What cold weather hiking pants are preferred for the cold climates (0 °F / -16 °C or colder).
Surely, the best option is the layers rather than wearing a single pair. You want to be wearing layers that make it easy to peel off when warmed up to make it possible to stay comfortable at all times. Plus, the man-made fabrics are best at providing insulation.
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Cold Weather Hiking Pants
Dressing for a hike in cold climate conditions is essential to enjoy the cold-weather outing in comfort. Proper cold weather hiking pants should still be worn even when full-on winter has yet arrived.
Why layered clothing
Layered clothing has the potential to provide three practical purposes, including:
- The body is kept warm while at rest
- Gives the right level of warmth while exercising without overheating
- Simplifies the process of adjusting insulation as the body temperature / climate conditions change
The body needs more insulation when at rest to stay warm and comfortable, but when a hike is underway, it is possible to start removing the outer layers to avoid issues with overheating.
It benefits to start removing layers before sweat is noticed, which is the body’s natural cooling system. Leaving the body to build up a sweat can result in the layers closest to the skin getting drenched.
This has a reverse effect on the insulation qualities because the fabric is left feeling damp which will be uncomfortable on the hiking trails.
Weather proof the lower body
When selecting the hiking attire it is essential to layer the upper and lower half of the body. Without the proper clothing for the lower body, it will be difficult to stay warm. Use a base layer which can wick moisture and top this with a pair of weather-resistant or waterproof pants.
Some of the great features cold weather hiking pants includes:
- Zippers in the thigh area for extra ventilation
- Zippered ankles are preferred for ease in taking pants off when wearing thick hiking boots or shoes. Plus, this zippered area can also help to provide extra ventilation
- Alternatively, full zippers for the entire length of the pants give a lot more flexibility
Irrespective of the coldness on the hiking trails, the body will soon start to warm up once moving and active.
Using high gaiters
High gaiters are a great piece of hiking gear that helps to keep the lower leg and feet area dry and warm.
Gaiters are practical in snowy or muddy conditions and designed to wraparound the calf/ankle area and close off the top section of the boots.
Proper footwear for the hike
While running shoes or light hiking boots might be a practical option for the easy warm-weather trails in urban environments, a proper pair of hiking boots is a must-have requirement if planning to hike the difficult trails which include wading through snow banks or scramble across river beds.
A high-quality pair of boots is certain to provide a reliable service and has the potential to last for years to come.