Can you wear jeans for hiking

Can you wear jeans while hiking?

While jeans are great for a casual and relaxing walk or a short hike in fine weather, hardcore hiking requires special clothing for comfort and function, especially in cold or wet weather. Jeans are cold in winter, wet for hours in the rain and hot in summer. Think about when and where to wear your jeans, but a serious hike requires better legwear choices.

This hiker wears jeans while hiking. (Image: IPGGutenbergUKLtd / iStock / Getty Images)

Why not denim?

Jeans are made from cotton denim. Cotton is a natural fiber, but it is slow to dry, especially when it is as heavy as denim. Jeans soak up water, sweat, and mud when you hike. Damp jeans are uncomfortable even in mild weather and only dry slowly. In cold weather, wet denim pulls the skin away from the skin and can develop ice crystals, which dramatically increases the risk of hypothermia.

stay cool

Denim jeans are hot in summer, leaving you sweaty and uncomfortable. If your skin is perspiring, especially in a stiff fabric like denim, it can cause skin irritation. Scrubbing while hiking can result in mild irritation or deep, painful, and bleeding sores that make it difficult to continue and make it even more difficult to enjoy. Outdoor hiking pants and shorts help you feel cool and dry.

Stay warm

While heavy denim jeans can be an acceptable choice for a day working outside, while hiking you need to layer the fabrics to generate warmth. Opt for a pair of leggings or long johns with hiking pants, which are a better choice than jeans. Add more quick-drying layers if needed. Remember to always bring dry clothes and rain gear with you.

Wicking fabrics

In contrast to denim, high-tech active wick fabrics keep you dry even after crossing rivers or streams. These fabrics draw sweat and water away from the skin, reduce the risk of hypothermia and provide greater comfort in hot weather. Most of these synthetics dry quickly, eliminating the discomfort that can come with damp clothing, including rashes and irritation. If you are hiking for several days, you can easily hang up the dry hiking pants to dry.