Cold Weather Hiking Clothing Essentials

Hiking is a great way to explore the wilderness and exercise. And just because its cold, rainy, and potentially snowy, doesn’t mean you have to put it on hold. You just need to dress for the occasion.



A wicking base layer

One of the most important items of clothing you should wear when hiking in the cold is a wicking base layer. This is the closest layer to your skin and helps remove sweat and moisture from the body so it doesn’t cool you down. Wicking material is a great option as it stops you from going cold and helps you retain body heat – perfect for a winter hike.


A breathable midlayer

When looking for something to wear over your base layer, you don’t want it to make you feel hot and stuffy. You want it to be breathable but still keep you warm. And a fleece does exactly that. Not only are they breathable, but they are also light weight and easy to pack away in your backpack.


A waterproof and windproof jacket

If you are out on a trek in the snow and rain, you will most definitely want a water and wind proof jacket to protect you from the elements. However, when looking to invest in a new jacket, you should check that it is waterproof and not water resistant. The difference? Water resistant jackets will only protect you from light showers, not heavy rainfall or snow.


Waterproof walking boots or shoes

One thing you don’t want on a hike is to wear flimsy, non-supportive shoes. Not only will they make your feet hurt, but they can make you cold and cause injuries. Walking boots and shoes are specially designed to support your foot and ankle to prevent twists, sprains and other injuries.



Hiking socks

Along with wearing the correct footwear, you also will benefit from wearing the correct socks. Unlike your ordinary trainer or ankle sock, hiking or walking socks don’t constantly rub on your foot and cause blisters. Instead, they provide protection against your shoes rubbing, and support for tackling uneven terrain. They also help you keep your feet warm and dry – a definite must in the cold.


Hat, scarf, gloves

The first things to go cold are those furthest away from your core, aka your hands. So, keeping those as warm as possible with the help of some gloves is crucial in order for you to have a more enjoyable time. You also lose a lot of body heat through your head, so make sure to wear a warm, thick, wooly hat to help you retain body heat.