Walking Clothes – What Should I Buy for Winter and Summer?
If you are thinking about shopping for walking clothes, you’ve probably thinking about the layering system. To stay warm, dry and comfortable you should use a layering system. The system should be flexible enough to allow you to add or remove layers as walking conditions change and how you feel. It is best to choose walking clothes that are lightweight and easily packed inside your rucksack.
A layering system typically consist of three layers:
Base-layer – this will wick away moisture from your skin and help regulate your body temperature.
It is worth looking at the material specification. Cotton soaks up sweat and stays wet, drawing the heat away from your body, leaving you cold. So a high cotton mix is not recommended.
If you are buying walking clothes for winter, consider Merino or Alpaca. In very cold conditions consider wearing a number of thinner base-layers. You can always carry extra layers in your rucksack, to keep you safe if the weather conditions turn very cold.
Mid-layer – this is meant to trap the warmth. You may consider a sports fleece / fleece jacket, softshell jacket down / synthetic jacket.
Mid layers are worn over the base layer. They help trap in body heat and wick away more sweat vapour. When shopping for mid layers consider sports fleece, softshell or a down synthetic jacket.
Outer-layer – these are the protective shell or layer. A waterproof jacket or rain suit or a windproof down /synthetic jacket in the cold/dry.
Outer layers should protect you against wind and rain. Ideally these should be made from breathable material so the sweat vapour passes through and away from the body. Outer layer walking clothes should be lightweight, pack small into your ruscksack and ideally be breathable.
Winter walking clothes and summer walking clothes are different. Winter walking clothes need to keep you dry, warm and safe. When choosing your outer layers, make sure they are waterproof and windproof, breathable materials are best. This will ensure your will keep you warm and dry on the inside. Sweat is something that needs thinking about in the summer and in the winter. You will sweat in the winter just as you will in the summer so choose the right base layers to wick away that sweat, so you stay dry.
Walking is one of the most cost effective ways to keep fit. Whether you’re on an extended hike, or a short walk in the hills, you should take the best walking clothes and gear. To help we have put together the following list as a guide.
Outdoor gear list for long distance camping hikes
This is not an extensive list, rather a guide to think about. The type, weight and design of the walking cloths and gear will vary between a winter and summer walk / hike
Walking or Hiking boots
Waterproof rucksack liner/strong bin liner
Small plastic bags
Water bottle – 1 litre
Small freezer bags
Alarm clock, watch
Hiking socks, 2 pairs
Underwear and mid layers
Fleece mid layers
Waterproof jacket and trousers – outer layers
Warm hat or balaclava
Spare walking clothes
First Aid Kit