One of the greatest benefits of living where I do is access to super hiking trails and year round optimal hiking weather. We’ve done a lot of hiking since we moved to southeastern Arizona almost 13 years ago. So today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite hiking clothes. While there are several brands that I like for outdoor clothing, today I’m showcasing Columbia Sportswear I wore on our recent Easter hike.
Yes, I actually love wearing a skort when hiking. This Columbia Just Right Skort is made of 96% nylon, 4% elastane, so it moves with you easily. The skirt portion fits close to the body, but doesn’t feel tight or encumbering at all. Underneath is an inner short made of Columbia’s Omni-Wick fabric. It keeps you dry and has four-way stretchability for optimal movement. I love the feminine appearance of this skort, but I never once feel like I’m wearing a skirt while hiking in it.
In case you’re wondering, this skort is easy on and off. It has a zip fly with double button-snap enclosure and an interior elasticized draw cord. Look, I’m all about comfort and ease when hiking. So I wouldn’t wear anything fussy or cumbersome. This is a skort you put on and forget about, so you can get on with the activities of the day.
Another Columbia skort that appears to be very similar, but is constructed slightly different (with belt loops) is the Columbia Saturday Trail Skort.
My sleeveless Columbia top is a couple of years old, but it looks similar to the Silver Ridge II. It’s 100% polyester moisture-wicking fabric, which is important for hiking. I don’t ever wear cotton when hiking. I prefer clothing made of lightweight polyester that wicks away the moister rather than clinging to my skin as cotton does. Also, many of Columbia’s outdoor pieces are made of Omni-Shade fabric that protects your skin from ultraviolet A and B rays.
My top has a button up placket, a handy zip chest pocket that doesn’t feel bulky or even noticeable, and a vented back yoke that really does help keep you cooler. You can conveniently wash and dry most Columbia Sportswear by machine, but I think I generally let mine air dry just for good measure. I love wearing this shirt even when I’m not hiking.
I like using my Garmin Forerunner watch when I hike. The GPS feature will map out for me where I’ve hiked and it also keeps track of distance covered, calories burned and, of course, the time. It’s especially important to keep up with time and distance when you’re hiking an in-and-out excursion so you afford yourself plenty of time to get back to the trailhead before sundown.
My lime green Columbia Sportswear wide brim hat is made of Omni-Shade, which protects me from 50% of the sun’s harmful rays, and a four-way stretch fabric that makes this one-size-fits-all hat truly fit all. The adjustable draw-cord toggle helps keep the hat secure on windy days like we had for this hike, but I often loosen it and move it to the back. My hat is several years old, but it looks similar to Columbia’s Bora Bora II Booney for women. Honestly, hats bug me. I only wear them if I have to. But this one is so light-weight and breathable that I really enjoy wearing it.
Hiking boots come in a wide variety, but mine are made for backpacking. I backpacked about a 30-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail with my aunt and a friend quite a while back, and these are the boots I ordered for that excursion. My boots are by Vasque and are similar to the St. Elias GTX (GORE-TEX). You definitely want boots with GORE-TEX if you’ll be hiking around water or potentially in rain or snow.
My Vasque boots have held up well and are comfortable for long hikes. I’m looking into the Vasque Talus Trek UltraDry because they are made for dry, rocky terrain like we have here in Arizona. But I’m also considering the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve, which are constructed more like sandals, but still look tough enough for the trails I frequent.
Oh, and I can’t forget the socks! It’s so important to wear the right socks when hiking. I always wear my lightweight wool hiking socks. Cotton is a no-no. I also wear silk sock liners for extra comfort, dryness and ease on the skin.
I love hiking because it gives me opportunity to enjoy parts of nature I wouldn’t otherwise see, provides great exercise and challenges me. But I have found that hiking is much more enjoyable when you are dressed appropriately. Yes, I like to dress stylishly even on the trail. But more importantly it’s important to wear moisture wicking fabrics, the right socks and shoes and a hat that feels comfortable but also gets the job done. I’ll share other brands shortly, but I do like Columbia Sportswear for a hike.
Do you enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities? I’d love to know because I have plans for other fashion posts of hiking clothes. But I’d also consider fitness posts about outdoor activities if you’re interested.
If you want to browse the links below, be sure to click the arrow to the right for more selections. I found links for almost everything I mentioned in today’s post.
By the way, the FASTer Way to Fat Loss fitness and eating plan I’ve had so much success on is taking registrations now. Just click on the link above for more information, but I’d be glad to answer any questions, too. The main thing I like about this program is that it truly helps you change your lifestyle for health and fitness. I’ve completed the “program,” but I’ll continue with the plan indefinitely just because it is such an amazing lifestyle shift and has proven so effective for me.
Blessed for My Day
Posting about hiking reminds me how much I love spending time in the beauty of nature. A day on the trails gives me opportunity to see and enjoy the splendor of God’s created world. I appreciate the world He has created, but, more importantly, I always get another glimpse of the majesty and power of God when I spend time in nature. Truly, nature speaks of God’s character. What do you know of God from His creation?
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:20