What Should I Wear When Hiking In 60 Degree Weather?


Hiking in 60 degree weather is the best! It’s the sweet spot of temperatures where the weather isn’t too hot and isn’t too cold. But what should you wear?

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When hiking in 60 degree weather, you will want a lightweight shirt or long sleeve shirt, light jacket or fleece pullover, and long pants. The weather will still be too cold for hiking sandals, so you’ll want waterproof hiking boots or shoes and moisture-wicking socks.

While the above is a general guide for what to wear in 60 degree weather, most of what you’ll wear will depend on the weather the day of your hike. For example, you’ll probably dress a lot differently for a rainy day than a sunny day. You’ll also have to consider the differences between dressing for spring and fall. If you want to become an expert in dressing for all 60 degree weather hikes, read on!

Do I Need a Coat In 60 Degree Weather?

60 degree weather is generally not too hot, but not too cold. So, you won’t need to bundle up in a parka or big winter jacket. However, you may still want a light jacket or long-sleeved medium or light fleece if you’re hiking on a shady trail or if the sun is hidden behind the clouds. You can also probably get away with a sweatshirt or jacket made from a medium to lightweight fabric, such as cotton, rayon, silk, or merino wool.

You can fine a large variety of lightweight hiking jackets at REI, Columbia, and Amazon that won’t break the bank.

Do I Need Hiking Pants In 60 Degree Weather?

For your hiking pants, I would recommend wearing hiking pants that transform into hiking shorts. While this may not be the most fashionable look, it does give you the option to turn your hiking pants into shorts if you get too warm. REI and Amazon offer decently priced hiking pants if you want to check out some options.

Hiking pants aren’t jeans–I’ve gone through a personal revolution where I only want to hike in hiking pants now–to see why I made this transformation, check out my article, here.

If you prefer, you could also wear leggings, jeans, or other active clothing. Some hikers feel strongly about avoiding jeans when hiking, but personally, I really don’t see a problem with it in specific weather conditions. If you want to learn more about hiking in jeans, check out my link here.

I would recommend wearing something longer than shorts, however. If you wear shorts without leggings, you may find it a little chilly if the sun goes behind the clouds or if you’re hiking in the shade. Longer pants also protect you from burrs and bushes.

On top of that, shorts can feel great when you’re hiking up a steep incline and burning tons of calories, but what about after you get to the top of that hill where it’s windy? Dressing for the stops and breaks is important too, not just the hike itself. (see my article above about hiking pants, some are convertible between shorts and long pants and . . . well, that’s amazing!)

What Shoes Do I Wear Hiking In 60 Degree Weather?

At 60 degrees, you don’t have to worry about getting insulated hiking shoes. If the trail is not muddy, running shoes will work well as well as hiking shoes.

You won’t need your winter boots for 60 degree weather, but it probably won’t be warm enough for hiking sandals.

I know the type–there are some that went crazy for Chaco sandals and now they wear them everywhere and in all weather conditions. You don’t have to be like that person. It’s always sensible to plan for all portions of your hike (including resting on top of that windy hill we mentioned earlier).

If you are that person, I don’t think anything is wrong with wearing sandals everywhere! I am just telling everyone else they don’t have to wear sandals to be cool.

Anyway, the most important feature of any shoe for hiking is to have good grips on the bottom. If you wear nice tennis shoes, not only will you likely slip around in the mud, but you’ll probably also destroy your shoes.

(Don’t get me wrong, you can hike in tennis shoes or running shoes–I go more into detail on the pros and cons of hiking in running shoes, specifically in my article, here)

Modern hiking shoes have very durable soles. My current and favorite pair of hiking shoes are Keen’s Voyaguer (REI). You’ll notice that the shoe has a thick body, low-cut ankle, and a substantial sole. This type of shoe is great for hiking because it’s not as substantial as a boot but still gives your feet protection.

I’ve hiked in 60 degree weather and below many, many times with these hiking shoes.

