What to Wear on a Hiking Date

Whether you have a genuine passion for the great outdoors, or you’re trying it out for the first time in a while, hikes are a perfect way to enjoy some fresh air and the company of your date. 

But before you can climb a mountain, you’ll have to conquer your wardrobe. Your first instinct might be to reach for your yoga pants and sneakers, but we’ve got some other, more versatile options for you to consider. 

A hiking date can be a lot of fun, but it’s still an outdoor activity, so a little dirt and sweat is bound to happen. That’s why picking the right hiking outfit is key—so you can enjoy mother nature without worrying about your clothing. 

Is hiking a good first date? 

Hiking is a great option for a first date—it’s economical and perfect for folks who like getting outside and being active. It gives you the opportunity to get to know your date without distractions and can be a stepping stone to other outdoor activities like camping! Start with a short, public hike to see if your date is a good hiking buddy and conversationalist before committing to longer trails.

What to Wear on a Hiking Date: Hiking Essentials 

man wearing green water-repellent cargo pants in ice caves

  1. Good hiking boots or shoes

We cannot stress this one enough! Having a good pair of hiking shoes or boots is key to enjoying your hiking date. 

Your everyday sneakers, while great for the gym, are not going to cut it on an uneven forest trail. Choose supportive hiking shoes or boots with a good arch and ankle support. Look for shoes with deep tread so you can get a good grip on rock, gravel, dirt, mud, and anything else you may trek across. Proper footwear will also keep your feet dry, as nothing kills the romance like cold, soaking wet feet. 

  1. Pants, not shorts

Dirt, rocks, mud...it’s all ending up on your legs if they’re exposed. Wearing hiking pants protects your skin from the elements during your hike. Twigs and grass can also irritate or even scratch your legs—an unnecessary discomfort that will distract you from enjoying the company you’re with.

Keep reading for our best recommendations for comfy and breathable pants for your hike. 

  1. Bug spray (your new perfume/cologne)

This one is key for the summer months and hikes in woody areas. Insect repellent may not smell as good as your favorite perfume or cologne, but it keeps the bugs at bay. Perfume and cologne actually attract mosquitoes and other insects, so make sure to save it for the next indoor date!

  1. Accessories

Some extras to bring: SPF, a water bottle, and a hat. These are all key to avoiding dehydration and providing extra protection against ultraviolet rays in the summertime. 

If you’re taking on a winter hike, a beanie will be essential to keeping your head warm, especially your ears (which are more prone to frostbite). 

The Best Hiking Clothes 

Gone are the days of aesthetically appalling outdoor apparel. These days, hiking clothes are trendy, yet practical—and fabric technology has improved tenfold. 

At DUER, our prototypes are worn by testers who bike, hike, and explore to ensure garments are ready for DUERs like you. Our goal is to encourage everyone to buy clothing that looks better, does more, and lasts longer.

 

That’s why we’ve rounded up our top options for what to wear on a variety of hiking dates, including the right DUER pants to pair with them. DUER’s line of hiking pants combine athletic clothing staples like COOLMAX® for temperature control and Lycra for power stretch, so you can stay comfy in all kinds of outdoor activity.  

Choosing the right fabric

When going hiking, the fabric of the clothing matters as much as the clothing itself. With that in mind, here are the fabrics you should (and shouldn’t) reach for. 

Fabric

Yes/No? 

Cotton

NO: 100% cotton fabrics, while great for day-to-day wear, are the wrong choice for exercise since they trap moisture and odour and can lead to chafing. Traditional jeans are a no-no for hiking! However, a cotton blend (with lycra, polyester, nylon, etc) can be acceptable. 

Polyester

YES: Polyester is a staple of athletic wear and while being lightweight retains heat. It’s durable, breathable and moisture-wicking, making it great for a hike! 

Lycra/Spandex

MAYBE: Spandex is great for workouts that require a large range of motion like yoga or weightlifting, however aren’t ideal for longer bouts of exercise like hiking. That’s because most Spandex garments are skin tight, and Spandex itself is not as breathable as alternatives. You can still wear leggings on a hike, but make sure they’re a blend with a low spandex content. 

Tencel

YES: Tencel is 50% more absorbent than cotton and not nearly as susceptible to odour or bacteria growth. Tencel is also made from sustainably sourced wood fibre - a fabric you can feel good in and feel good about. It’s a great choice for a hike, especially when blended with some heavier, warmer fabrics. 

Merino Wool

YES: Wool is a great choice for hiking, especially if you’re going into higher altitudes or hiking in cooler temperatures. A good quality Merino wool garment feels softer and lighter than cotton. It has great moisture wicking capabilities and can easily be worn for other activities like running. 

