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What do you like to wear when hiking?


Danestress
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I am planning a hiking trip with a friend. We are going to do four or five day hikes which will be full days on the trail - one is 13 miles and will include a number of river crossings.  This will be in the Smokeys in July - so probably hot but possibly not miserably hot. 

 

I was reading my trail guide last night, and the author said something about not wearing shorts because on the wilderness trails, treadways are narrow and shorts do  not provide adequate protection.  Back in my backpacking days, though, I always wore shorts if the weather allowed it.  Particularly when there are stream crossings, it seems better to me.  Then again, I haven't hiked the trails he is writing about.  So I thought I would just ask, plus, I haven't done any major hiking in many years, so maybe the materials they use in pants are better now and more comfortable even in the heat. 

 

Also, I have a pair of hiking books I adore.  I hiked many many miles in them, but they are 20 years old, and I need replacing.  What do you like to wear on your feet?  Again, this will be rough terrain, but I won't be carrying a back pack. 

 

I'm sort of nervous about this whole trip - looking forward to it, but my friend is such a physical stud, and I don't want to let her down. 

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Definitely get new shoes. Go to an REI or wilderness store with knowledgeable shoe staff and get help with the decision. The better stores will have practice terrain for you to walk on (like fake rocks) and won't mind if you wear the shoes a solid 10-15 minutes just walking around a lot.

 

You might consider TEVAS river sandals??? When we camp up north, I wear these or Chacos for more support. The benefit is that they dry quickly. You can carry a pair or two of socks in your backpack to slip on if you feel you need more coverage.

 

I usually wear shorts, but a great middle ground is zip-off cargo pants. Either way, wear something with pockets.

 

No matter what, I always, always carry rain gear, a compass, and water. For as much hiking as you want to do, I would strongly suggest getting a more expensive set of rain gear because it will be so much lighter and smaller to carry.

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I've hiked the smokies and shorts are always fine. The trails are easy to navigate and I don't think you will have any problem in shorts. I would be miserable in pants, this isn't a thicket or untraveled territory! Teva's or water type sandals are sooooooooo important! If you don't have them, your boots will be soaking wet and they don't dry over night because of the humidity. Then you will be miserable hiking in soggy boots and will have tons of blisters. Ask me how I know! ;) yes, you need new boots from REI. How are you getting away with not carrying a pack? That'd be awesome!

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Yes, there are better materials for hiking in now. I don't go out like I used to either and I've never done what you're going to do. Shorts would be nice but a little protection from poison ivy and thorny plants, maybe snakes, would be better. My sons have been going out camping a lot the past few years and even went on 10 day jaunts in the New Mexico mountains. They like the zipper leg pants, not sure of correct name for that style. They do wear shorts also on their hikes. The fabric is light but not cotton.

My sons always wear wool socks too, but I guess you know to do that. There are a lot of options, stores, styles, and materials for boots and pants.

I hope you have a great time. I was just thinking about my bucket list this morning...to hike the AT (Appalachian Trail).

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I wear capris. Lightweight but sturdy khaki type. I feel like they give me enough coverage for comfort, but not too hot. 

Good shoes. I wear barefoot shoes for hiking. Lightweight, breathable, flexible, or so comfy. My kids wear regular athletic shoes with socks. We have worn hiking/athletic sandals, but I find them less comfortable. I've never had good quality ones, though. I'm sure that makes a difference. 

 

A tank top. Something slim but not tight, in a breathable fabric. Cotton or coolmax. 
 

For an all-day hike, you NEED a small pack with water. And a little hiking fuel. Nuts, fruit, an energy bar, jerky. If you run out of fuel, you will be useless and miserable. 

 

An emergency poncho is a good idea to keep in your pack as well. Just in case. I don't mind getting wet, but moving through a downpour isn't fun. 

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I've hiked the smokies and shorts are always fine. The trails are easy to navigate and I don't think you will have any problem in shorts. I would be miserable in pants, this isn't a thicket or untraveled territory! Teva's or water type sandals are sooooooooo important! If you don't have them, your boots will be soaking wet and they don't dry over night because of the humidity. Then you will be miserable hiking in soggy boots and will have tons of blisters. Ask me how I know! ;) yes, you need new boots from REI. How are you getting away with not carrying a pack? That'd be awesome!

 

I will carry a day pack, but we are not back packing.  I guess in my mind, I have been thinking, "How hard can this possibly be without having to carry a 35 pound back pack?"  But of course, the day pack will probably feel like 35 pounds after a long day on the trail. 

 

I rented us a cabin on VRBO that is near some of the trailheads for the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock and Citico Creek wilderness areas, so we are not tied to any particular route and can have a place to shower and sleep.  She is flying here, so it just seemed easier than trying to organize a camping/backpacking ordeal. 

 

ETA  Ah, I see the confusion.  It's an "eats shoots, leaves" thing.  I said "four or five day hikes."  What I meant was that we will be up there at a cabin four nights and will hike each day.  So, four or five "day hikes."  lol.

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I wear capris. Lightweight but sturdy khaki type. I feel like they give me enough coverage for comfort, but not too hot. 

 

Good shoes. I wear barefoot shoes for hiking. Lightweight, breathable, flexible, or so comfy. My kids wear regular athletic shoes with socks. We have worn hiking/athletic sandals, but I find them less comfortable. I've never had good quality ones, though. I'm sure that makes a difference. 