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This is me wearing my Keen Voyaguer shoes on the Milford Track in New Zealand–the weather was around 60 degrees Fahrenheit

Another option other than running shoes and hiking boots are trail running shoes. Trail running shoes are a step up from running shoes and have a more durable sole for . . . well, trail running, but are less substantial than hiking shoes. Trail runners can work for hiking as well.

Another thing to consider is that 60 degree weather is often accompanied by rain (and therefore mud). Hiking shoes have a lower profile than hiking boots, but if you’re hiking in wet muddy conditions or if you want the most support for your ankles as possible, then you can always go for non-insulated hiking boots.

DICK’s Sporting Goods and even Amazon offer a wide variety of hiking boots for moderate weather.

Some hikers also choose to wear traction spikes over their shoes, and these can help you keep your balance if the trails are icy or slippery. Additionally, you can also bring trekking poles if you want some added stability.

How Should I Dress For The Weather in 60 Degree Weather?

Generally, hiking in 60 degree weather can be pretty mild. When the sun is shining and you’re moving around, then you’ll probably get warm on your hike and can get away with pants and a t-shirt. It’s always a good idea to pack a light sweater or jacket, however, just in case. But if the weather is windy, cloudy, or rainy, then you’ll probably want more layers.

In my opinion, layers are lifesaving. You can always take layers off if you get too warm, but you can’t add layers if you don’t have them! In general, I would recommend a layering system. You’ll likely want a moisture-wicking base layer and a weather-resistant outer layer.

That way, if you start to sweat, the base layer will move the moisture away from your body and keep you warm and dry. Plus, if your top layer is water resistant, you’ll be protected from the rain.

So, at the minimum, a rain jacket will protect you in most weather conditions at this temperature.

How Should I Dress For A Windy Hike?

Windy and 60 degrees versus no breeze and 60 degrees are going to feel like two completely different worlds. This is especially true if you’re hiking in an open field or up a mountain side. If you’re hiking in the forest or under tree cover, however, you’ll have at least a little more protection. Regardless of the hike you choose, hiking in the wind requires more layers than hiking in the sun.

Layering is your best choice when preparing for a windy hike. You’ll want to start with a moisture-wicking base layer or thermal, an insulating middle layer, and a weather-resistant outer layer or shell. Remember, you can always take layers off if you get warm, but you can’t add layers you don’t have.

For a windy hike, you’ll also probably want a hat, gloves, and warm socks. You may also want sunglasses to protect your eyes, otherwise the wind could make them water or you could get dust in your eyes. While you may find that shorts or convertible hiking pants work well when it’s 60 degrees and sunny, you’ll be better off with pants, leggings, and/or jeans when hiking in 60 degrees and windy.

In fact, it may not be a bad idea to throw on some light to medium thermals underneath in windy weather. Wind can affect how the temperature feels dramatically. 15 MPH wind can make 0 degrees Fahrenheit feel like 19 degrees Fahrenheit! (weather.gov)

How Should I Dress For A Cloudy Hike?

When hiking in cloudy weather, it’s best to dress in layers. You never know when the sun will come back out or if it will start to rain, so it’s best to be prepared for just about anything.

For your first layer, you can choose a synthetic long or short-sleeved shirt. You probably want this layer to be lightweight, otherwise you might be too warm. The lighter weight fabrics are cotton, polyester, and rayon. Your next layer should be a lightweight jacket or fleece pullover; this will give you a little more warmth. If you are expecting rain, make sure to bring a waterproof outer layer, like a rain jacket, otherwise your clothing might get wet and stay wet.

If you’re going to be moving at a good pace and you’re not going a long distance, you can definitely get away with just wearing your base layer and your waterproof layer. That’s the beauty of layers, you can adjust them to find the right temperature.

For your bottoms, you should be fine with hiking pants, jeans, or leggings. For your shoes, choose hiking shoes or trail running shoes if you want to be the most comfortable.

