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A Guide to What to Wear Hiking for the Whole Family

A Guide to What to Wear Hiking for the Whole Family

Spring is almost here, which means the season of memorable family hikes is just around the corner. Science is now beginning to show that time in nature makes us happier, so don’t overlook the gift of everyone getting away from their screens and playing outside. Whether you’re planning a camping trip or just a Saturday afternoon hike, be sure to dress the whole family right to ensure you have a fabulous time. Hiking clothes are not the items to compromise on for practicality and function. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled our guide of what to wear hiking with the whole family for ultimate function and comfort without compromising on style.


Depending on the intensity of your hike, you are going to want to make sure that everyone in your gang is fitted with a good pair of shoes. If you are planning to make hiking a regular activity and are gearing up for some rugged or rocky trails, then perhaps you want to invest in a good pair of hiking boots. Hiking boots are better than basic sneakers as they offer more support and protection than the average shoe. They are also designed to be as light as possible to prevent any extra exhaustion or sore muscles.

Many hiking boot designs are also water resistant, so you don’t have to worry so much about your kids splashing and stomping through streams and puddles. If your hike is not steep or strenuous, opt for trail runners or even hiking sandals. If wearing hiking sandals, be sure you’ll be walking on clear trails and that you won’t be traipsing through any nettles or worse, poison ivy! With all these recent back-to-the-earth trends, outdoor boots are even stylish to wear off the trails, too.


The key to being prepared for any weather condition while hiking with the family is to be savvy about layering. This means having a few different options for everyone in the family to peel off or pile on depending on the temperature. Wear a tank top or a t-shirt as base layers and then build up from there. Be sure everyone in the family has some basic long-sleeve shirts, or if you’re expecting some cooler weather, some long sleeve thermals as a great foundational layer. Deck the whole family out in flannel shirts as warm and stylish must-haves for hiking. Flannel has become one of the most beloved new trends, making it a great choice for hiking that is both functional and stylish.


It’s always tricky deciding what bottoms to wear hiking. We want to keep our legs protected yet not restricted, all while feeling and looking good. For women and girls, our top pick is leggings. Leggings offer form, function, style, mobility, protection, and ultimate comfort.

We don’t necessarily love jeans for hiking as they can feel too heavy and will also hold water if it happens to rain. This goes for men and boys, too. For them, we love simple sweatpants or durable pants specifically made for hiking, which are also available for women and girls. These specially designed pants are often water resistant and can unzip to turn into shorts. Depending on the terrain you are hiking on, shorts are also an option. It is important to ensure your legs are protected from the elements, insect bites, or abrasive brush, so perhaps wear a pair of men’s long underwear under your shorts for extra protection.


Water, snacks, camera, phone, sweaters, car keys, ponchos, flashlight, wallet. They're all on the shortlist of what you will want to bring hiking with you and the family. This means you need at least one backpack. You don't need a specialty backpack for leisurely hikes with the family, so a basic book bag will do. If you are getting more serious about tougher or longer hikes, then consider investing in some backpacks that are lightweight and comfortable yet designed to endure the weather. Make it fun and help spread out the weight by getting your kids matching or personalized backpacks so they feel more excited about carrying their own water bottles. You’ll learn pretty fast how heavy water is when you’re the one carrying all of it!

Staying Warm, Dry, and Happy

Nothing ruins the fun of hiking like being ill-prepared in bad weather. If there is a chance of rain, be sure to pack a lightweight raincoat or poncho for everyone. If you are expecting cooler weather, a down vest is a must-have. Down vests are lightweight and warm, plus they can be rolled up into a small pack easily, making them a go-to for outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. As a last touch, be sure to wear a hat. Protect those cheeks from the sun and keep away the bugs by decking out the entire family in hats.

Now, you’re ready to go! You’ll feel comfortable and ready to tackle the great outdoors with the whole family.

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