As the Norwegians say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. This is especially true for outdoorsy folk, who need to have a wardrobe as flexible as the weather can be unpredictable.
To keep yourself prepared for anything the elements can throw at you, whether intense heat or raging storms, here’s a handy guide to the best outdoor gear for all adventure and nature lovers.
Your head and face are some of the most vulnerable—and sensitive—areas of your body when outdoors. Unlike your body, you can’t just wrap your head under layers of clothing.
Hats and caps are lightweight, yet provide ample protection against the sun. Runners and hikers should look for caps that are especially made for the outdoors. These are caps that have wicking properties, which means that they repel sweat, and are made of breathable fabric that will help keep your head cool. Keeping your head cool is vital for maintaining a stable core temperature.
For additional protection around the head area, headwear like Montane’s Via Chief protects your eyes, neck, and face from sweat and dust, and keep your hands free as you don’t have to wipe every other minute of hiking or trekking.
For adventurers who are into even more extreme endeavours like rock climbing or caving, headlamps and helmets are indispensable. Rock climbers should look for headlamps that are durable, long-lasting, and are water resistant. The recommended output for trail running headlamps is 120 lumens—bright enough to illuminate your immediate surroundings, but not enough to blind you with reflective glare.
Protecting your body against the elements is paramount. Nothing spoils a good trek like hypothermia or overheating. Shirts and jackets should be made of lightweight and breathable fabric. For instance, Montane’s shirts are made with AeroFlyte fabric, a polyester microfiber, which repels moisture and has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 30+. This means that the shirt protects the skin underneath from sunburn by blocking up to 30 units of UV rays. International standards place any UPF above 30 in the “Very Good” category.
Most shirts only reach past your shoulders. For more complete protection, hikers and trekkers can opt to wear arm guards and bracers. These function like a thin, second skin that extends sunburn protection to the arms. Montane’s Via Arm Guard has an excellent UPF of 50+, and has antibacterial properties to offer extra protection to two of the most exposed parts of your body—your arms.
Leave cotton-based clothing at home. Cotton retains water, so it can keep you sweaty when it’s hot, and drenched when it’s pouring. Cotton is especially a bad idea in humid countries like Singapore.
Similar rules hold true for pants and shorts. The fabric needs to be breathable and stretchable enough to allow for climbing and running. Pockets and compartments are better with zippers, to keep essentials secure no matter how much they get tossed around.
Good footwear can spell the difference between a memorable hike and an injury in the making. Hiking boots need to be sturdy enough to endure hours’ worth of trekking through different terrain. The kind of boots you choose also depends on the amount of activity you have planned out. For multi-day trips, heavy-duty backpacking boots are best with their high cut-off ankle supports. Day hikers can settle for simpler low-cut hiking shoes, or even running shoes.
Adventurers can provide further support by wearing gaiters. Gaiters are pieces of clothing that wrap around the calf area. They protect hikers against rocks, grit, snow, and other debris that can slip into a shoe and possibly cause harm or discomfort. Gaiters can be made of different materials, depending on the activity in question. Horseback riders wear leather gaiters, while hikers and backpackers usually opt for more breathable, lightweight, and stretchable materials. Montane’s Vortex Stretch Gaiter is made with Granite Stretch, a mix of nylon and elastane, which protects the owner but is still flexible enough to not impede movement.
Adventure packs need to be tough enough to survive miles of wilderness, but at the same time be lightweight and easy on the back. The best packs are built with an ergonomic back support that reduces the strain on your muscles through hours of hiking. The outside of the pack should have enough gear loops to hold your walking poles and water bottle.
For trail runners, a lightweight pack that keeps close to the body and offers easy access to water is ideal. For instance, Montane’s Fang 5 Trail Running Speed Pack is built for maximum comfort and hydration over long marathons with a chassis shaped to hug the runner’s chest, and a water bottle that you can attach a hydration tube to so you don’t even have to stop to take a sip.
Some trails have hikers ploughing through wetlands, lakes, and rivers. Waterproof packs are essential for keeping the rest of your gear dry, especially clothing, food that can spoil, and electronics.
Hikers need durable food containers for keeping their liquids and food safe and secure.
Regular, plastic water bottles usually won’t cut it—keeping your liquids cool helps moderate body temperature, a critical task out in the wilderness where heat stroke is a real risk. Stanley and Thermos offers some of the best and most durable vacuum insulation bottles on the market. Stanley water bottles can keep liquids cold for up to 8 hours, and ice frozen for up to a day.
Fortune favors the bold, and the prepared. Truly enjoying and staying safe through any outdoor adventure means bringing gear that lets you move through the wilderness without worry. Start gearing up for the lifestyle you choose. Check out our Montane sale here for some of the best deals in top-shelf hiking, trekking, and mountain-climbing gear.