How Should I Dress For A Rainy Hike?

The most important thing to keep in mind when hiking in the rain is to avoid wearing cotton or denim. Why? Because cotton absorbs water and takes forever to dry. So if your cotton shirt or jeans get wet, you’ll be wet and uncomfortable the entire hike. Instead, choose fabrics, like polyester and synthetics, that are moisture wicking.

If it’s raining, your first line of defense is your outer layer. For your outer layer, make sure you choose a waterproof and windproof jacket that will protect you from the wind and rain. Amazon and REI both have affordable options for protective rain gear if you’re looking for some ideas.

You may think that 60 degrees isn’t that cold and that it isn’t a big deal.

When your clothes are wet, your internal body temperature can drop dramatically, even in 60 degree weather. To the point that you’re at risk of hypothermia! Combine wet clothing with wind and you’re in a lot more danger.

While you’re hiking, your body produces heat and you are likely to be just fine without any risks. However, rainy weather can become dangerous–plenty of people wear jeans in 60 degree rainy weather and things work out fine, but I’m just letting you know there are some risks.

You can also find waterproof pants, or at least pants that are moisture-wicking. Luckily, most hiking pants have this feature, which makes them a good option for hiking in 60 degree and rainy weather.

If you want more details on some of my favorite rain gear, click here!

What To Wear When Hiking In The Spring

Hiking in the spring can be a lovely experience. As the temperatures get warmer, the trees and grass start to get green again, and flowers start to bloom. What’s better than better than going out and seeing the first signs of spring?

While the flowers and warmer weather may seem like a dream after a cold winter, sometimes hiking in the spring has its drawbacks. If you live somewhere with snowy winters, for example, you may encounter muddy trails.

Have you ever heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers?” If you have, then you may also know that the spring can be wet and rainy. In fact, according to the The National Severe Storms Laboratory, the most severe thunderstorms occur in the spring and summer. So, what should you wear when hiking in the spring?

Spring Hiking Outfit Essentials

  • Hat (either a winter cap or baseball cap)
  • Buff (can be used as a hat or face covering)
  • Gloves
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Insulated puffy jacket
  • Lightweight t-shirt or long-sleeve fleece (cotton, rayon, or polyester should work)
  • Waterproof hiking boots or shoes
  • Neoprene socks (click here to read about why these are great options for hiking)
  • Hiking pants or jeans

What To Wear When Hiking In The Fall

The reds, oranges, yellows and golds of the changing leaves can making hiking the fall one of the best hiking experiences. It can be so refreshing to be out in the cooler temperatures after a hot summer, but what should you wear to prepare for this hike?

In the fall, you can wear many of the same clothing options as the spring. In some places, the fall can also be rainy, although typically not as severe as in the spring. This means that you’ll want those waterproof jackets and boots.

If you are hiking in an area that has fall hunting seasons, you’ll want to wear bright orange hats or vests. If you plan on bringing your dog with you on a fall hike, you can find orange vests for your best friend as well. In fact, wearing bright colors is a good idea for several reasons. I have an entire hiking clothes color guide if you want to learn more!

Fall Hiking Outfit Essentials

  • Hat
  • Buffs (can be used as a hat or face covering)
  • Gloves
  • Vests
  • Waterproof jackets
  • Insulating puffy jackets
  • Flannel shirt or wool sweater
  • Moisture-wicking base layer
  • Hiking pants or jeans
  • Warms socks, such as wool or neoprene socks
  • Waterproof hiking boots or tennis shoes

If you’re looking for some hiking outfit inspiration, I’ve found that Pinterest has hundreds of ideas for both fall and spring!

Peter

Peter is a software developer who loves to take every opportunity to go outside that he can get. Peter grew up going on long backpacking excursions with his family every Summer and now enjoys staying at the beautiful Texas State Parks and swimming in the amazing Texas Rivers.

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