There’s a difference between merely doing things and doing things the right way. When it comes to outdoor spots and activities, you need the proper gear.
This doesn’t require spending your whole paycheck on overpriced items you don’t need. But there are certain pieces of apparel that do legitimately improve the experience. And when you actually realize how much more enjoyment you can get by being comfortable, warm and safe as you take part in your preferred activities, you will realize that the money is often well worth it.
This is the main reason that, beyond designer logos, outdoor gear is actually worth investing in. Sure, you could just pick up anything off the rack for a hike in the woods, but that cotton T-shirt won’t be comfortable or keep you warm when it gets wet. This is why knowing what to buy and paying the right price is key. As long as you understand the difference between cost and value, you’ll be able to get all the gear you need for a fair price.
You’ll no doubt enjoy yourself more on just about any outdoor excursion when you feel comfortable. This should be obvious. And this is why people prioritize modern apparel made of lightweight, stretchy materials that feel good on their skin. The textiles themselves are definitely an important factor here — and everything from clothes to running accessories become more important when training for long distances.
But don’t forget about fit. Maybe you’ve put on a few pounds since you last bought those new hiking pants. Naturally, you won’t want to spend more money on a new pair, but be honest with yourself. If they feel tight around the waist and would bother you on the trail, just splurge and buy some new pants.
Temperature is very aligned with comfort. Much like Goldilocks, you don’t want to be too hot nor too cold — you want to be just right. In that vein, this requires a bringing along and wearing a proper jacket when the mercury drops.
Most hiking enthusiasts use a layering strategy in which the base layer is suitable for room temperature, a second mid layer is carried for slightly chilly times, and an insulation layer is always brought along in case it gets cold enough to become dangerous without additional warmth.
For variable conditions that trend hotter, some people prefer convertible pants that can be zipped off into shorts or wearing a sleeveless shirt as a base layer.
You can never truly enjoy something if you don’t feel safe while doing it. That’s why you must take precautions and understand what you’re getting into with any activity. This means wearing the proper footwear when hiking through rigorous trails and knowing that reflective gear is an absolute must for night running and trail running through the woods. Columbia is one company that integrates this technology into its apparel in a stylish way, which, along with proper insulation, helps ensure you’ll be warm enough after the sun goes down.
Not every clothing item is created equally. They all serve distinct purposes, and many have a place in the wardrobe of anyone who enjoys participating in outdoor activities.
But getting the right gear and apparel is simply part of deepening your relationship to the outdoor activities you love. You need to be comfortable, stay warm and remain safe at all times.
And if you plan properly and do a little research into which items you actually need — and which are just bells and whistles — then you can definitely outfit your entire closet with minimal investment.