisp autumn temperatures and freshness of the air make it the best time of year for a hike. Before heading out the door for your adventure, you want to ensure that all of your gear is working properly. Be sure to take water and a first-aid kit. Of utmost importance is appropriate hiking clothes. Choosing several lightweight layers is crucial because fall weather can change on a dime.
The Fundamentals of Hiking Clothes
Lots of people hit the trails every year, and these days, you have many clothing options. Experts recommend choosing an outfit that features practical, lightweight and durable pieces. An example of this would be a comfy long-sleeved henley.
The clothing strategy for hiking is to prioritize comfort with basic pieces that have performance ability. For instance, hiking socks are one of the essentials for your day or weekend on the trails. Wool socks are excellent because they’re effective at moisture management, are odor-resistant and have built-in antimicrobial elements.
Think of your hiking outfit in a buildable, three-layer system as the pros often do. This applies to the upper torso, as the legs don’t sweat as much and usually stay warm since they’re doing the work.
- The base layer is your next-to-skin layer. Performance fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin are ideal to keep you dry and warm.
- The insulating mid-layer is a long-sleeved shirt that can comfortably fit over your base layer. It could be a t-shirt, henley or lightweight sweater.
- The shielding outer layer protects you from the elements. GORE-TEX®comes to most people’s minds as the ideal outer layer, as it features waterproof and breathable membranes that can handle high-intensity exercise.
Of course, classic hiking boots or trail runners are also essential for your outdoor adventure. Hiking pros suggest choosing your boot according to the terrain and then deciding on the style and fit. For many guys, a trail running shoe is adequate on easy hikes. However, wear boots in inclement weather and on rougher landscapes.
The shirts you select for your outdoor adventure should be versatile layering pieces that aren’t bulky and can help you adjust to changing temperatures. You may want some well-made men’s athletic shirts that can create the foundation of your hiking outfit. These shirts, such as crewneck tees, are thoughtfully constructed for performance and endurance.
Be sure to choose clothing that fits your body’s unique contours. Hiking is an energetic activity, and you want material that moves with you without constriction.
The best hiking garments offer sweat-wicking properties. This is very important for hiking because it’s an activity that can be strenuous. Fabrics that feature sweat and moisture-wicking capabilities help keep your skin feeling cool and dry. That is a huge factor when you’re on a trail in all kinds of weather.
Synthetic fabrics and blends pull moisture away and dry quickly. This is in contrast to all-cotton shirts that stay damp and can feel cold and clammy if the weather turns.
Choosing hiking clothing in lightweight fabrics cannot be emphasized enough. The unpredictable fall weather can affect hikers at every level, from novice to professional. The classic hiking short is not always the best option. While they have lots of pockets, they can be heavy and uncomfortable. Some hikers prefer lightweight running shorts that are lined because they avoid chafing.
Even your underwear can play a role in your hiking comfort. It’s the nearest layer to your body. Your best bet is antimicrobial hiking underwear, such as boxer briefs made with ultra-light merino wool. These boxers breathe well, naturally resist odors and help to maintain all-day comfort.
You probably love your jeans, but when it comes to hiking, denim is not the best material to be wearing. Consider men’s jogger sweatpants as hiking essentials. The type of fabric matters because you want your pants to allow flawless movement on all kinds of terrain and be comfy. Breathable, moisture-wicking material with a four-way stretch will perform effectively on a hike. Choose styles with ribbed cuffs and zippered pockets in the back for ultimate convenience on your adventure. If rain or wind is in the forecast, you could always add rain pants over your joggers as a protective outer layer.
There are a few more items to think about including on your hike. One of them is a hat. Some hikers enjoy packing a cozy wool beanie in their backpacks just in case the temps tumble.
Another hiking accessory is a scarf called a tube scarf that is constructed in a tubular design and fits over your head. It can be used as a neck warmer, a head wrap, etc. A tube scarf can also be worn as a balaclava over your nose up to your eyes. The tube scarf will protect you from the cool air. You can find them in fleece, poly-cotton, merino wool and more.
Don’t forget a pair of thin gloves when you head for the hills this fall. Polartec® stretch gloves are hiker favorites.
Now You’re Ready for Your Fall Hiking Adventure
Autumn is one of the best seasons for experiencing the picturesque beauty of nature. Hiking is incredible for health and well-being, and anyone at any level of the sport can do it. You want a safe, enjoyable adventure, so make sure that you pack the necessary gear, plenty of hydration and the proper fall hiking outfit. Then, head out the door, gentlemen!