 

A tank top. Something slim but not tight, in a breathable fabric. Cotton or coolmax. 

 

For an all-day hike, you NEED a small pack with water. And a little hiking fuel. Nuts, fruit, an energy bar, jerky. If you run out of fuel, you will be useless and miserable. 

 

An emergency poncho is a good idea to keep in your pack as well. Just in case. I don't mind getting wet, but moving through a downpour isn't fun. 

 

Yes, definitely, sorry if I wasn't clear.  We will carry water and other things necessary for a day hike.  In fact, we might even a day or two with a hike in the morning and another in the afternoon, and therefore be able to leave lunch in the car.  But I have only really picked out one "must do" hike, which is the long one - on her birthday.  It will either be a great birthday or a terrible one, lol.  Thanks for suggesting the capris - I will take a look at those. 

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Snip.....

I was just thinking about my bucket list this morning...to hike the AT (Appalachian Trail).

Me too! I'm going to have to find someone to do it with me though as I doubt I could talk my husband into and I'm too chicken to try it alone.

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I prefer pants because I'm highly allergic to poison ivy and it is every where here, I always seem to break out even if I'm careful.

 

That is a good point.  I am terribly allergic to it too.  I am glad you mentioned that.  I will add some of that "post exposure" wash to my supplies for the cabin.  It's not a panacea, but it does help.  I am probably taking my dog too, and for some reason, the poison ivy thing didn't occur to me, and as bad as I have had it in the past (which is very bad, a couple of times) I don't think I have ever gotten it on a back packing trip, which is probably why I didn't think about it. 

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The smokies-almost nothing.  :lol:   That might be my backwoods Appalachian blood speaking, but I go barefoot (bring minimalist sandals hooked onto my pack jic) and wear as little clothing as possible.  I sweat like a fountain and need my clothes not to get snagged when I'm climbing rocks and trees or wading through rivers and creeks. I've gotten poison ivy more times wearing pants than shorts.  Make sure you can identify it and if it gets on your clothes, you'll be exposed when you touch your clothes either way. I have a fanny pack (oh! The horror!) and keep food, bug spray, an emergency kit, epi pen, and phone/camera in it.  Make sure you have a waterproof case for your camera or phone. 

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The smokies-almost nothing.  :lol:   That might be my backwoods Appalachian blood speaking, but I go barefoot (bring minimalist sandals hooked onto my pack jic) and wear as little clothing as possible.  I sweat like a fountain and need my clothes not to get snagged when I'm climbing rocks and trees or wading through rivers and creeks. I've gotten poison ivy more times wearing pants than shorts.  Make sure you can identify it and if it gets on your clothes, you'll be exposed when you touch your clothes either way. I have a fanny pack (oh! The horror!) and keep food, bug spray, an emergency kit, epi pen, and phone/camera in it.  Make sure you have a waterproof case for your camera or phone. 

I like you. 

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I will carry a day pack, but we are not back packing. I guess in my mind, I have been thinking, "How hard can this possibly be without having to carry a 35 pound back pack?" But of course, the day pack will probably feel like 35 pounds after a long day on the trail.

 

I rented us a cabin on VRBO that is near some of the trailheads for the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock and Citico Creek wilderness areas, so we are not tied to any particular route and can have a place to shower and sleep. She is flying here, so it just seemed easier than trying to organize a camping/backpacking ordeal.

 

ETA Ah, I see the confusion. It's a "eats shoots, leaves" thing. I said "for or five day hikes." What I meant was that we will be up there at a cabin four nights and will hike each day. So, four or five "day hikes." lol.

That's hilarious! Yes, that'd be the problem right there. :)

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That's hilarious! Yes, that'd be the problem right there. :)

 

I don't think you can hire a Sherpa to carry your "stuff" on hiking trips in the Appalachian.  Although, honestly, that would make a great job for a certain type of strong young person.  Not me, though.

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I always wear convertible hiking pants where the pant legs zip off for stream crossings.

I like the White Sierra ones:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/white-sierra-point-convertible-pants-upf-30-for-men~p~4105c/?utm_source=GooglePLAs&utm_medium=PaidShopping&utm_term=White_Sierra_Point_Convertible_Pants_-_UPF_30_For_Men&utm_campaign=PCGOOGLEP4&currency=USD&codes-processed=true

 

I actually find hiking in long pants much more comfortable even in the heat because you don't feel sticky. And then of course ticks, poison ivy, scrapes....

 

 

Shoes depend on terrain. On trails, I wear lightweight Keen hiking shoes

http://www.backcountry.com/keen-voyageur-hiking-shoe-womens?CMP_SKU=KEN0131&MER=0406&skid=KEN0131-CHSTBL-S6&CMP_ID=PLA_GOc001&mv_pc=r101&mr:trackingCode=6C10B2DB-F061-DF11-9DA0-002219319097&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=49026977625&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=71136878745&mkwid=sQmfMip3X_dc|pcrid|49026977625&gclid=CIPZzo7bz74CFciGfgodqzcArQ

 

on scree/boulders/cross country/snow heavier leather boots that come above the ankle

(In our family, we have Vasque, Montrail, Hanwag and Meindl boots)

 

If there are stream crossings I have to actually wade, I take a pair of teva or keen sandals. If it's just rock hopping, the hiking shoes are fine. (If you have to walk in the water for a long part of the trip, an old pair of hiking boots is best)

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