Top Hiking Date Recommendations

The Winter Hiking Date

Winter is such an underrated time to hike; trails are quieter, the sky is bright and it’s a perfect way to spend quality time with your date. The cold weather is a turnoff for most, but if you’re brave enough to face it for love, we commend you. 

Tops

Start with a Merino wool base layer, as it’s thinner than regular wool and moisture wicking. Layers are your friend as you start to warm up, so lightweight tops are better than wearing one thick sweater. In rainy Vancouver, waterproof jackets are essential, but wherever you live, you’ll need a shell to protect you from rain and snow. 

Bottoms

As for pants, we recommend the Men’s All-Weather Denim Slim to keep you warm and dry during your hike. These pants are windproof and water resistant, so you won’t have to worry about stiff and cold muscles. You may even want to throw on some long underwear underneath depending on the temperature. You can also opt for the Women’s Fireside Denim Mid Rise Slim Straight which is woven with a fleece lining to keep you cozy on your hiking trip. Both pants are unisex - just choose the fit that feels right to you. 

Shoes/Other

Lastly, if you’re hiking in snow-covered areas, make sure your hiking boots (not shoes) come up to the ankle and pair it with long Merino wool socks to protect your feet from the cold. Consider a hat, gloves and scarf depending on how cold it will be and in case it snows during your hiking date. 

The Rainy Hike Date

Don’t let a little rain stop you from having an incredible hiking experience with your date. At the same time, you’ll both need to make sure you’re prepared for the weather.

In rainier months, you should look ahead at the weather and decide whether your hiking date calls for a waterproof jacket. Also, wear long pants to protect your legs—especially if hiking in areas with lots of brush. 

Tops

Center your outfit around a warm, but breathable rain jacket, paired with a moisture-wicking long sleeve top.

Bottoms

Pair your rain gear with our Stay Dry Denim Relaxed jeans—they’re dirt and water resistant, so you can trek as you please. 

The Stay Dry Denim Mid Rise Slim Straight is a more versatile pair for women. They’ll dry quickly after your hike so you won’t have to deal with that pesky damp feeling.

Outside of hiking outfits, you can pair these pants with other clothing suitable for going out or the office for a business casual look. The black pair has a dark, even wash you can wear with a blouse and blazer or knit sweater. 

Shoes/Other

Make sure your shoes or boots are waterproof with a deep tread. These will help if you find yourself trekking on uneven trails. No one wants to slip and slide through the mud on a date!  You might want to add a hat to preserve your hair, keep your ears warm and protect your eyes from the rain. 

The “We’re Grabbing a Beer After” Summer Hiking Date

In hot weather, you might be able to get away with less intensive hiking clothes. 

T-shirts and shorts (like the Live Lite Adventure Short in mens and womens cuts) that prevent chafing with a good pair of runners can do the trick; however, it’s more likely that you’ll need a long-sleeved t-shirt and long, lightweight pants to protect your skin from the sun and dirt, scrapes or bug bites.

 

While the hot weather might sway you in a different direction, it can get surprisingly cool in the forests and mountains (prime hiking locales) so as long as you layer up, you should be set for your hiking date. 

In addition, you want to be especially mindful of the sun during the summer months, so load up on SPF to stay sunburn-free. 

Tops

Start with a lightweight long sleeve or t-shirt (if you can avoid brush). If hiking up to cooler altitudes, wear a flannel or casual button down over the shirt to stay warm. You can keep the top classy for the brewery by adding a bomber or dark wash denim jacket. If you’d prefer a tank top, wear it under your long sleeve and swap it for a jacket or cardigan to refine your look for the evening. 

Bottoms

Pair it with the Live Free Adventure Pants which are stylish and versatile for many contexts outside of hiking. You can easily take these from the mountain to the brewery as they’re lightweight and stretchy—perfect for beginner hikers. 

Best of all, these pants will transition seamlessly into a beer/dinner scenario if the hike date goes well! 

If you do decide to go for shorts, check out the Live Lite Journey Short, available in six colors! While traditionally a men’s cut, the longer inseam is perfect for all bodies to prevent chafing and stay comfortable. 

man sitting on a concrete barrier wearing amber shorts and navy polo

Shoes/Other

Make sure to wear a sturdy pair of running or hiking shoes depending on the intensity of your hike. Hint: a hike with a variety of terrain and altitude calls for hiking boots, whereas you can trek a beginner trail with your runners. In addition, you want to be especially mindful of the sun during the summer months, so load up on SPF to stay sunburn-free. 

 

You’ve picked out your hiking clothes, now what? 

It’s time to head out on your date! You might be feeling nervous as a new hiker or plain old first date jitters, but with this guide and some positive self-talk, you can go forth and conquer (and look good while doing it!).