How to Dress for Outdoor Adventures in the Spring
Spring is such an idyllic time of year. The cold, gray winter is over, plants are blooming, animals are frolicking, the sun is shining. Perfect. So perfect.
Yeah, right. Spring is perfect in theory. In reality, it’s angry and unpredictable and beautiful and cold and warm and disappointing and lovely.
But spring’s mercurial nature is no reason to get frustrated and shy away from adventures. You just need to be one step ahead of the weather game. Here’s what a springtime day should look like.
The night before
Packing is actually really simple. You can just pack your entire wardrobe. All of it. Spring temps swing more than a pendulum, which means you need to dress for success by bringing everything you own.
You need to bring your big pack, too. You know, your 48L. It’ll be cumbersome to carry on a short day hike, yes, but as the day stretches on you’ll be shedding layers and needing somewhere to stash them. Because your alternatives of keeping everything on or abandoning half your wardrobe just aren’t practical.
First, put on your summer clothes. Shorts, light t-shirt, ankle socks. Finish with a thick layer of sunscreen.
Next, add your spring/fall layers. A light long sleeve shirt, maybe a good pair of hiking pants if you like to keep your legs warm. You are even allowed to wear yoga pants for this, if you wish.
Now comes the harder pill to swallow. Winter clothing. The windchill may be hovering in the low 30s at first, so add a coat, hat, gloves, hand warmers, Buff, extra gloves, maybe microspikes. Sigh loudly with the addition of each layer.
On the trail
Start hiking. Sadly note that you can see your breath. Debate activating your hand warmers. Appreciate that you brought all your warm layers. Put your Buff over your nose.
Half a mile in. Your core is starting to warm up. You’re no longer frozen. Except for your face. Spring hiking isn’t so bad!
One mile in. Your body temperature is definitely rising. In fact, you’re now sweating profusely. And kind of dizzy. Why are you melting? Are you sick? Oh. It’s probably because you no longer need to be dressed in a snowsuit. Stop. Sigh. Start removing layers and shoving them into your pack until you feel human again.
Two miles in. You’re still sweating, but it’s no longer due to your layering. It’s actually hot out now! Wait. What happened to spring? Did you hike right into summer?
Back at your car. Guzzle water as if your life depends on it. It probably does, tbh. Blast your air conditioning. Stop for some ice cream and/or a cold beer. Congratulate yourself for braving all four seasons on one hike!
Isn’t spring wonderful?
If you enjoy posts about the outdoors that are 55% serious 45% snark, you’ll love SortaBeta. It’s that friend who helps you navigate through the wilderness like a boss, but can’t promise they can help you navigate through life. You’re on your own there.