Layering – Guide to dressing for mountain hikes
Summer is the peak season for hiking, and there are plenty of places that offer great views and fantastic experiences. Wool is the fabric that will keep you warm and dry so you can focus on enjoying your hike.
As the gradients get steeper, the weather can get temperamental. The layering principle is based on wearing several layers for regulating body temperature according to activity, temperature and season.
Different layers have different functions, but the purpose is to avoid getting cold or overheated and to stay dry and warm throughout the day.
The inner layer should wick moisture and sweat away from the body and should be thin and close to the skin. Woolen merino underwear feels soft and comfortable against the skin and keeps you warm throughout the day. Use our wool underwear guide to find the right woolen underwear for you.
The purpose of the middle layer is to insulate and regulate temperature by taking clothes on or off when nessecary. During inactive periods, you need extra warmth than when you're active. This layer is slightly thicker and sits more loosely on the body for more warmth and movement. Our comfortable and very popular RAV sweater works great as a middle layer.
The outer layer must protect you from the elements and retain heat and ventilate. Go for a shell jacket and trousers that protect you from the rain and wind, and go up a size so that you have room for both base and middle layers underneath without feeling uncomfortable.
Wool is gold
Wool has many excellent properties that make it ideal to wear when you're active. Wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture, and retains heat even when wet. The reason wool retains such a good amount of heat is down to the fact that air is trapped around the fiber. This air is heated by our bodies and will stay warm even when the wool is wet.
Wool in the summer
Wool is a great choice even in summer. If the weather is warm and stable, go for summer wool that will keep you cool. The wool’s fibers react to body temperature and regulate your temperature levels in both cold and heat. When it’s warm, the wool absorbs moisture and provides a cooling effect. Our own Summer Wool or Training collection is perfect for warm days and high intensity.
Tips: Take an extra layer with you just in case so you’re always prepared.
For your feet, go for socks that suit the temperature and activity. Woolen socks are always a sure hit, and mid-weight socks are a good choice for mountain hikes. Wool breathes and you'll to stay warm, even when you get wet. Have a spare pair in your bag or car so you can change after the trip.
Don't forget your head! Bring a hat or headband to protect your ears and head in case it gets colder. A good wool hat will keep you warm and it won't feel damp or clammy on your head. There are many good varieties in merino wool that are light, soft and comfortable.