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Dressing for the Wilderness

Mother Nature isn’t known for her gentle temperament. There’s a reason campers, hikers and hunters require so much gear before embarking upon an adventure into the wild. Dehydration, hunger, exposure and simply getting lost are all ways that going unprepared into nature can be fatal. One of the most important ways of being prepared for these kinds of trips is to know what you need to wear to protect yourself from the elements. Here is a list of aspects to consider when preparing what to wear in the wilderness.

Base Layers

Having a suitable base layer makes the rest of your clothing much more effective. Materials such as Merino Wool are perfect base layers since they are comfortable and move easily with the body. Insulation is vital, even if you believe that the weather will be warm anyway. Spending nights outdoors can be treacherously cold so it’s important to have layers that create pockets of air where the heat can be trapped. Make sure your base layer fits well and doesn’t cause irritation to your skin as this will become unbearable over time.


For any kind of extended outdoor pursuit, footwear is an important part to consider. Protecting your feet from blisters, stretched muscles, and becoming damp will make your trip much more enjoyable. Choose high-quality socks that don’t ride up or down your ankle. You can find socks that have additional padding and support to keep you comfortable. Boots that are appropriate for the terrain will make your journey much easier, so take the time to try on a variety of options before heading outdoors.


The outer layer of your clothing will be what protects you from rain, wind, and snow. Make sure to look up the weather forecast before taking your trip otherwise you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. A hood is usually more practical than a hat when it comes to rain and wind since it can’t be blown away. Drawstrings around the hood and waistline of your waterproof jacket make it less likely for water to enter your other layers of clothing. Waterproof bottoms should protect the base layers also, especially near the feet.


Depending on the weather forecast for your trip, you’ll need a set of additional accessories to make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable. Gloves with a good grip and tight wrist are ideal for colder weather whereas peaked caps will make it harder for the sun to damage the skin on your face. Sunglasses are important all year round to protect your vision. One of the most important pieces of gear for a hiker, hunter or camper is the backpack. Choose yours carefully.

Good to Know

Here are a few extra points that will make your journey outdoors more pleasant:

  • Wear loose clothing for comfort and insulation purposes
  • Don’t wash your waterproof layers unless the manufacturer permits this – certain items can lose their waterproofing ability after being through the laundry
  • It is better to be prepared for cold weather and have to remove layers than it is to prepare for warm weather and be caught underdressed.
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