Hiking in cargo pants or jeans is the first option of bottom wear for beginner hikers. However, they don’t have clue what other hiking bottom wear they can opt for. One of these clothing questions is whether it’s Ok to go hiking in a Skirt.
So, Can you wear a skirt while hiking?
Yes, it is perfectly suitable to wear a skirt on your hiking trip. However, not all skirts are suitable, only a hiking skirt should be worn while hiking.
Also, some other factors like terrain, weather conditions, comfort, hiking trail rating, and personal preference play a crucial role, while choosing what type of clothes are suitable for a certain hike.
Should You Hike in A Skirt?
It’s your choice what clothes to wear to your hiking journey and what not! However, hiking is a fun recreational activity, that needs specific clothing requirements to be fulfilled, for a safe and comfortable journey. We have created this table to help you quickly guide, which particular hiking trails are safe to wear a skirt.
|Can You Wear Skirt on this Hike?||Hiking Difficulty||Weather||Yes or No|
|Short hike less than a day||Easy||Warm||YES|
|Short hike less than a day||Moderate/Difficult||Warm||NO|
|Short hike less than a day||Easy||Cold||NO|
|Short hike less than a day||Moderate/Difficult||Rainy/Cold||NO|
|Long hike of more than one day||Easy||Warm||MAYBE(NEVER DURING THE NIGHT)|
|Long hike of more than one day||Moderate/Difficult||Warm/Rainy/Cold||NO|
From the above table, you can clearly see, that there are only particular hiking trails, where wearing a skirt is suitable. Furthermore, there are extensive hiking trails, where you should avoid wearing a skirt, generally due to over-exposing skin in a dangerous environment filled with insects and reptiles.
Factors To Consider While Wearing Skirt On A Hiking Trail
Hiking is a fun, outdoor recreational activity, but without appropriate gear, especially the right clothes, it can create some difficult problems.
If you want to enjoy every second of your hike, you want to accommodate yourself with the appropriate gear and clothes for that exact hiking trail.
Likewise, a skirt can only be worn on some specific hiking trails. Let’s look at the factors, that determine whether and when you can wear a skirt on a hiking trail.
Is Your hiking trail on a flat surface, or do you have to make a climb?
Is the path cemented and well maintained or do you have to make your path through the wilderness, with branches and bushes?
All these questions about terrain are of crucial importance when deciding what to wear.
For instance, a well-maintained trail, or an open trail ( an easy-rated hiking trail is a perfect trail to wear a skirt.
Although, if in your hike, you’ll be encountering rough surfaces, rocky paths, and unpaved paths through the forest, then wearing a skirt is not a good choice.
Some terrains like forests are more prone to insects and bugs, which can carry harmful diseases, like a rash or poison ivy plants, so exposing your legs will create a greater risk of catching the bites from insects and bugs.
If the terrain is open like a horseshoe bend, where you can hardly find any insects or plants, it is easier and safer to wear a skirt, in this type of terrain.
Weather / Season
Another crucial factor that determines what type of clothing a person should wear. Cold weather is definitely NO! Wearing a skirt will definitely get you chilly, as skirts are not fully insulated.
Rainy Season, is an excellent choice to wear a skirt, for two reasons:
- Your legs are exposed, so your skirt will not get fully wet
- Skirts are made of waterproof material, thus making them easy and versatile during rainy weather.
However, the rainy season also comes with
- Low temperatures: You could feel chilly, as your legs would be exposed and skirts are more ventilated.
- Bugs sprouting from the surface after rain.
Warm weather is the perfect season to wear a skirt, however, it also comes with some constraints:
Summer hiking trails usually consist of walking in the hot-ranging sun, which can go up to 70 degrees in the USA.
This heat can easily damage your skin, not to mention a high UV index, thus exposing your legs is not a good choice.
Insects, bugs, and snakes are most active in the summer season, and you should increase your protection by covering most of your body parts.
The duration of the hike also changes the type of clothes you want to pack. For instance, for a long hike, you want to pack lightweight clothes.
On a short hike, you can dress as you wish, as there are no backpack weight issues.
Also, if you’re staying overnight, and on a long trek then opt for clothes that don’t get dirty easily, and quickly dry.
When To Wear Skirt On Hiking Trip
There are hundreds of hikers who wear skirts on their hiking trail, and after we asked them why and when they wear skirts, they responded with these points:
Rainy Or Warm Weather
Warm and Rainy weather are good options to wear a skirt, and these are their responses and reasons:
” I feel more open and ventilated, and in a hot summer that is what any hike would want “.
