This category contains clothing you would wear while hiking during a pleasant or hot day. This category has the potential to get very long with recommendations, so I’m only including my favorite items I always use. There are recurring popular brands within the long distance hiking community, but for the most part people wear what fits and what works.
I never used to be picky about my hiking shirts, but once I found the right one, I can’t imagine hiking with anything else. I prefer a button down shirt to anything else; this is because I can open them up partially, or all the way during warm weather. I also prefer the long sleeve button downs because I can roll them up or leave them down in the event of fluctuating temps. I like this shirt specifically, because I have put thousands of miles on it without so much as losing a button, or jamming a zipper pocket. It looks good, feels good, and works good.
If the long sleeves aren’t for you, then you might want to look into getting a just a regular T-shirt to hike in. Try to focus on shirts made of Polyester or synthetic materials. Cotton is usually not recommended for hiking due to it’s terrible insulation properties, but some people hike in them anyways. So long as you’re using your hiking shirt for warm weather hiking, and not relying on any cotton products to keep you warm; I honestly see no problem with it.
If you’re not going to carry bug spray, or you find that bug spray isn’t working; the next best thing you can do is cover your skin. Wear a long sleeve shirt, pants, etc. to keep the biting insects from getting to you. This long sleeve shirt from Ex-Officio was designed to do just that, while still keeping you cool. If you know you’ll be in areas with a lot of biting insects, you may want to pack the right clothing for the occasion.
I don’t normally wear anything other than running shorts when I hike, but if I had to choose a pair of normal shorts, these would be them. They are pricey, but I absolutely love their fit, look, and function. They were designed to be rock climbing shorts, so they are light, stretchy, and durable. If you like tons of pocket space, then these shorts are not for you.
These shorts are incredibly light and cool for hiking, weighing less than 5 ounces. My favorite feature is the built in belt. These come in great handy on a long distance hike when you’re constantly losing weight.
There are many hiking kilts out there, this is one of them. They aren’t for everyone, but those who wear them, love them. The range of motion is unparalleled, and so is the breeze. Most people wear underwear with these, but there are always those few who opt not to. Don’t hike behind them on a steep uphill…
I don’t really need to post any kind of review for these. I constantly have people asking where I get my unique running shorts from, so here you go. I’ve also posted a link to the American Flag shorts below too.
Click on the image of the style you’re interested in
For your wearing pleasure, these are the American Flag shorts I wore for my entire AT and PCT hikes. Enjoy.
Darn Tough Socks have solidified their name as the “Go To” brand for thru hikers. They are comfortable, tough as nails, and come with a lifetime warranty. I’ve had a single pair of Darn Toughs last me 1,900 miles before becoming un-usable. I prefer the “no show” style, but you can find whatever style you want with however much cushion you want.
This is another popular brand and style of sock within the long distance hiking community. It’s functions are often misunderstood, but there is a method to it’s silly appearance. Many people suffer from horrendous toe blisters during their hikes; these toe socks help to remedy that. The design allows for a natural toe splay, instead of bunching your toes all up against in each other like a normal sock would (especially to someone with wider feet). So these socks will give you a better toe splay, as well as extra protection from your toes rubbing together should that be an issue. Some people can’t get past the feeling of having fabric between their toes, which means these aren’t for everyone.
These are one of the best boxer briefs I’ve ever tried in my life. Once I found these, I had to throw out about two dozen old pairs of boxers because I simply would never wear them again. When it comes to comfort and durability, these are the cat’s meow. I have multiple pairs that I’ve put thousands of miles on, and I have yet to tear or wear through any of them! They are my hiking undies, as well as my walking around town undies.
I discovered the Saxx brand while on my CDT hike, and boy was i impressed! I found the fit and comfort to be much like Ex-officio. One feature I especially liked was in the crotch area of their underwear. They have what I would describe as a pocket with a lining of fabric that keeps everything situated forward; not allowing for the goodies to get jumbled around at uncomfortable angles. It was a very cool feature that I haven’t found in other underwear. These are now a new favorite.