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How to Pack Hiking Clothes for a Winter Day Trip

If you are packing for a trip that will include a winter day-hiking excursion, the order of the day will be to stay warm and dry.


  • Step 1: Pack layered clothing Pack clothing that can be worn in thin layers. Instead of taking a bulky coat, take along a warm, long-sleeved shirt and a windbreaker. Remove a layer if you get too warm or add one if you start to feel chilled.
  • TIP: Bundling up in heavy clothes while hiking will leave you sweaty and put you at risk of developing hypothermia.
  • Step 2: Wear a base layer Plan to dress in at least three layers. Wear a base layer of lightweight, thermal underwear close to your body. This layer will wick away moisture from your skin.
  • TIP: Avoid cotton clothing. Cotton does not adequately insulate and it holds moisture.
  • Step 3: Wear a middle layer Plan to wear an insulating middle layer over the base layer. Micro-fleece is a good choice for this layer.
  • Step 4: Wear an outer layer Plan to wear an outer layer that is windproof and waterproof. Make sure this layer includes a hood to keep your hat dry in case it starts snowing. Now you are ready for the great outdoors -- on its terms.
  • FACT: Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott froze to death in 1912 after reaching the South Pole because his garments trapped sweat during his exertions of the day and couldn't release it.

You Will Need

  • Layered clothing
  • Non-cotton clothing (optional)

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