” Shorts used to restrict my movement, but skirts are moveable, and climbing in rocks is slightly easy”.
” Getting through the river without dressing your pants was impossible, but with skirts, it’s very easy, and in the rainy season, they never get wet”.
Warm Weather consists of the hot raging sun and every hiker at that time needs more ventilation to his/her body, and that is what a skirt is used for.
These are far better choices than wearing shorts on a hiking trail, and these come with several pockets, for you to keep water easily reachable.
Low UV Index
When you’ll be walking on a shady hiking trail, or the UV index is not too high in that region, then you can wear a skirt.
Walking under a raging sun will get you sunburned legs, and these do not look good, itchy, and a burning sensation that will be too painful.
So, choose a cloudy day in summer, or try to wake in a shady area, or wear appropriate clothing, and apply a suitable sunscreen like SPF 80+.
No Insects OR Poisonous Plants
Generally, the outdoors is filled with insects, bugs, snakes (in some areas), and poisonous plants.
You don’t want to over-expose your body if insects and poisonous plants are in excess. Always check the area detail, before wearing a skirt and exposing your legs in the wild.
Get a DEET spray, if you are wearing a skirt as it will give protection from insects, however, you might have to reapply after a certain period.
Small Hiking Trail
A short hiking trail is a perfect trail to hike in a skirt, there will be no outdoor camping that attracts insects.
Also, if you choose easy-rated trails, then there will be no risk of getting your legs scratched from climbing onto rocks.
When to Avoid Skirt On Hiking Trip
Despite being comfortable, there are some scenarios where every hiker should wear a skirt on a hiking trail. Some of the reasons are:
Trails Surrounded by branches and bushes
The wild is filled with sharp, dangerous plants that can cause a rash, scratch your skin, or get you a serious medical injury, due to poisonous plants.
So, if you are hiking on a forest trail, then you should avoid wearing clothes that expose your skin like shorts or skirts. Go with full-length hiking pants.
Instead, wear a skirt on an open trail, or paved trails, like Hollywood, Sign Hike, which will definitely avoid getting scratched by bushes and branches.
Trail Filled With Bugs, Mosquitoes, and flies
Nature is always surrounded by bugs, mosquitoes, and flies, and as we go deep into nature like on a hiking trail, these insects tend to get dangerous.
Even a small insect can cause a red rash that will cause painful pain.
So, avoid wearing clothes, that show your skin as insects will have easy access to the skin to bite.
It would be an unorthodox decision to wear summer clothes in winter like you won’t wear flannel when it’s snowing outside.
So, wearing a skirt or shorts in cold weather is exactly the same.
However, you can wear a hiking skirt in winter, if you wear some warm leggings underneath, to keep yourself warm.
Hot and Humid Weather
Whenever you are hiking in warm or humid weather, a hiker needs well-ventilated clothes at that time, and there is no better bottom wear than a hiking skirt.
Although shorts are also a good option, the legs, and thighs are slightly congested.
Pros And Cons Of Wearing Skirt On a Hiking Trip
Pros Of Hiking In A Skirt
On a hot, sunny day, a hiker needs every ounce of airflow he/she can get. This is mandatory to prevent the overheating and dehydration problem, and there is nothing better bottom wear than a hiking skirt.
These will keep the temperature down, and a hike a lot more ventilated when the temperature is high.
Apart from that, you will have a lot more free range to movement, which is hard to achieve in any bottom wear.
The skirt is the top choice when it comes to comfort and free range of motion.
Although a hiking skirt doesn’t come under $10, these are priced lower than hiking pants.
So, if you are on a way to buy hiking pants, make sure to look at the hiking skirt section, and check the price difference yourself.
There’s no denying it, a hiking skirt gives a far more free range of motion than typical hiking pants. Mainly, because there is no construction to the typical pants stitching, or there is stitching in the between, which can limit your movements.
Generally, any bottom wear, starchy Or non-stretchy, does have a limited movement stride, wherever a skirt does not have this issue.
You can easily take a long stride, or rock climb, and do not feel a lot of movement constraints.
Most hiking bottom wear is lightweight, and this is done to make a hike lightweight and comfortable.
Similarly, a hiking skirt is very lightweight, and the weight is almost similar to hiking shorts.
In addition, these come with an extra pocket, which is missing in hiking shorts. It is very easy to put important stuff in your hiking skirt pockets, while you are on a hiking trail.
- Good Under Wet Conditions
Skirts do not trap heat and moisture, keeping your legs cool and dry. While if your hiking skirt gets wet, in a rainy season or you were crossing a river, then these get easily dried.
