Adventuring can be a lot of fun. You get to explore new landscapes and experience new habitats.
But spending a lot of time out in nature can be a risk. Icy conditions can lead to hypothermia. Too much heat can cause heatstroke. Being out in the sun too long can cause your skin to burn and put you at risk of cancer.
The clothing you choose, therefore, is essential. You need the right gear to make the trip a success. Here are some of the garments you’ll want to pack.
Double-layer socks are perhaps the best invention ever for people who love hiking. The layers of the sock rub together instead of the sock and your foot, virtually eliminating blisters. You’re able to walk for miles and avoid sore feet at the end of it.
Double-layer socks are a little costlier than regular socks. But they save you the hassle of wearing two pairs of socks and they work delightfully. Once you start wearing them, you can wave goodbye to sore feet for good.
You’d be surprised just how often you need sunglasses for adventuring. Often, it can get a little bright out there.
Sunglasses are important because they protect your retinas from UV radiation. Just like the skin, the sun’s rays can also damage the eyes, potentially leading to eyesight problems in the future.
Most sun damage is done during a few short episodes throughout the year, particularly when people are traveling. Bright sunlight reflected off snow, for instance, can cause tremendous damage to your skin. So too can a week of lying in the sun unprotected on a beach vacation.
Buy sunglasses with certified UVA and UVB protection. Don’t take any chances when it comes to your eye health.
Most seasoned adventurers and hikers have waterproof jackets. But relatively few have waterproof pants as well.
Unfortunately, most waterproof jackets don’t protect the legs. So when it rains heavily, your upper body stays dry, but your lower body gets soaked. This problem is even worse if it is driving rain, coming in from the side.
Waterproof pants stop water in its tracks. Usually, you wear them over your regular adventuring clothing when conditions get wet. Then, when the rain stops, you simply take them off, shake them out, and you’re ready to go again.
Most health professionals recommend that people stay out of direct sunlight in the middle of the day. UV intensity is at its highest when the sun is overhead and it can damage skin quickly.
That’s why so many adventurers pack a shemagh. These versatile pieces of kit are essentially extra-strong shawls that you wrap over your head. You can wear them in combination with sunscreen to protect your skin from direct sunlight. You can also use them as a snude in cold weather, for instance, if you happen to be hiking through snow or skiing.
Sweat-Wicking White Long-Sleeved Top
Sweat-wicking white long-sleeved tops are ideal for anyone planning on taking a long hike in a hot country. The fabric helps the skin to breathe, allowing it to sweat and cool down as you walk. White versions are great because they reflect the sun’s light energy, helping to keep you cool. And the long-sleeved aspect prevents the sun from burning your forearms.
Nowadays, there are brands that make tops that can block out nearly all UV light. Reducing the amount of incoming light allows you to stop using sunscreen on vast areas of your body.
Sometimes things can get seriously cold on adventures. If you’re planning to go to high altitude or somewhere chilly, like the arctic, you’ll need an outer shell.
Outer shells look a lot like regular jackets. In fact, some jackets feature both an inner liner and outer shell.
The purpose of the outer shell is to prevent high-speed winds from robbing your clothing of warm air pockets. These garments create a barrier that keeps you warm in all conditions.
Most adventurers prefer to use separate garments for inner liners and outer shells. Inner liners are great for cold conditions when the air is still, while outer shells are an optional extra when the wind speed picks up and the wind chill factor falls.
Whether you choose gloves or mittens depends on the type of adventuring that you are planning on doing. In most cold weather situations, gloves will suffice. Here, the glove surrounds each finger, providing a layer of insulation.
However, if temperatures fall below -5 degrees C, you’ll need to wear mittens. These house all your fingers together in a single interior compartment which protects them from the weather better. The downside is that you can’t perform fiddly manual work when wearing mittens, so you’ll need to take this into account.
Balaclavas are incredibly useful for adventurers. They’re lightweight and provide massive functionality.
Adventurers tend to use them when they are moving through forests or want to protect themselves from the sun. They are, however, a godsend in cold weather too, helping to protect the face.
The only issue with balaclavas is that some people can find them uncomfortable. Whether you agree with them depends very much on you as an individual.
If you trek through snow, then you’ll need crampons. These are attachments that you put on your hiking boots that allow them to dig into the snow.
Crampons are usually quite expensive and made of metal. However, they are a lifesaver if you ever find yourself high up in the mountains walking through a snow drift.
Gaiters are like extra socks that fit over your lower leg and hiking boots. When fitted correctly, they help keep unwanted water out of your boots, leaving your feet dry.
Gaiters are also great for anyone hiking in muddy conditions. They protect the boots themselves, making camping more manageable.
In summary, going on a hiking adventure can be a lot of fun, but only if you take the right equipment. Not having the right tools for the job is actually very dangerous.