When spring is in full swing, and those lingering winter chills are starting to find the nearest exit (don’t let the door hit you on the way out, winter chills!), it’s time to get outside. And when it comes to getting outside, a weekend hike is a perfect way to both enjoy nature and get your fitness on. Whether you’re looking for new ways to get active as the seasons change or you’ve been waiting all winter to get back on your favorite trail system, knowing what to bring on a spring hike is essential both for your enjoyment and safety during your trek.
In addition to having a hiking backpack full of your year-round outdoorsy essentials, like sunscreen, bug spray, an extra water bottle, and a first aid kit, you’ll also want to be sure that your attire is on-point for the season. Since spring tends to feel like a transitional season weather-wise, layers are an absolute must when hitting the trail. Read on for the best layers you’ll want to both wear and bring along on a spring hike.
Before layering up with your tops and outerwear, you’ll need to pick out the best bottoms for your hike. Workout Leggings tend to be a safe bet for a spring hike, especially on days that are still a bit cloudy and gray, or when the sun’s out, but it’s extra breezy.
That said, if you happen to find yourself on a hike on a particularly hot spring day, you might be more comfortable with a pair of women's athletic shorts. If you do opt for shorts, you might still want to bring along a pair of leggings or athletic joggers just in case the temperature drops or you find yourself on a particularly buddy trail and want to protect your legs from bites.
Make sure to check the weather in advance and choose the best bottoms accordingly. Whether you opt for shorts or leggings, just be sure they’re stretchy, breathable, and comfortable enough for an all-day adventure.
Well, to be fair, it might technically all start with a supportive sports bra, but we’re not sure if that’s really a “layer”. Regardless, next up you’ll want to ensure you have a lightweight yet protective moisture-wicking women's T-shirt on.
This breathable bottom layer is essential even if it seems like the day is a bit overcast since after working up a sweat, you’ll likely want a lightweight short-sleeve layer on. The best T-shirt for a hike will have both a moisture-wicking layer and built-in UPF 50 sun protection so you can embrace the elements with ease.
While your moisture-wicking UPF 50 sun protection T-shirt might be perfect for a day out on the trail, you’ll want to be sure to wear or bring a women’s long sleeve T-shirt layer as well.
A long-sleeve layer is especially key if you plan on taking a longer or late afternoon hike to catch the sunset at a vista (don’t forget to take pics!) or if you start in the morning and wrap up in the afternoon, as the temperature will change as you enjoy your trek and you want to be able to add and remove a long-sleeve layer as needed.
Opt for a fuss-free and breathable long-sleeve T-shirt, like a relaxed Supima® cotton crewneck T-shirt, since this would be easy to throw on over your short-sleeved tee without having to worry about bulk.
While it’s true that April showers do bring May flowers, you shouldn’t let a little spring drizzle get in the way of your adventure.
That’s why you should be sure to bring along a lightweight yet durable packable jacket that folds into a self-storing back pocket. Opt for a packable jacket layer that’s waterproof and wind-resistant, with a hood and functional pockets.
With one of these in your bag, you can throw it on as a protective layer if some unexpected April showers roll in. And, if you don’t end up needing or using it, no biggie! Lightweight packable outwear won’t take up too much room or add extra weight to your backpack, meaning you’ll still have all of the room you need for other essentials.
With these layers on or nearby, you’ll be comfortable, covered, and content on your next spring hike! Get ready to lace up your hiking boots and get out there – just don’t forget to layer up first (well, and to pack snacks — snacks are always essential!).