When you spend time outdoors, your clothing is exposed to more demands than usual. You have to deal with the wind, rain and wear and tear from the terrain and you are alternatively sweating and freezing as you move. If you choose more durable fabrics and apply the multi-layer principle when getting dressed, you will stay dry, warm and comfortable. A base layer that wicks away moisture, a warm sweater as a middle layer and an outer garment that blocks the wind is usually appropriate for trekking. When you take a break or it starts to rain, you can pull a reinforcement layer on top of your clothes.
Moisture conducts the cold
We like to talk about functional outdoor clothing – clothing made from moisture-wicking, insulating, wind and waterproof fabrics, and, yes, even fabrics that release moisture. The fabric itself plays an important role in protecting you from the wind, rain and cold. Wet conditions in particular represent the most prominent threat to your well-being since moisture conducts the cold. You should avoid wearing cotton as the layer closest to the skin – socks, base layers – since the fibres trap moisture and make you get cold faster.
The weather decides
The multi-layer principle divides clothing into four layers, each with its own purpose. By wearing several layers, it is easy to adjust your clothing to the changing weather conditions and your work rate. When you sweat, simply remove a layer and when you are cold, simply add a layer.
Combined for functionality
Here are, of course, many different ways to combine the various layers. At Fjällräven, we recommend an outer layer that provides good ventilation while still providing protection from the wind and rain – such as G-1000 and softshell. This means you are less likely to get wet from sweat when you are on the move. If the weather changes its mind and becomes really windy or rainy, you can pull out your waterproof shell garments from your pack.
For your head and hands
The weather in the summer mountains can be sunny and 25°C one day and around freezing temperatures and rain the next. Even when you are in low-lying terrain, you should have protection for your head, and perhaps even gloves. A visor or cap will protect your face and eyes from UV rays and a thin hat will keep you warm when the wind picks up. The hat can also come in handy when you are sleeping, so preferably bring a hat that does not have a lot of tassels or similar decorations. For your hands, a thin pair of gloves made from, for example, windstopper fleece is perfect for the summer months of the year.
Flexible garments are convenient
During a trek, you will probably be colder, warmer and wetter than you can imagine. In the mountains, variety is not very important. Instead of bringing a whole closet of garments to choose between, try to have a few garments that are flexible. Zip-off trousers are a good example. You can wear them as shorts when it is warm and trousers when it is colder or if the vegetation becomes rougher.