Summer is the season to get outdoors. The combination of warm weather and an abundance of long weekends and holiday time makes it a great time to go camping, hiking, or take a fishing trip. Despite the warm temperatures, wherever you’re going, you have to go prepared. Temperatures can dive at night and rain storms can come blowing through at a moment’s notice. Before you go on your next outdoor adventure, use this checklist to make sure you’ve got the clothing and outerwear you need to stay warm, comfortable, and safe.
#1 Waterproof Socks
Make sure your feet stay dry, no matter where you go. From backcountry fly-fishing to hiking on a nearby trail, don’t forget to bring waterproof socks. Waterproof socks should be multi-layered, combining a bulk yarn outer layer that will soak up abrasion from your boots and provide a powerful thermal layer, as well as a soft-brushed interior that traps warm air close to your skin.
Check out our men’s waterproof socks and women’s waterproof socks for breathable, comfortable footwear that will keep you dry. These socks have a 2.6 Tog rating to keep you warm when the temperatures drop and have a breathable layer that allows perspiration to pass while stopping moisture from entering. They’re essential for your next backcountry trek.
In addition to hiking, cycling, fishing, and camping, waterproof socks can also be used when sailing. They can help keep your feet dry during wet conditions without forcing you to put on heavy sailing boots. Lightweight sailing shoes plus waterproof socks can keep you light on your feet without getting soaked to the bones.
Wet feet aren’t just uncomfortable. Over long periods of time, dampness can damage your skin, including deep cracks and blisters. These can make your hike unbearable, so invest in waterproof technology for your feet.
#3 Thermal Base Layers
Light-weight base layers will help you regulate your temperature. In the summer, you won’t need as many layers or the kind of warmth you would in the autumn or winter, but bringing layers can help you adjust to temperature changes as needed.
A good base layer will wick away moisture. Thermal shirts or bottoms will soak up the sweat and allow it to evaporate. Materials that don’t wick away moisture can get soaked or leave the sweat on you. It’s uncomfortable and harder for your body to regulate its temperature. Any kind of wicking shirt, base layer or thermal will keep you from drowning in sweat.
#4 Long Pants
In the summer heat, it can be tempting to go for shorts, but if you’re headed out into the backcountry, there are several reasons to wear pants that will cover the length of your legs. Leggings are also a comfortable, versatile option that gives you full-range of motion that also wicks sweat. Try thermal leggings if the forecast is on the colder side or you’re heading to a high elevation. Soft-brushed leggings keep warm air closer to your skin.
Long pants can protect your legs from brush, poison ivy, and ticks. Ticks, which may carry Lyme Disease, have been spreading to new habitats across North America, multiplying in colder regions where they were once harder to come by. Anytime you finish a hike or a trip outside, check yourself for ticks just in case.
#5 Rain Gear
Check the forecast before you go. Some hikers and campers will bring rain gear no matter what the weather says. Getting caught far away from home without rain gear can leave the rest of your adventure miserable, so it’s always better to be prepared. Rain jackets are fairly standard. Some hikers and campers also bring rain pants. You can slip rain pants on over your boots, which will come in handy when it suddenly starts to pour.
#6 Hiking Backpack
When you’re carrying extra layers, food, camping gear, survival essentials, navigation tools, camera equipment, bait and tackle, and everything else you need to complete your outdoor adventure, you need a quality, comfortable backpack to take it all with you. When you’re looking for backpacks, find something that doesn’t shift around when you move, as the shifting weight can become annoying.
#7 Quality Boots
Besides the gear you need to keep warm and dry, don’t forget how important your boots will be. You’ll be on your feet all day and covering terrain you’re probably not used to. Hiking boots should fit snugly with room to move your toes. The best time to try them on is the end of the day when you’ve been walking around, as your feet swell in size the way they will when you’re out hiking. Bring the socks you plan on wearing when you try them on as well. Thick waterproof socks will take up more space, though they should also soak up any abrasion caused by the boot.