In addition, even if the hiking skirt gets wet, it can still be worn for a long period, as the skirt does not get stuck to the legs as hiking shorts or pants would.
Also, you can easily put a dry towel underneath your skirt, and keep your pegs dry when the skirt is wet. This is not possible in hiking pants or shorts.
Cons Of Hiking In A Skirt
- No Protection from Insects
It’s hard to go into the wild, without seeing a lot of birds, animals, and insects too.
It is very common to get bitten by dangerous animals and insects during a hike, and hiking skirts do anything to avoid it.
When a hiker wears a hiking shorts suit, the bottom legs are left exposed, which gives enough skin to the insects to bite you. This is the same problem with hiking shorts.
This hiking trail filled with insects is the best choice to wear a hiking skirt.
- Exposed Skin Can Lead to Little bruises from branches
Small bushes and sharp rocks are one of the few reasons why many hikers have scratches on their knees, legs, etc.
Wearing hiking pants gives the ultimate protection from these, but a hiking skirt fails in this category.
- Less Versatile
Despite how freely, and open you feel when wearing a hiking skirt, these are not suitable for every hike.
If you are hiking in a high-altitude region, then you get chilly, due to strong winds and low temperature.
It is not good to wear on a sunny day hike, which has hot temperatures as your legs can get sunburn if you don’t apply sunscreen.
How To Safely Wear Skirt During Hiking
- Skirt Length
Generally, a hiking skirt length is just above the knees, but some hikers prefer to go smaller in size and go with a hiking skirt that just ends between the thighs.
Although it’s a personal choice, a hiking skirt should be above 2cm above the knee length.
A hiking skirt is good under certain conditions, like hot Or humid weather, but lacks when it comes to safety and protection.
This can be avoided if you are legging underneath your hiking skirt.
It will instantly delete all of the negative aspects of a hiking skirt, and a hiking skirt will be suitable for every hiking trail.
Buying guide for hiking skirt
There are various options available for hikers to pick the right hiking skirt for them. The only key is to be knowledge full of what makes a skirt a hiking skirt.
So, let’s first know what to look for in a hiking skirt…..
Material – Hiking skirts are mainly made of polyester, cotton, polyester, and spandex. Sometimes two fabrics are used as a blend to make a hiking skirt. Now you might be asking which is the best material for a hiking skirt.
Well, it is not the material that matters but the weather. For instance, if you are hiking in summer or on warm dry days then a hiking skirt made of polyester and cotton blend is perfect.
On contrary, if you are hiking on a slightly cold day, then a hiking skirt made of wool or fleece is perfect.
Length – Make sure the length of your hiking skirt is not below your knees. You don’t yourself to be hiking in a skirt that is flowy as it will get stuck in branches or trip up on boulders.
Pocket and lining- Lining is important in hiking skirts if it’s windy. If your skirt doesn’t have lining then the best option is skort. Lining in a hiking skirt should not be your big concern if you are hiking on a non-windy trail.
Pockets are very important in a hiking skirt if you want a skirt for a multi-day hike. You need big pockets so that you can store your phone, snacks, and some usable essentials.
This prevents the hustle of taking off your backpack again and again while hiking.
Best Hiking Skirts
Hiking skirt with pockets(Lightheartgear hiking skirt)
Skirts with pockets are most appropriate for outdoor activities and especially for hiking as you want easy access to some essentials like your phone and snacks.
So let’s discover which hiking skirt has pockets and is best for hiking.
Lightheartgear hiking skirt
This just above knee-length skirt is the best hiking skirt out there. And the best about is that both men and women can wear it.
It might look big than some other options but has more useful features that are great for hiking.
Let’s first talk about material…
The material used to make the skirt the skirt is Nylon, cotton, ripstop, and polyester-lycra blend. The material used in a skirt depends on the color of the skirt.
As skirt comes in 9 different colors, of which colors like black is 100 nylon, while some other skirts with printed patterns are made of a polyester-lycra blend.
The best material for hiking is Nylon Or polyester as it doesn’t retain water and has quick drying capability.
Speaking of water, it has a DWE coating, it basically is a waterproof coating means it prevents the water to enter inside.
What makes this skirt best on the list is 6 large pockets. The pockets are large enough to store phones, snacks, maps, cameras, etc.
Front pockets are 10 inches deep means you don’t have to worry that your phone will fall on a trail.
Further, it has a waistline that looks like a pants with button opening and a zip fly at the front. You can also add a belt if you want.
I love the fact that you can turn this skirt into shorts if you want to. And men can also wear it.
The front zipper fly makes it easy for men to pee. And women can just lift it up as it is not so tight around the thighs.
