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What to Wear for Hiking in the Winter

What to Wear for Hiking in the Winter

If you’re like me, you relish the opportunity to get outdoors for a long hike. There is something about nature that is so peaceful and serene. It seems to rejuvenate you! However, some avid hikers may stay inside a bit more during the winter due to a lack of knowledge of how to stay warm and safe. Let’s take a look at what to wear to stay warm when hiking in the winter.

Thermal Underwear

Layering is absolutely critical when hiking in the winter. Thus, a major component of your hiking clothes should involve thermal underwear. These items are great for keeping your core warm, helping you stay safe and be outdoors longer. Additionally, they are relatively lightweight. A wicking material is ideal to remove sweat as it forms.

Fleece or Wool Hat

A lot of heat escapes from your head, so a fleece or wool hat is essential in helping retain your body heat. Make sure to avoid cotton – both for the hat and in general – as cotton clothing stays wet for a long time and does a much worse job of retaining your heat than other fabrics.

Lined Hiking Boots & Wool Socks

While effectively layering will help keep your core warm, you also want to keep your extremities warm. The best option for your feet is a pair of wool socks paired with fleece lined hiking boots. Depending on the temperature, you may opt for wool socks with regular hiking boots or even double up on the socks.


Your fingers are typically the first thing to get cold. Thus, you want to bring a good lightweight set of gloves. While there are fleece and wool gloves made for hiking, some people may find running gloves to be a good option as well. Even if you don’t begin by wearing them, be sure to have these on hand.


Depending on the temperature and how long you plan to be outdoors, you may need a jacket. Puffy jackets with hoods are very popular for hiking clothes in very cold weather. For less cold weather, a waterproof and windproof jacket is always a good choice to at least pack if not wear.

Hand Warmers

While not clothing, it is always good to bring a few packs of hand warmers. These can be good at helping restore heat if you find yourself getting too cold. In addition to good winter hiking clothes, these and other first aid supplies are great things to carry in your pack.

Final Thoughts

Hiking in the winter can be a very rewarding experience, allowing you to see a whole new world of nature in a winter wonderland. Being prepared with the right hiking clothes is essential to enjoying your time outdoors and not having to head home early due to getting too cold. Prepare well and enjoy your time in nature!

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