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Best Base Layers For Hiking

There is clothing that is meant for hiking adventures. This clothing works to ensure that your experience is the best it can be.

Different types come into play. The base is the foundation. The one that is closest to the skin. Others include outer or multi-functional layers. 

Wearing multiple materials when hiking is so that you can adapt to the climate. For instance, if a hike began in the morning, the climate may change throughout the day. You will want to be able to adjust to the climate throughout the day. Multiple coverings will help with that.

The best place to begin is with a foundation. There are a few different styles and materials when it comes to foundation materials. In this article, we will discuss the best base layer for hiking.

What Is The Importance Of Wearing A Base Layer?

Best Base Layers For Hiking

Best Base Layers For Hiking

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The base covering is the one that is closest to the skin. The purpose of this one is to remove the moisture from your body. This process is referred to as wicking, the removal of the moisture. Wicking moisture from the skin is important in both cold and hot temperatures.

In cold temperatures, water close to your body is the last thing you want. Talk about sickness and discomfort.

On the opposite side of the possible temperature is a hot climate. Wicking moves the sweat from your body, allowing for it to evaporate. Your excess body heat goes along with it as well!

This one overall helps to keep you comfortable. Appropriate clothing on a hike can make the difference between a great or miserable time.

How Do You Choose The Best Base Layer For Hiking?

Best Base Layers For Hiking

Best Base Layers For Hiking

There are a few ways for you to choose the appropriate foundation material for you.

There are different thickness levels when it comes to this piece. There is ultralightweight, lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. Regardless of the thickness, moisture-wicking will take place. Thickness levels are for different types of weather and activity.

When choosing this initial covering, you should think of the other ones too. This is to ensure that all of your coverings function together properly. It's important to keep this in mind to choose the correct amount of layers.

You can choose a starting point layer based on fabric. Three types of fabric make for efficient starting points. The three fabrics are synthetic, silk, and Merino Wool.

The best place to begin is with a foundation. There are a few different styles and materials when it comes to foundation materials. In this article, we will discuss the best base layer for hiking.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of support layers.

Different Types Of Base Layers

hiking outfit ideas

hiking outfit ideas

Now that we are aware of the need for a foundation covering let’s go over the different types.

Fabric

Okay, let’s start with this, cotton is the worst choice you can make when going on a hike. This is especially true when it comes to the foundation. This is because cotton has no wicking properties to it. As a result, your hike would end up very uncomfortable.

Three different fabrics are the most common. All of which have various pros and cons.

Synthetic Fabrics

The best place to begin is with a foundation. There are a few different styles and materials when it comes to foundation materials. In this article, we will discuss the best base layer for hiking.

Common synthetic fabrics include polyester, spandex, nylon, and more. They are typically more affordable than other wicking fabrics.  They are more easily accessible than other fabrics. You can find these at a local department store. Synthetic fabrics will not hold heat in, so they are more ideal for warmer climates.

The main downside of synthetic fabrics is that they often will hold onto odors. If you will not have easy access to washing your clothes for a long time, this may not be ideal. They are also not as durable as other fabrics. This could be an issue if you will not have access to other clothing.

Silk

Silk is no doubt going to be the most comfortable and luxurious of the fabrics. It is an ideal fabric as support covering because you can easily add layers to it. It is important to look for silk that has been chemically treated. This will wick away better than just plain silk.

This fabric will retain heat better than synthetic fabrics. It takes a bit longer for silk to wick away moisture though. Silk is not the most durable of the fabrics.

Merino Wool

Merino Wool is the absolute best fabric for cool to cold climates. Regardless of this fact though, Merino Wool is suitable for all seasons. It is breathable enough to be worn in warm climates. While in cold climates it retains heat even when it is wet.

It is more expensive when compared to synthetic and silk fabrics. Though it is more expensive it is not necessarily more durable. It also will not dry as quickly. If you will be in weather or situations where water will be present, Merino Wool may not be your best option.

Thickness Level

There are four different levels of thickness. The level of thickness can also depend on the fabric. For instance, Merino Wool may feel a bit thicker compared to silk material. No level of thickness is more common than another. There are four levels to suit various preferences and needs.

Ultra lightweight

This level of thickness is best for warmer climates. It is ideal to choose this style especially when it comes to backpacking. This is so you are not adding any extra weight along your trip. An ultralightweight one will, of course, do its job to wick away moisture and keep you cool. This level of thickness as a starting point material is great for layering. You can add or remove as many pieces without feeling weighted down.

Lightweight

A lightweight foundation option will offer the warmth that is suitable for cool to slightly cold climates. Though the thickness is a level up from ultralight, it is still suitable for high volume activities. This level of thickness will provide a bit of warmth while wicking away the moisture from your skin. This level of thickness is also great for when you plan on having multiple layers.

Mid weight

This level of thickness provides warmth while aiding in a bit of wind protection. With this thickness level, you may begin to sweat while doing a more intense hike. Not to worry though, the base material would still do its job! The moisture will not stay trapped or leave you feeling uncomfortable. A midweight level of thickness is pretty diverse. Much like a lightweight one, you can have as few or as many layers on top.

Heavy Weight

Being the thickest level of starting point materials available, it is meant to keep the warmth in. It will still wick away moisture as the other levels of thickness do. It does take a bit more time for the moisture to work its way through a heavyweight option. This level of thickness is best for low and frigid temperatures. Heavyweight can also be beneficial for when you are at camp.

What To Consider When Buying A Base Layer?

When choosing a support material there are a few important things to consider.

It is crucial to think about the climate in which your hike will be taking place. Not just the overall temperature but also the various endeavors you will come across. These may include wooded areas, bodies of water, or excess amount of dirt.

Considering the activity level that will be happening is to be taken into consideration. For instance, you may be backpacking.

Durability and functionality are important aspects of support covering as well! If you will not be able to easily access other clothing, you want to be sure you will not have any problems along the way.

Having these things in mind can help you to determine a few things regarding your base covering. It can help you determine the level of thickness. The levels of thickness range from ultralightweight to heavyweight. All levels are beneficial to a hiker. The fabric that will best suit you can also be determined. For example, a synthetic fabric that is lightweight would be the best for someone on a long day hike in a warm climate.

Final Verdict

The base covering is the foundation. The one that is worn next to the skin. The essential job of a foundation material is to wick away moisture and keep you comfortable! Wearing the appropriate clothing on a hike can make the difference between an enjoyable or a miserable experience.

There are different types of base materials. There are different levels of thickness. There is ultralightweight, lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. Different fabrics are the best when it comes to this clothing. Synthetic fabrics, silk, and Merino Wool are the best when it comes to hiking.

When choosing a foundation covering, you should consider the climate and activity level that will be taking place. You should determine the best fabric and level of thickness with these aspects in mind.

Ideally, when it comes to an average hike your foundation covering should be lightweight and dry quickly.

Grab yourself a great base layer and get hiking!

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