It will cost you $98, which makes it expensive but at the same time, it is a proper hiking skirt that is solely designed for hiking.
If you are looking for your next hiking adventure on warm days then this samba skort from Titenine is what you need.
The material used in the skort is…
48% TENCEL™/48% organic cotton/4% spandex. Cotton is a breathable fabric and that is why this is best for summer hikes. Moreover, I suggest you avoid wearing this on waterfall hikes instead go with other options.
Further, it comes in seven different color patterns. If you love printed skirts then this is something you should look for.
It comes in five sizes from XS to XL. According to users ninety-seven percent of the time, it runs true to the size.
It will cost you between $55- $70 for one piece on the brand’s website. But you can look if the discounts are available on Amazon.
You can turn this into a skirt and a short accordingly, of course, that is why it is a skort.
The only thing is that it has a drawstring string waist and some of you might prefer an elastic waist. But the fact that you can make it tight and loose according to your will may sound appealing to some of you.
Moreover, it has a leg stash pocket which is good to store small essentials on your way to an inclined trail. However, it is not good as some other options like a lightheartgear skirt.
Who can wear this? Well, this is made basically for women, and you can wear these on a summer hiking trip.
For thru-hiking I suggest you go with a skort with larger pockets, something like a lightheart gear hiking skirt.
Willit women’s skorts
Another skort that can be worn outdoors or to play sports like golf. This is the best option if are looking for a less expensive option as it will cost you only $34.99.
Because it is less expensive doesn’t make it a bad option. This is one of the skorts for outdoors and is rated highly by users.
The material used to make this skirt is nylon and spandex. 88 % nylon is used with the combination of 12 spandex, providing stretch and moisture wicking ability.
Further, it is coated with DWR, which protects it from water and moisture. So, you can wear it in winter with nice leggings under it.
It comes in 7 different colors, however, you don’t get the printed option.
Designing and style of this skirt are similar to a lightheart gear hiking skirt. The main difference is that this skirt only has 2 pockets and a short inseam length.
Patagonia fleetwith skort
This skort from Patagonia is super comfortable for hiking. There are several things that you may like about this skirt especially if you like switching between a skirt and shorts.
The skirt is made with a blend of polyester and spandex. The use of polyester material makes this skirt suitable for outdoor activities like hiking.
Unlike, the lightheartgear skort which can be converted into short by folding it, this skirt comes with under short which is made of spandex.
This short is super flexible because it is made of spandex and is a super stretchy material.
This hiking skirt is mainly made for women and not suitable for men. It has a short inseam length of 4″ Which means it comes above your knee.
It has a faux wrap front with a curved hem, which gives it a stylish look.
So if you are women who want to look good on your hiking trip or you want to match your skirt with your outfit then this should be your bet.
Now, let’s talk about pockets. It comes with 2 pockets in the front. And with those pockets, you have two zippered pockets inside. So the room for storing essentials is medium.
You can store phones but won’t be able to store snacks and other essentials if you want to.
So, overall it is a good skort or hiking skirt for one-day hikes, but not for thru-hikes. If you want the best skirt for thru-hikes then simply go with a lightheartgear hiking skirt.
The price of this skirt is around $58. You can buy it from the brand store or from rei.
Oyamiki women’s Active athletic skort
Another great inexpensive skirt option for hiking is the Oyamiki skirt. Unlike other skirts, it has an elastic closure that makes it easy to put on and off.
Moreover, if you want more color options then go with this as it has 36 different color options from simple blue color to printed.
This is basically a sports skirt but you can wear it while hiking. This is a two-layer skirt with elastic shorts as an inner.
This is the best option for summer and spring hiking. The design and style of the skirt are simple and sleek.
Further, it has good ventilation as it is not too tight or too loose around the thighs.
It is made of nylon and spandex which provides it the moisture-wicking ability and stretch you need while hiking in summers.
M MOTEEPI Modest Knee Length
Another inexpensive and best hiking skirt for women is M MOTEEPI. For hiking purposes, it is better than the Oyamiki.
However, it is sold less because it is not multifunctional like the former one.
It is made of polyester and spandex. The material used is best for hiking and you can wear it in summers and in the slightly cold temperature as well. Though don’t forget to wear leggings underneath.
It also has a drawstring closure just like a lightheartgear hiking skirt. Further, it is also longer and ends just at knee length.
The best thing about this skirt is that it has 5 pockets, two on the skirt and 2 in shorts underneath it.
One small pocket at the waist is also there, however, it doesn’t severe full purpose for hiking.
Just like the other skirt, you get many color options in this.