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Hiking, one of man’s earliest outdoor activities. Even during prehistoric times, man considered hiking as one of his primary endeavours, at times very much necessary for his survival. Man would hike and wander for food, be it for hunting wild beasts or foraging for edible plants and fruits.
Sources of fresh, clean water like water holes and mountain springs were discovered through mountain and forest hikes. As groups of humans gathered to become communities and villages, hiking would turn into exploration as people expanded their known areas and territories.
Top Considerations for Hiking Clothes
If somebody was to ask what are the best clothes for hiking, the answer is just as there is no best so too is there no worst. Everything depends on a lot of things, like where are you going to hike and what season it is currently.
Some clothes may be excellent for this season but may not be appropriate when the season ends. Some clothes may be very useful for a certain hiking area, but are almost next to useless when brought to another one.
The following are three things you might want to consider on deciding the clothes you will be wearing before you go hiking. There are always other factors at play in such a very dynamic activity like hiking, but these three always come into the picture when one decides to go trekking into the outdoors.
This may very well be the number one factor that everyone should consider before deciding to go hiking. There are countries around the globe that offer hiking spots so close they might as well have been in your own backyard. However, some of the best hiking areas that offer the most treasured hiking experiences require you to travel substantially. For that it may be wise to some research on the climate and then adjust accordingly on the hiking clothes you will be bringing.
Countries with tropical climates generally only have wet and dry seasons, so all you have to do when hiking here is make sure you’re wearing clothes that keep off moisture or control them to a minimum.
It gets a bit more complicated if you go hiking in temperate zones where it is a mixture of four seasons, plus throw in wild cards like blizzards, thunderstorms and the occasional whirlwind/tornado. Keeping yourself dry and moisture-free will become trickier so adjust your hiking clothes accordingly.
Another equally important factor to consider when selecting clothes is the location of your hiking activity. Just as climate will play a role, so too will be the places that you are headed to. Some hiking areas are bland, glum and flat like lush grasslands and wide plains.
Others may not be so simple and bare like forest reserves and copse woods, where a comfortable walk feels so ordinary until suddenly everything changes in a flash. For that, diligent research should then translate into the proper hiking attire for the situation.
For instance, will the hike have you wading through deep water? What obstacles are in the water? With these in mind, you have to invest in clothing like waterproof shoes and all-weather socks. If there are sharp objects like jagged rocks and fallen trees, you may also have ensure you wear clothing that is not easily torn and shredded should it get tangled.
As mentioned earlier, you might encounter some of Nature’s critters when hiking. Insects like mosquitoes and wasps can be very aggressive in the wild. Poisonous snakes like vipers and cobras will not hesitate to bite you if you happen to stumble into their lair. A bite from them could spell the end of carefully-planned hike. But with the right preparation in the clothes that you wear, you should be able to keep them at bay.
Level of Activity
A third determinant of what you will be wearing for the hike begins with a very simple question, what will you be doing during the hike?
So simple yet again very important. Yes, a hike might just be a simple walk with everyone chuckling and giggling all throughout. However, you might be thinking of doing other things besides walking and talking. What those things are will again determine the clothes you wear before beginning the hike.
Overnight hikes with camping have you bringing a lot of gear. You might be drenched in sweat even on an overcast day, which can be remedied with lightweight, moisture-wicking upper clothes.
The same logic would probably apply if your hike is really a fun-run of sorts, with you and your fellow hikers racing and hurrying on hunting paths like crazy! Wear long and thick clothing and you’ll be spending more time wiping your brow instead of keeping pace with everyone.
Hiking Through Time
Hiking today is more of a leisure activity, what with most of the Earth already having mapped extensively thanks to our scientific progress. While there are still some indigenous tribes in the world that hunt and forage like the Old Times, people go hiking more often to enjoy.
It is indeed a very nice feeling to get out of the city and step into Mother Nature’s domain. Go over hills and mountains, trek into deep valleys, canyons and ravines. Run like crazy through pathways of woods and forests, scale cliff walls and conquer narrow mountain trails. Hiking lets you experience the beauty of the Earth first-hand.
Unless you are from a prehistoric ethnic group, you will not be hiking wearing animal fur, bird feathers, or trunks made from leaves. Hiking clothes are important, equally essential as outdoor gear like hiking GPS devices, flashlights, tents and sleeping bags. The clothes you wear are your principal defence from whatever comes your way. You are going to face the harsh elements with rain, snow, hail, and sleet.
The weather can change from hot to cold, dry and parched to freezing windy. Insects can bring disease, wild animals can hurt and poison you. Other than bringing stuff like knives and guns, your clothes might be your only protection.