There is an old Scandinavian saying “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” And this couldn’t be more true when it comes to camping and hiking. If you know how to layer clothes effectively while in the great outdoors, you will be able to stay mobile, keep protected from wind and stay dry in the elements. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor adventure!
How to layer your clothes for the outdoors
By dressing in layers you will be able to respond to your environment effectively and be able to add or subtract clothes to keep you cooler or warmer.
There are three elements when it comes to layering your clothes and these are:
- The base layer: The layer of clothing right against you that keeps moisture away from your skin
- The mid layer: This is the layer that works for insulation and retains the body heat that you generate
- The outer layer: The layer that protect you from the elements such as wind and rain
If the sun is out, you won’t need to wear an outer layer but as soon as the wind picks up – you should be able to put on your outer layer with no fuss. This is what makes layering so powerful – you are able to adapt to the weather around you with ease.
Now that you have an understanding of the basics – let’s take a look at how each layer works and how you can prepare for your hiking or camping trip.
Base layer clothing for hiking and camping
Your base layer should fit snugly and directly against your skin and its purpose is to keep you warm and dry. Base layers usually come in two materials: wool and synthetic – and sometimes hybrid. Synthetic offers greater moisture-wicking and is not as expensive as its counterparts. The ideal material for your base layer will depend on what you want out of your base later – so take a look at the materials and see what kind of weather they are best suited for.
Mid layer clothing for hiking and camping
The mid layer offers insulation and retains your body heat. The most common mid latter materials are either fleece sweaters or puffy jackets. Remember that even if you don’t think it’s cold – get yourself a mid layer just in case. It should be in every camper or hiker’s backpack!
A puffy jacket whether down or synthetic, is perfect for mid layers while a fleece jersey or sweater works just as well. Both are warm and can be packed down to very small – not taking up any space amongst your camping gear.
For bottom, invest in durable and weather resistant pants – commonly referred to as hiking pants. These kinds of pants are loose fitting so that you can wear a pair of base layer tights beneath them. Make sure they are weather resistant or have the ability to protect you against light rains and winds. You can also invest in higher end bottoms such as mountaineering pants – that are designed for greater weather resistance and durability.
Outer layer clothing for hiking and camping
The outer layer of your clothing will protect you from the elements. There are a variety of options available for your outer layer – beginning with a simple wind breaker and going all the way to a durable and strong mountaineering jacket.
Fleece jacket is the ideal option for outer or mid layer clothing and will keep you warm and safe from the elements. They are also easy to pack and will be a strong part of your camping and hiking gear for future adventures.