While trekking is a far cry from your average fashion show, the question of what to wear is not to be taken lightly. Clothing choices will depend greatly on the duration of the trek, as well as the climate and terrain.
Aside from these factors, trekkers are free to dress however they please. That being said, it is important for trekkers to feel comfortable at all times. A trek is challenging enough already, without the added challenge of ill-fitted clothing.
This is particularly true when it comes to trekking boots – the one item of clothing that will make or break a trek.
So for the question “What To Wear For Trekking“, these items should be on your trekking checklist:
- Trekking Boots
- Good Quality Socks
- Trekking Accessories
- Summer Clothing
- Waterproof Jacket
- Winter Clothing
- Trekking Pack
- Long-sleeved Shirt
- Thermal Underwear
- Thermal Coat
- Towel and Hankies
Now let’s take a look at each one with more details..
Trekking boots are an investment that has the potential to last a lifetime. Good quality boots are made to withstand all types of weather and terrain.
Typically, hiking boots are made from durable, waterproof fabrics – although there are alternatives available. However, you should not skimp on trekking boots because they significantly affect comfort and performance.
Most trekking boots are ankle-high, with laces all the way up for ease of adjustment.
When selecting a new hiking boot, it is a good idea to get your shoes fitted by professionals. Official hiking and trekking stores often have facilities to assist with the process.
While choosing a shoe may not seem like rocket science, it is in fact an artform. Technically, you should have your feet measured and sized correctly.
You should also have your arches observed in motion (usually on the treadmill) so that you can find the perfect shoe for your bone structure.
GOOD QUALITY SOCKS
While high quality socks aren’t strictly necessary, a good pair of socks will add significantly to your comfort levels. Thicker socks that aren’t worn thin offer padding and support to the feet, protecting them from blisters.
What’s more, you will have to pack lightly, so you need to know that your gear will last for the duration of the trip. You may only pack two or three pairs of socks, so it’s a good idea to invest in the best option!
Accessories in terms of trekking take on a more practical vibe. For example, headbands or beanies can be used in their respective seasons, to keep the hair out of the face.
Some headgear is specifically designed to absorb sweat as well, so that might be worth looking into. But more importantly, a vast number of trekkers enjoy using fitness-tracking watches and apps.
These sports watches are designed to assess every aspect of trekking, from the number of steps taken to the gradient of the incline. There is an abundance of features on these watches, and most trekkers find the statistics to be motivating!
Whether you feel more comfortable in loose, baggy clothing or in lycra athleisure, is a personal choice. That being said, certain types of clothing are more suited to summer than others.
Lightweight, breathable fabrics are important when battling the heat, and it doesn’t make sense to cover up the entire body. Of course, if you are trekking through rugged terrain, you might need to protect your arms and legs from thorns and the like.
However, not all treks are off the beaten track, and some treks are suited to shorts and a t-shirt or a vest. The benefit of trekking in summer is that there are fewer layers needed for comfort, which means a lighter pack.
A waterproof jacket or raincoat is another essential item for trekkers. Unless you are trekking through the desert there will always be spells of rain – which can add dramatically to discomfort levels.
During the summertime, a lightweight windbreaker can be used to shield trekkers from both the rain and wind. During winter, waterproof puffer jackets are the best choice for trekkers, keeping them both warm and dry.
Dressing for trekking during winter is all about insulation. Nearly all items of clothing for winter trekking are available with fleece lining. From boots and beanies, to jackets and hoods – fleece during winter is mandatory.
Trekkers must also dress in layers, for the icy winds and snowflakes are no joke. In fact, it is recommended that trekkers layer their legs in two pairs of long johns, with thicker waterproof pants over the top.
Winter trekking pants are not unlike ski-pants, and trekkers in winter should not forget their gloves! Goggles may also be necessary for extreme conditions such as summiting Mount Everest.
The rain and sleet can make seeing clearly rather difficult, and pelting rain can even damage the eyes. Some winter trekkers will even invest in a pair of earmuffs, to protect their ears from frostbite and the cold.
Although a trekking pack is not an item of clothing, it is still worn by the trekker and therefore highly relevant. Like trekking boots, a trekking pack can make or break the trekking experience. Not only are packs required to be strong and waterproof, but they must also be comfortable to wear.
Straps and harnesses are the most important factor when it comes to choosing a pack. The harness of the pack is designed to offer extra support to trekkers, via a strap that clips around the waist.
An adjustable pack is essential, and the straps need to rest comfortably against the shoulders. It’s no use investing in a pack that cuts into the skin, and straps should be wide in order to avoid this.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The question of what to wear for trekking is largely dependant on the nature of the trek itself. Seasonal changes and off-track terrain impact the type of clothing to be worn on a trek.
But no matter the weather, all trekkers need to invest in a comfortable backpack and pair of trekking boots.
Quality socks should not be forgotten, and accessories should be selected according to personal interest. You might not look runway-ready, but you’ll sure complete your trek in style.
Do you know other things we can add to the list of “What To Wear For Trekking“…. Tell us in comments.
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- How to Get Started with Trekking: Trekking for Beginners
- THE 8 MOST FAMOUS TREKS IN THE WORLD
- HOW TREKKING BUILDS TEAMWORK IN A PERSON?
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