What To Wear Hiking In Cold Weather?

What To Wear Hiking In Cold Weather

Hiking is generally something that we reserve for the summer months. However, when hiking in the winter, you might get to see things that you never have. For instance, the snow and ice might create formations that are only visible in the winter.

What to wear hiking in cold weather?

The first thing that your mind will think about is the cold weather, and this is true. You will need something that offers you plenty of insulation and ensures that you can remain warm. However, it would be best to make sure that the boots you wear keep your feet warm. A waterproof boot is even better due to the ice melting.

  • Warm Clothing
  • Hiking Backpack
  • Hiking Boots
  • Snacks/Water
  • Other optional items like a helmet, camping gear, and so on

We have created this article to ensure that you understand what you need to wear when hiking in the winter. This article will look at some of the best clothing items that you might need to consider when hiking. We also look at the essential features to keep in mind when shopping for these clothing items.

What To Wear Hiking In Cold Weather?

As mentioned, the cold weather will be your biggest enemy, and you need to make sure that you can overcome the cold. This means that any clothing item you buy should offer some form of insulation, and they should not allow the cold weather and wind to come inside. You might even want to consider stacking different layers for more insulation.

Since the weather is cold and the ice might melt during the day, you will need to deal with water, and having something that has Gore-Tex will help isolate the water and wick it ways from your body. You must consider choosing clothing based on the features they offer for the winter. Price should not be as important.

Key Items To Wear When Hiking In The Winter

If the description is too vague for you, we have compiled the following list of clothing that you might want to consider. It would be best to buy something in each of these categories to make sure you are prepared to get the job done and keep yourself warm during the cold winter hikes. Here are the essential clothing items we recommend:

Head Protection

Price: $20

One of the first things to get started with is protection for your head. During the summer months, you will need some form of a hat to keep the sun from burning you. However, the cold winter might mean you want something warmer. A beanie is one of the best things for hiking in the winter to keep your head warm.

Upper Body

Price: $100

The upper body is the essential part that you want to protect as much as possible. By leaving your upper body unprotected, you might run the risk of hypothermia, which will cause you to freeze and even lead to being hospitalized. While you want something warm to wear close to your skin, a warm jacket is important.

Lower Body

Price: $100

Similar to your upper body, you will need some protection for your lower body. Warm pants are a must, and we would recommend going for longer pants to keep the wind and the cold breeze from coming through the clothing. Your lower body will be what propels you forward and what keeps you warm when hiking.

Hiking Boats

Price: $200

To complete the clothing, you want to wear. We should consider looking at the shoes that you might choose to wear. Wearing the right shoes means keeping your feet protected, but you also need to make sure that they are insulated. Nothing is more frustrating than cold or wet feet. We should also mention that you might encounter ice, and you need some good outer soles to give you traction. This guide will help you pick the best hiking boots for your winter hike.


Price: $100

Finally, you will probably be carrying plenty of gear, and to make sure that you can keep all of it dry, you need an efficient backpack. The backpack also needs to be insulated, and it should keep all your belongings at the right temperature and dry.  Here is our guide for picking the perfect hiking backpack

Key Features Of Cold Weather Hiking Clothing

When it comes to finding the right clothing for winter hiking, there are a few essential features to keep in mind. To ensure that you know what to look for, we have identified some of the following features to keep you warm. Here are some of the important features to look for.


The first thing you want to make sure of is that you have decent insulation. You need to make sure that you will stay warm, which means looking for a good lining. Gore-Tex is one of the best linings for you to consider, and you need to make sure that you have the proper insulation.


One thing that many people neglect to look for is making sure that you find something waterproof. You might not think of that when you think of the cold, but with the ice comes cold water, and you don’t want to be drenched in cold water.


No matter which type of clothing you buy and regardless of the season, you should always have comfort in the front of your mind. The more comfortable you are, the better your experience will be when hiking. We recommend that you put a lot of emphasis on finding comfortable clothing that will make you feel ready for hiking.


Durability is the main thing for all outdoor clothing, and once your clothes are durable, you should be able to wear them for extended periods. We would recommend that you research some of the materials and make sure they can hold up. Reliable brands are always a great thing to look for.

Hiking In Cold Weather Summary

Finding the right clothing for hiking in the winter can often be a daunting task. However, it would be best if you put in some effort to make sure that you are not left without insulation when you are going outdoors. We would recommend that you use this article as a guideline for finding the right clothes. Let us know in the comment section if we missed anything else.

Need Help Preparing for a Hike or Backpacking Trip?

Check out our Hiking Equipment Guide for Beginners.  It’s a complete list of gear that every beginner should have!

Hiking In Cold Weather

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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