Hiking is more popular than ever this summer because it’s a great way to get outside and get some exercise while still social distancing.
Whether you’re planning a big hike to a major national park, or just trekking around locally, here’s what to wear hiking that’s both practical and cute.
1. Choose Moisture Wicking Clothes
It can get pretty hot when you are trekking up those trails, and you are going to sweat a lot. You’re best to wear loose, breathable clothes made from light materials that absorb sweat and dry fast. Polyester and nylon are great fabrics keep you feeling cool. This cute V-neck top, for example, is made from 100% polyester.
Cotton is iffy. It keeps you cool when it’s hot and dry out, but otherwise, it tends to absorb a lot of moisture and dry slowly, which can lead to chaffing and discomfort.
2. Wear Light Colors
Light colors, like white or tan, reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cool. Dark colors, like black or navy, will make you feel hot and sweaty because they absorb the sun’s heat.
3. Mesh, Slits and Open Vents are Helpful
Staying cool is all about improving airflow. Look for hiking tops, shorts, and pants that have built-in vents that you can open in the heat. Mesh tops, and clothing with slits, are also a great way to beat the heat. This white mesh back top ( above) that is also layered is a great hiking top.
5. Spandex is Comfy
We’re used to living in spandex because it’s so darn comfy. This makes it ideal for hiking clothes. Spandex bike shorts, capris, and leggings are great for mobility, and because they sit so close to the body, you don’t have to worry about loose fabric getting caught on bushes or branches.
The best spandex pants have pockets that come in super handy when you are out in the wilderness and need to carry a lot of things.
4. A Hiking Dress or Skirt Can Be a Good Thing
Many women prefer a hiking skirt or dress rather than pants, leggings, or shorts because they get more ventilation, and their legs don’t chafe as easily. A skirt or dress is also a convenient thing to wear when Mother Nature calls!
6. Protect Yourself with UPF-rated Clothing
Clothing with a UPF rating goes one step further than regular clothing to keep you protected from the sun. No one wants to come home from a day of hiking with a whopper of a sunburn!
7. Layer Up
Wearing thin layers of clothing that you can slip on and off it always a good idea. For example, you may be wearing a sleeveless top, and the sun is so intense you need to cover your arms, or it’s hot during the day, but the temperature suddenly dips at night. Layers are perfect for this.
8. Take Along a Hiking Hat
Take along a hiking hat; you’ll be glad you did! The best ones are made from UPF nylon and have mesh paneling to allow air to flow, which means less sweating. Your hat should be lightweight and easy to pack without ruining its shape. Look for a hat with a drawcord and adjustable toggle to keep your hat secure when it is windy out.
9. Wear Proper Hiking Shoes
In the middle of summer, and depending on the terrain, hiking sandals may be more appropriate than heavy hiking shoes or boots. Just be sure to pick sports sandals with an excellent tread, that are super comfortable and made specifically for outdoor activities.
Closed-toe sandals are always safer than open toe, especially for rocky terrain. Be sure to wear them in before you ever set foot on the trail.
10. Choose Socks Wisely
Synthetic or wool socks are better than cotton to absorb sweat. Make sure they fit well, so they don’t rub or slip.
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