Hiking: What to wear in the great outdoors

There’s that saying, “you can never be too overdressed for any occasion,” while that saying is commonly referred to dates, dinners, events and other entertainment type activities it’s also 100 percent applicable for hiking but for a different reason.

When it comes to hiking clothes, you should think about where you are going and how challenging the terrain. Is it Winter and will you be playing in the snow among the giants? Is it Spring or Fall and you’re touring Joshua Tree National Park? Is it August, 95 degrees and are you heading to Yosemite? While these locations present different and sometimes unpredictable weather patterns, a person can be prepared for all three by following one simple rule — layering.

Experts suggest borrowing equipment instead of buying new when first starting out. Hold off on buying new until you’ve made the decision you want to continue hiking and camping.

There are a few key materials to look out for when picking out hiking apparel. It’s also important to understand what different material has different benefits. Four key words to remember are wicking, waterproof, breathable and insulating. Four key materials to remember are wool, polyester/nylon, fleece and no cotton. Dressing for hikes in the winter is different than in the summer, but one material will keep you comfortable during both seasons. “Wool keeps you warm in the winter and dry in the summer.”

“The first two layers let your sweat out. The third layer should be windproof and waterproof.” A person’s base layer should be lightweight and the material should be able to pull the moisture away from the body. It should also be able to dry quickly. The base layer includes underwear, shirts and pants.

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