What To Wear Hiking In 40 Degree Weather?

When embarking on a hiking adventure in 40-degree weather, it is crucial to dress appropriately to ensure comfort, protection, and enjoyment. In this guide, we will provide expert advice on what to wear to stay warm and comfortable during your outdoor excursion. From base layers designed to insulate heat, to mid-layers for added warmth, and cozy top layers for extra comfort, we have you covered.

We will discuss the importance of waterproof outer layers to shield you from the elements, as well as essential accessories to complete your cold weather hiking ensemble. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a novice, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to dress for success on your next hiking expedition.

Key Takeaways

  • Base layers and mid-layers are essential for insulation and moisture-wicking to keep hikers comfortable and dry in cold weather.
  • Cozy top layers like fleece jackets, merino wool sweaters, down vests, and softshell jackets provide warmth and comfort during hikes.
  • Waterproof outer layers with features like sealed seams and adjustable hoods are crucial for protection from rain, snow, and wind.
  • Essential accessories for cold weather hiking include insulated gloves, thermal hats, neck gaiters, and hand warmers for extra warmth and protection.

Base Layers For Cold Weather Hiking

Base Layers For Cold Weather Hiking

Base layers are an essential component of cold weather hiking attire, as they provide necessary insulation and moisture-wicking properties to keep hikers comfortable and dry throughout their outdoor adventure. These close-fitting garments are typically made from materials like merino wool or synthetic fabrics, which have excellent thermal properties and are capable of wicking away sweat from the skin.

By trapping a thin layer of warm air against the body, base layers help to regulate body temperature and prevent heat loss in chilly conditions. Additionally, the moisture-wicking properties of base layers ensure that sweat is quickly transported away from the skin, preventing discomfort and potential chills. Once equipped with a suitable base layer, hikers can move on to the next layer of clothing: mid-layers for added warmth.

Mid-Layers For Added Warmth

To provide optimal warmth in 40 degree weather, hikers should consider incorporating mid-layers into their hiking attire. Mid-layers are essential for trapping body heat and providing an additional layer of insulation. These garments are typically worn between the base layer and the outer shell, and they come in various materials and styles to suit different preferences and weather conditions.

To give you a better idea, here is a table showcasing some popular mid-layer options:

Mid-Layer Type Material Features
Fleece Synthetic or wool Lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying
Down Jacket Duck or goose down Highly insulating, compressible, and lightweight
Synthetic Jacket Polyester or nylon Moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and durable

Cozy Top Layers For Extra Comfort

For added comfort in 40 degree weather, consider incorporating cozy top layers into your hiking attire. These extra layers will not only keep you warm but also provide a sense of coziness and belonging during your outdoor adventure. Here are four cozy top layers that you should consider:

  1. Fleece Jacket: A fleece jacket is a versatile and lightweight option that provides warmth without adding bulk. Look for one with a high collar to protect your neck from chilly winds.
  2. Merino Wool Sweater: Merino wool is known for its excellent insulation properties and moisture-wicking abilities. A merino wool sweater will keep you warm and dry, even when you’re sweating during strenuous hikes.
  3. Down Vest: A down vest adds an extra layer of warmth to your core without restricting your movement. Choose one with a water-resistant shell to stay dry in case of light rain or snow.
  4. Softshell Jacket: A softshell jacket is a great option for windy conditions. It offers wind resistance while still allowing breathability, keeping you comfortable throughout your hike.

Waterproof Outer Layers For Protection

To ensure protection from the elements in 40 degree weather while hiking, it is crucial to incorporate waterproof outer layers into your attire. These layers will keep you dry and shielded from rain, snow, and wind. When choosing a waterproof jacket, look for features such as sealed seams, adjustable hoods, and ventilation options to enhance your comfort. Additionally, consider investing in waterproof pants or overalls to protect your lower body. To help you make an informed decision, here is a table highlighting some popular waterproof outer layer options:

Brand Material Features
Patagonia Gore-Tex Breathable, durable, adjustable features
Columbia Omni-Tech Lightweight, waterproof, packable
The North Face DryVent Windproof, adjustable cuffs, pit zips

