Over the course of the pandemic, hiking has grown exponentially more popular and it looks like this renewed love of all things outdoors will continue in 2022 and beyond. Anyone who is looking to venture into the wilderness—even if it’s only as far as your nearest park—should know what to wear hiking so you’ll be comfortable and prepared for anything the trails may have in store. Here, we’ve provided a checklist of some basic requirements, as well as more in-depth information that’s tailored to each season. Note: We have one serious hiking rule to cover before anything else: Always pack additional warm and/or waterproof layers in your backpack, as well as shelter and extra food and water.
You might feel silly sticking a fleece jacket, warm pants, a blanket and a small tent into your daypack when the forecast is sunny and 75 degrees, but day hikers are more vulnerable to deadly accidents than backpackers because they’re more likely to be caught unprepared. If you wander off the trail (either on purpose or accidentally), take a wrong turn or take a tumble, there’s a high chance you may find yourself spending the night, or even multiple nights, out in the wilderness. According to a study by SmokyMountains.com, those who come prepared with warm, dry clothing, additional sustenance and shelter of some kind are significantly more likely to survive than those who don’t.
So, play it safe and bring the extras along. Now, onto the fun stuff: what to wear hiking so you feel and look good.