for those who love the outdoors

26 February, 2024


Outdoor Activities? Here is How to Dress

Most people look at clothing as an outlet for their personal expression. However, clothing also has a utilitarian purpose, especially when it comes to the outdoors.

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Whether you're camping, hiking, kayaking, or skiing, having the right attire will affect your overall experience. Therefore, it's important to dress appropriately before you plan to enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer.

Benefits of Dressing for the Outdoors

Most outdoor activities are hazardous by nature, and your clothing serves as your first defense against those environmental hazards. For example, slip-proof shoes can prevent falls if you're boating or fishing, and hiking boots can help you stomp your way through thick underbrush. 

Both of these examples would be safer for the outdoors than your regular, daily-wear shoes, which are optimized for walking in a city environment. You should also take into account what the weather will be like when you venture outdoors. The right clothing protects you against wind, direct sunlight, and extremely high or low temperatures.

Along with their protective factor, the right clothes are also highly functional. Zippered pockets can keep your possessions safe and secure, making them ideal for activities like skiing or horseback riding. On the other hand, an activity like rock-climbing would call for lightweight, form-fitting clothes that are less likely to get tangled up in your gear.

How to Dress for Each Season

Spring and Autumn

Spring and autumn are relatively mild, but you may still encounter unexpected bouts of wind, sun exposure, humidity, or rain. In cases where extremely cold or warm temperatures aren't likely, layering your clothes will still leave you prepared for whatever weather conditions you may face. This strategy is useful because you can add or remove layers as needed. At a minimum, you should wear three layers consisting of a thin, moisture-wicking base layer, a slightly thicker mid-layer, and a weatherproof shell layer.


Summer is the season of sun and water-based activities, but it can also be the season of thunderstorms. Starting with your head, choose a hat that will shield you from the sun or rain, and don't forget to include sunglasses for protection from UV rays. Choose shirts made of a lightweight, breathable fabric and loose-fitting pants or shorts that dry quickly. Whatever shoes you choose should be appropriate to the terrain.


In the winter, you are most likely to experience extremely cold temperatures and snow during your outdoor adventuring. Once again, layering is an effective approach to defend yourself against the cold. Start with thermal underwear or long johns. This should be followed by a medium-thick layer made from a heat-retaining fabric, such as fleece or wool. For additional layering, add a scarf, muff, beanie, and gloves. Your final layer should be a weatherproof shell, such as a Gore-Tex jacket. Wet feet can cause your body to lose heat quickly, so take extra care to choose boots that are both warm and waterproof.

More Tips for Dressing for the Outdoors

Select clothes that are both protective and comfortable enough for you to move freely and engage in your chosen activity. This is one reason wearing why many thinner layers can be more effective than two or three bulky layers. Dressing for comfort can also reduce the likelihood of developing blisters, sores, or other minor aches and pains from a full day of activity. In particular, wearing the right shoes for the given environment provides support and stability to keep your feet comfortable and prevent injury.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

When in doubt, it's best to be over-prepared than under-prepared. No outdoor adventure is complete without a rucksack of gear, snacks, and hydration. While packing your rucksack, you may want to include an extra jacket, pair of socks, or hat. As the saying goes, it's always better to have it and not need it than
the other way around.

Outside & Active

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Outside & Active is the home for those who love the outdoors. Our mission is to inspire, inform and educate people about being active outdoors in a fun, safe and sustainable way. We provide inspiration, kit, tech and advice on adventure, camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, running water and winter.

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