Essential Accessories For Cold Weather Hiking

When hiking in 40 degree weather, it is important to equip yourself with essential accessories that provide added warmth and protection. Here are four items you should consider bringing along:

  1. Insulated Gloves: Keep your hands warm and protected from the cold and wind. Look for gloves that are waterproof and have a good grip to ensure comfort and safety.
  2. Thermal Hat: A thermal hat will help retain heat and protect your head from the cold. Opt for a hat that covers your ears for extra warmth.
  3. Neck Gaiter: A neck gaiter provides additional insulation for your neck and can be pulled up to cover your face when needed. It is a versatile accessory that can be adjusted according to your comfort level.
  4. Hand Warmers: These small packets generate heat when activated and can be placed inside your gloves or pockets for instant warmth.

Now that you know the essential accessories for cold weather hiking, let’s move on to the next section about warm socks to keep your feet toasty.

Warm Socks To Keep Your Feet Toasty

Warm Socks To Keep Your Feet Toasty

Proper insulation for your feet is crucial for maintaining warmth and comfort during hiking in 40-degree weather. When it comes to keeping your feet toasty, investing in high-quality warm socks is a must. Look for socks made from materials such as merino wool or synthetic fibers, as they are known for their excellent insulation properties.

These socks are designed to wick away moisture from your feet, keeping them dry and preventing blisters. Additionally, they provide extra cushioning and support to ensure a comfortable hiking experience. Don’t forget to choose socks that fit well and have a snug fit to prevent any rubbing or discomfort. With the right pair of warm socks, your feet will stay cozy and protected throughout your hiking adventure.

Now that we’ve covered how to keep your feet warm, let’s move on to another essential accessory for cold weather hiking: gloves.

Gloves For Cold Weather Hiking

For optimal warmth and protection during cold weather hiking, it is essential to invest in a reliable pair of gloves. Gloves play a crucial role in keeping your hands warm and protected from the harsh elements. Here are four key features to look for when choosing gloves for cold weather hiking:

  1. Insulation: Look for gloves with good insulation to keep your hands warm in low temperatures. Insulated gloves are usually made with materials like fleece or down, providing excellent warmth retention.
  2. Waterproofing: It is important to choose gloves that are waterproof or water-resistant. This feature will keep your hands dry and prevent moisture from seeping in, especially when encountering snow or rain during your hike.
  3. Grip and Dexterity: Look for gloves that offer a good grip and allow for dexterity. This is important for handling hiking equipment, such as trekking poles, without compromising your hand’s mobility.
  4. Adjustable Cuffs: Gloves with adjustable cuffs allow you to secure them tightly around your wrists, preventing cold air from entering and ensuring a snug fit.

Hats To Retain Heat

To retain heat during cold weather hiking, it is essential to wear a hat that provides insulation and protection for your head. When temperatures drop to 40 degrees, proper headgear becomes crucial to prevent heat loss and maintain comfort. A hat with insulation, such as fleece or wool, is highly recommended as it traps warm air close to your head.

Look for hats that cover your ears as they are particularly susceptible to cold temperatures. Opt for hats with windproof and moisture-wicking properties to protect against wind chill and sweat buildup. A snug fit is important to ensure maximum heat retention and prevent the hat from slipping off during your hike. By choosing the right hat, you can stay warm and cozy while enjoying your outdoor adventure.

Hiking Boots For Chilly Conditions

When hiking in 40-degree weather, it is important to choose hiking boots that are suitable for chilly conditions. Your boots should provide warmth, traction, and protection against the elements. Here are four essential features to consider when selecting hiking boots for chilly conditions:

  1. Insulation: Look for boots that offer insulation to keep your feet warm in cold temperatures. Thinsulate or synthetic insulation materials are excellent choices for retaining heat.
  2. Waterproofing: Ensure your boots are waterproof or water-resistant to keep your feet dry in wet and snowy conditions. This will prevent moisture from seeping in and causing discomfort or frostbite.
  3. Traction: Opt for boots with a sturdy outsole that provides excellent traction on slippery or icy terrain. This will help prevent slips and falls, keeping you safe during your hike.
  4. Ankle Support: Choose boots with good ankle support to prevent injuries and provide stability on uneven terrain. Look for boots with a high-cut design to protect your ankles from twists and sprains.

