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5 Things To Know As A New Hiker: Socks, Bottoms, Hoodies & Jackets – Part 2

Megan Thiessen is a renaissance woman. She works in Wellness, Self Development & farming. Living on a sustainable herbal farm with her husband and son, Megan always chooses a more self-sustained lifestyle for her and her family.

 
Executive Contributor Megan Thiessen

A small guide on the basics of hiking. Learn how to find hiking equipment in a sustainable cost-effective way. And how to keep yourself safe on the trails. As well, as hiking trails for the beginner to intermediate.


Woman standing on top of the mountain

Welcome back to Hiking for beginners. If you're new here, I would suggest reading last month's article. We started learning about the differences between a hike and a walk. What type of shoes you should be investing in. This is the hike article where we will be learning about socks & bottoms and the technology of the material.

 

Socks


Stripe socks

Socks to hikers. It’s like wine to wine-os. They will drink red. But would rather have the white.

 

I would rather use Mountain or Marmot. But my bank account says Costco pack. I’ve paid a good deal for socks. $40.00 a pair. Due to their “technological” advance. I’ve even owned heated socks. Did they work? Yes. Was it worth it? Honestly, no because my feet got too warm, and I would sweat. So for me, it was a loss in purchase, but I helped a friend who could never get her feet warm.

 

Like your shoes you want your socks to be comfortable. My general rule is. Stay away from cotton. The sock should fall at the calf above the ankle bone. And try to keep it in the moisture-wicking area. Moisture Wix technology is here to help manage your foot sweat & airflow. The head and feet are the two places on your body, where you lose the most amount of heat. You want to make sure that you invest in these areas. Too much moisture causes slipping in your socks, damaging your feet. Blisters, trips, and falls are bound to happen.


Stay away from wool and knit socks. I know they keep the feet warm. But they are not ideal hiking socks. If you are going to wear wool socks. Use them for winter and even put a lightweight sock underneath to help keep any irritation from the woo. Merino wool socks would be the ultimate way to go when it comes to wool socks. They will keep your feet warm without the itchy irritation.

 

Wet sock

Go in that $30.00 a pair range. You want the sock to sit above your shoe line. This will help with any irritation from your hiking shoe. The socks also help with keeping twigs from scratching your skin. Preventing small cuts in these areas will go a long way. Mountain Wear House is a Sports And Adventure shop. That carries a wide range of socks for the whole family. Socks can range from $12.00-$30.00. You can shop their sales, saving you up to 25% on some of their items. I find Mountain House has the best mid-grade hiking gear at the best price.

 

Bottoms

There is a variety of pants and shorts out there. It's all about How you feel in them.

 

I was really lucky and worked as an Inventory and Receiver for our local bike and outdoor sports shop. We got a very good deal on high-end products. I’ve managed to buy the basics found at second-hand shops.

 

My favorite adventure brand is Marmot. But now that I work for myself. I shop a lot at the second-hand shops. I’ve found some amazing extremely well-maintained high-end brands such as. Nike, UnderArmor, Puma, LuLu Lemon, and even Marmot. The average price of Marmet retail. Starts at $50.00. You can get Marmot for well into the thousands of dollars. Second hand shop. $5.00 - $20.00


Two person walking on woods hiking

What to look for


Breathable

You don’t want to feel pressure from the pants. I enjoy a Moisture wick pant or an athletic pant that is loose around the leg. 


Size

I am Medium/Small. I’ve learned a few tricks when it comes to shopping at the second-hand shop. Here's one of them. Wrap the waist of the pants around your neck. If they touch they fit.


Fit

I like my pants high-waisted, Breathable material, with a bit of stretch. Pockets are a bonus. They are elastic at the bottom, around my ankle so they don’t drag on the ground. I have a pair of men's Marmot loose water-resistant pants. And they are my go-to pants for all weather & terrain.


Something to keep in mind is the baselayer

It is the layer that’s touching your skin. A very important layer to pay attention to. Especially if you are planning on doing elevation, where the weather is on or off, or winter climates.

 

My go-to hiking base layer for all seasons is my Suction seal top. The seal is at the bottom of the shirt. So that it doesn’t ride up the back. There is no pinching. The shirt is bright pink, great for safety.

 

Moisture Wix. The biggest difference between Moisture Wix and temperature control is the materials and venting. My temperature-controlled pants have four zippers for air pockets. My moisture Wix has no zippers but a different material to control the temperature of my body. I don’t wear my black shirt often because it doesn’t have a suction seal. I dont enjoy it moving around with my pack. Since I’m more of a Spring & summer hiker. I find that the black gets me too hot.


Hiking backpack

Hoodie/sweater

This to me is a seasonal item and a personal one. Winter is the only time I hike in one. To me, a hoodie is normally made from a thicker material with a hood on it. A Sweater is normally made of lighter material than a hoodie made without a hood. I have a Marmot sweater. The material is fleece and perfect for all-season hiking. I have a Columbia sweater made from cotton. I also find it a great all-season sweater. The cost difference; Marmot $70 starting, Columbia $50 starting. When I'm hiking in the springtime, moving at a fast enough pace, a base with my fleece or cotton sweater and a light jacket is normally just fine. I can always keep myself warm with mitts and a beanie if the weather calls for extra layers.


Two person on mountain trail

Jackets/outer layer

I love jackets. I have way too many of them. And it’s hard for me to choose which one to wear. My main go-to is my Marmot blue and red water-resistant shell in a Men's medium. I enjoy having a few men's fitted items because I often find women's clothes to be too “fitting” to my body, I can't layer the way I like to. My shell is easily packable & It's long. When I sit on the ground it covers my buti, keeping my pants dry It's roomy, and I can layer appropriately.

 

Winter offers a variety of challenges when it comes to dressing and packing appropriately. This article is geared toward spring-fall hiking.


Woman hiking

Did you enjoy this read? If so, please check back next month on the next hike guide. 5 hiking essentials. For more information on my sustainable lifestyle. Follow our herbal farm account on Instagram. @tinfamilygrows. Find our herbal care products on our website.


 

Megan Thiessen, Self Development Coach

Megan Thiessen is a renaissance woman. She works in Wellness, Self Development & farming. Living on a sustainable herbal farm with her husband and son, Megan always chooses a more self-sustained lifestyle for her and her family. She strives to educate and empower others to seek a more purpose-filled life, guiding Yoga and health for adults. She also empowers the youth; by hosting dance classes & art classes at her local Arts Station and at Live local events working with the Chamber of Commerce and Wapiti Music Festival.

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