The first layer is the one that is attached to the body, like a second skin.
- In winter, the most recommended is a thermal shirt. It should be made of an elastic material that fits the body (without tightening too much) and a synthetic fabric that facilitates perspiration and dries quickly. It is not advisable to wear standard cotton shirts because they retain all the moisture that our body generates with sweat. And the humidity, apart from the discomfort, becomes cold the moment we stop the activity.
- In summer, a loose T-shirt, also made of synthetic fabric, is of interest.
The second layer is the coat.
- In winter it will typically be a fleece or synthetic fabric. It can be closed or open (with zipper). Generally, a second open layer is more interesting because it allows us to regulate the ventilation of the body based on physical activity and weather conditions. If we are going to go out in icy conditions, the second layer could be a closed thermal fleece along with a leather vest, which will allow us to regulate ventilation.
- In summer, it can be a light fleece if we plan to go through shady areas or areas of a certain height more exposed to the wind.
The third layer, also known as membrane, is the one that protects from the outside environment: rain, snow, wind … This layer is waterproof, and it is recommended that it is also breathable so that moisture generated by sweat cannot accumulate.
- In winter, it will depend a lot on the weather conditions (temperature, humidity, and wind, if it can rain or snow …). The third layer will typically be a waterproof jacket (be careful not to confuse the third layer with garments made of three layers, such as some mountain jackets, which have a waterproof outer fabric, an insulating layer and a third internal fabric that facilitates perspiration). Quality jackets, especially for harsh weather conditions are usually expensive, but it is a good investment because they are very resistant and you can tell the difference in use (more comfortable and better protection) concerning cheap brands or models.
- In summer, the third layer will be a light rain jacket or windbreaker that we will carry in the backpack in case we get caught by an unexpected rain shower. If the whole route is going to be done in a hot situation, we will leave the second layer at home, and the windbreaker would serve as an emergency garment in case the lap is delayed and the night catches us, etc.
It will also depend on the conditions that we are going to find, but in general, it is a good idea to wear: gloves, winter hat, panties, hat, sunglasses (essential if we go to snow areas)
The layering rule also applies to the legs, but in the case of hiking for day trips, it is reasonable to wear a single layer (pants) or a second inner skin that could be thermal meshes. But keep in mind that as the march progresses, if it is less cold than expected, the double layer can become uncomfortable and it is not as easy to play with the sheets as with the top (we can not unbutton or remove and put quickly).
The recommended pants are synthetic fiber, light, and flexible to facilitate movements. It is not advisable to wear jeans because if they get wet for any reason, they will retain moisture and take a long time to dry, which can translate into a feeling of cold and discomfort. They can also cause chafing if they are very tight, etc.
In general, it is preferable to wear long pants even in marches during the summer, because the pants protect the legs if we go through areas of thorns, dry grass, low branches, etc.
Recommended brands for hiking clothes
For the first and second layers, virtually any known brand. Thermal shirts and fleeces are generally quite similar. Look that they fulfill the characteristics that we have commented: synthetic fabric, with elasticity in the case of thermal garments for the first layer, and that they are breathable.
For the third layer, which is what has to protect us from the elements, perhaps it is worth relying on specialized brands. Some well-known brands that manufacture high-quality clothing:
- Columbia. Excellent value for money, especially if you find an offer.
- The North Face. Manufactures from mountain footwear to clothing and accessories.
- Mammut. Another brand that manufactures hiking and adventure equipment of very high quality. They are somewhat more expensive products, but if you practice hiking regularly, it is amortized for its durability and the comfort it provides.
- Helly Hansen . It also manufactures high-quality adventure clothes and material and usually at a reasonable price.
- Salomon. In addition to footwear, it also has a whole catalog of quality clothing and accessories.
- I trango. Good value for your camping and hiking products
- Marmot. Another brand with good quality and you can get reasonable prices.