Cold-Related Injuries And Illnesses To Be Aware Of

In consideration of the previous subtopic on selecting appropriate hiking boots for chilly conditions, it is crucial to be aware of the potential cold-related injuries and illnesses that hikers may encounter. When exposed to cold temperatures, hikers are at risk of developing frostbite, hypothermia, and chilblains. Frostbite occurs when the skin and underlying tissues freeze, leading to numbness, discoloration, and even tissue death.

Hypothermia, on the other hand, happens when the body loses heat faster than it can produce, resulting in a dangerously low body temperature. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, confusion, and loss of coordination. Chilblains are painful, itchy swellings that occur when the skin is repeatedly exposed to cold, but not freezing, temperatures. To prevent these cold-related injuries and illnesses, it is essential to dress in layers, stay hydrated, and take regular breaks to warm up. In the next section, we will explore clothing tips specifically for women in 40-degree weather.

Clothing Tips For Women In 40-Degree Weather

Clothing Tips For Women In 40-Degree Weather

For optimal comfort and protection in 40-degree weather, women should consider appropriate clothing choices. Here are four key items to consider:

  1. Layering is essential: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from the skin. Add a mid-layer for insulation, such as a fleece or down jacket. Finally, top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to shield against the elements.
  2. Don’t forget about the legs: Opt for pants that are both breathable and water-resistant. Consider thermal leggings or fleece-lined pants for added warmth.
  3. Keep your extremities cozy: Invest in a good pair of thermal socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Wear gloves or mittens that are touchscreen-friendly, so you can still use your phone without exposing your hands to the cold.
  4. Protect your head and neck: A warm beanie or hat will help retain body heat, while a neck gaiter or scarf can provide extra insulation.

Now, let’s move on to clothing tips for men in 40-degree weather.

Clothing Tips For Men In 40-Degree Weather

Men should prioritize layering and appropriate clothing choices when dressing for 40-degree weather. Layering is essential to regulate body temperature and provide flexibility for changing weather conditions. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep your skin dry and maintain warmth. A mid-layer, such as a fleece or insulated jacket, will provide insulation and trap heat close to your body. For the outer layer, opt for a waterproof and windproof jacket to protect against the elements.

Choose breathable and moisture-wicking materials for your pants, such as synthetic blends or merino wool. Don’t forget to wear warm socks and invest in sturdy, waterproof hiking boots to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Lastly, accessorize with a hat, gloves, and a scarf to protect your extremities. By following these clothing tips, men can enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience in 40-degree weather.


Is it OK to walk in 40 degree Celsius weather?

Elevated ambient temperatures may pose a health risk to an individual. Heat exhaustion and cramps can occur between 90˚ and 105˚F (32˚ and 40˚C). Heat exhaustion is more common between 105˚ and 130˚F (40˚ and 54˚C). You should limit your actions within this range.

What temperature is unsafe to walk?

The areas most susceptible to frostbite are the fingers, nose, ears, toes, cheeks, and chin. Therefore, they should be covered as much as possible. Therefore, if the temperature drops below zero or the windchill drops below -18, it’s best to stay inside.

At what temperature should you not walk outside?

According to Joseph Neel, an athletic trainer with Kettering Health, “it is too cold to be outside if the temperature with wind chill factor is 18 degrees below Fahrenheit or lower.” Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in those circumstances in as little as 30 minutes.

Is it safe to exercise in hot weather?

The physical strain of exercising in hot weather is increased. You run the risk of suffering a serious illness if you exercise in the heat carelessly. Your core body temperature may rise as a result of the exercise and the air temperature.


In conclusion, when hiking in 40-degree weather, it is important to dress in layers to ensure warmth and protection. Base layers provide insulation, while mid-layers and cozy top layers offer added warmth. Waterproof outer layers help shield against the elements. Essential accessories, such as hats and gloves, are also necessary. Additionally, it is crucial to be aware of cold-related injuries and illnesses. One interesting statistic to consider is that the human body can lose heat 25 times faster when wet, highlighting the importance of staying dry during cold weather hiking.

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