I have been hiking for well over a decade and have learned several valuable lessons about hiking safety. One of the biggest safety tips that people overlook when they go hiking is the clothing that they wear. The clothing you wear on a hike must be items that will keep you safe. While a t-shirt and shorts may be fine for a paved trail, true hiking takes place out in the wilderness where these items will not be enough to keep you safe. In this article, I hope to better prepare you for trails that may be more on the dangerous side and will require tough clothing to keep you safe while hiking.
Clothing to Keep You Safe While Hiking: Shirts
Many hikers may choose to wear t-shirts, but there is a problem with t-shirts when it comes to rugged terrain. T-shirts will easily get caught and even tore on branches and even rocks. If you plan on hiking on trails that have narrow paths, you will need clothing that will keep you safe from the elements. That’s why I suggest wearing thick, button-up shirts. We’ve all seen park rangers wearing similar clothing, and it may not be fashionable, but it will keep you safe while hiking. If the trail is extremely rugged, you may even want to wear long-sleeved shirts to protect your arms from being scratched or infected with poison ivy.
Clothing to Keep You Safe While Hiking: Pants
I do not suggest shorts for rugged trails. I have ended many of my hiking trips with scratches on the back of my legs that came from rocks, branches, and God knows what. One slip on a wet rock and you’ll be glad you have pants on. When choosing this piece of clothing, I highly suggest pants that have cargo pockets. There are some items you will need to grab quickly, such as pocket knives. These pockets are also perfect for bug repellent. Whether or not you choose pants with cargo pockets, you do need to make sure the pants you choose a made of a thick material. Denim and thick khaki pants are a couple great choices.
Clothing to Keep You Safe While Hiking: Boots
One of the most important pieces of clothing you will ever choose for hiking is boots. A great pair of hiking boots will keep you safe. A pair of athletic shoes is not going to help you at all while you’re hiking. Athletic shoes may actually cause you to slip and fall on wet rocks. When choosing this piece of clothing, go with an expensive pair. Hiking boots should have a thick tread that will hold onto rocks. Hiking boots should also be waterproof, but if you can’t find a pair that is waterproof, you can purchase a can of spray that will waterproof your boots.
As you can see, you don’t need fancy clothing when hiking. You just need a few basic pieces that will keep you safe. When you leave the woods scratch, poison, and bruise free, you’ll be happy you made these choices. Happy hiking!