Hiking is a favorite activity and sport for many people. It’s a wonderful way to get outside, enjoy nature, and spend time by yourself or with family and friends. The key to being able to hike in all kinds of weather is having the right gear, including clothes, shoes, and a pack. Through sun, rain, snow, or wind, with just a little guidance, you will feel confident and comfortable preparing for a hike in any kind of weather.
The key to a comfortable hike is the right layering and insulation. This is especially true when it comes to hiking in a variety of weather conditions. One of our favorite hacks for layering is to wear cashmere. Cashmere has unparalleled lightness and warmth, making it a perfect piece to carry in your pack or wear on your body. Wearing a lightweight cashmere turtleneck could be all you need to wear under your windbreaker or raincoat to stay warm while hiking in windy or rainy weather.
For hiking in colder or snowy weather, we recommend wearing a good set of thermals to keep your base layer insulated and warm. Thermal shirts and long underwear are lightweight and comfortable, often feeling like silky, sheer pajamas that hug your skin and insulate you from the cold. Layers are easy to strip off and put in your pack if you get warm. Having the right insulation is paramount to hiking comfortably in any kind of weather.
Now that we’ve talked about the right insulation, let’s talk about breathability. Breathability is almost as important as insulation when hiking in different weather conditions. It means that your clothes and shoes won’t hold too much moisture against your body. Moisture can also cause a chill if temperatures drop during your hike. The best breathable fabrics for hiking are cotton, nylon, polyester, rayon, linen, silk, merino wool, and cashmere. Fabrics like GORE-TEX are specifically designed to be waterproof while also being breathable. GORE-TEX technology is often featured in jackets, shoes, and snow pants to help regulate moisture and is the perfect go-to material for all kinds of weather hiking needs.
What you choose to wear on your feet is also important when hiking. In warm and dry weather, it’s easy enough to wear your lightweight sneakers on the trail, but when the weather gets cold and wet, it’s important that you have more appropriate footwear. Most hiking boots are equipped with more insulation and support, plus the water-resistant technology makes them a better choice for hiking in all types of weather.
Socks are also key for hiking comfortably in any weather. For warmer temperatures, opt for plain cotton socks that will allow for breathability. For all other weather, go the extra mile and get wool blend hiking or trekking socks that offer the warmth, breathability, and moisture-wicking technologies to keep comfortable and dry on your hike.
For hikes longer than an hour, we recommend taking along a pack. There are hiking backpacks that are waterproof or water-resistant, while some come with pack cover to keep your bag and belongings dry when hiking in wet weather. Check your pack for what you may need while going on your hike. For cold weather, it’s a good idea to bring some winter accessories such as gloves, a hat, and a neck warmer just in case temperatures drop. It’s always a good idea to bring water and some nutritionally dense snacks like protein bars or nuts.
Some of our favorite things to pack in case cold weather or precipitation threatens are packable down vests and lightweight raincoats. Both are easy to slip on and off and store as needed if the weather fluctuates while hiking. A tip for hiking in all types of weather is to be prepared for anything, including temperature drops, rain, and snack attacks.
The right jacket is important when hiking. Whether it’s rain, wind, or snow, you want to be prepared to stay warm and comfortable for your hike. For windy conditions, be sure you have the right windbreaker to wear either on its own or over your down jacket. For cold temperatures, a compact packable down coat is ideal. Down jackets provide the best warmth technology there is while the compactness of the coat ensures that you won’t be weighed down. Some of the best jackets for hiking are windbreakers, down jackets, and raincoats so you can take on the trails regardless of the weather.
Don’t let the weather keep you inside or prevent you from hiking. Be sure you can stay warm and comfortable while hiking with these all-weather hiking ideas.