When it comes to hiking, appropriate apparel is key for both comfort and safety. Here are a few things you should wear on every hike, no matter the weather.
While some people prefer to wear tennis shoes while hiking, there are many benefits of investing in a good pair of hiking boots. Hiking boots are recommended because they provide traction. If you’re hiking in an area that is wet, slippery or steep, hiking boots will grip the ground and keep you from slipping. Hiking boots also provide support and stability to your feet and ankles, which prevents twists and sprains while walking on uneven terrain. Finally, boots will keep your feet dry when walking through shallow streams or mud.
Weather can change quickly, especially in Oklahoma. It’s important to wear layers that you can take off or put on as the weather changes. It’s recommended to wear a base layer for warm weather, a long-sleeved layer for chilly weather and a waterproof outer shell in case of rain. If you’re hiking in the colder months, you should wear a winter coat, gloves and a warm hat.
Summers can get hot in Oklahoma, but it’s important to wear lightweight, long pants when hiking. This will protect your skin from ticks and poison ivy. Long pants will also protect you from scrapes and cuts caused by tall grass, branches or thorns.
It’s important to pair the right sock with your hiking boots to provide dry protection and cushioning for your feet. If you’re wearing high ankle boots, make sure you wear high socks to avoid chaffing. Socks can also protect against ticks and scrapes. Make sure you look for fast-drying fabric, like merino wool, so your socks don’t get soggy or sweaty throughout your hike.
No matter the season, sunscreen is a must for every hiker. Sun exposure can cause burns and other skin damage that may increase your risk of skin cancer. Always apply sunscreen to any exposed skin before you leave for a hike, even on cloudy or cool days.