Often, the difference between a good hike and a great hike comes down to the small details. If you are getting a bit uncomfortable and your clothing starts to rub, the discomfort may ruin what could have otherwise been a great hike. On the other hand, if your clothing and accessories keep you comfortable and dry in spite of your effort and the weather, then it's easier to fully enjoy yourself on the trail.
If you are ready to improve your hiking experience, here are six accessories and clothing items to add to your collection.
1. Good Belt
You may not wear a belt on a regular basis, but when you're out hiking, a number of things can happen that make your pants more likely to fall down. If your pants become wet and heavy, they may start to slide down as you walk. You may also become sweaty around your mid-section, which can cause some pants to slide.
A belt will hold your pants in place so you don't have to hike them up every stride or risk showing your backside to fellow hikers.
2. Wool Socks
Nothing can ruin a hike faster than a blister on your foot, and wool socks are the ultimate choice for blister protection. Wool wicks moisture away from your feet, which keeps your skin from becoming blistered and irritated. Look for thin merino wool or wool blend socks for summer. For the colder months, opt for thicker wool socks with some extra built-in cushioning.
3. Breathable Cap
You should always wear a baseball cap or hat when out hiking. It keeps bugs from falling onto your hair, and it helps shield your face from harmful UV rays. Look for a cap that has plenty of mesh built into the top for breathability. This way, you won't be tempted to take the cap off because it makes you too warm.
4. Lightweight Pants
Are you still hiking in jeans? It's time to make a change. There is a saying among hikers that cotton kills - because cotton traps moisture against your body and can cause you to become chilled in windy or cold conditions. Denim, the material from which jeans are made, is just dyed cotton, which means it's really not safe or comfortable for hiking.
Look instead for breathable, lightweight hiking pants. Do not wear shorts either. They make it far too easy for ticks and other insects to access your legs.
5. UV-Blocking Shirt
You do not want to end your hike with sunburn on your arms or develop skin cancer from a lifetime of hiking without sun protection. Look for a hiking shirt that is made from UV-blocking fabric. This quality may be advertised as UPF, which stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. Shirts with a UPF of 30 to 50 offer the sun protection you need for a safe and burn-free hike.
6. Quality Sunglasses
Your eyes also need protection from the sun. Otherwise, you may end the day with sunburn on your eyelids and blurry vision. Here are a few qualities to look for in good hiking sunglasses.
- Lightweight, plastic frames
- Polarized lenses
- UV rating of 3 or 4
- Frames that fit the curvature of your face
When possible, try sunglasses on before purchasing them to make sure they will feel comfortable on your face all day.
With these six clothing items and accessories in your collection, you should have an easier time hiking in comfort. Browse the selections at Over Under Clothing to start building your collection today. We offer a great selection of performance shirts, belts, pants and more.