How to choose clothing for tough outdoor sports

Wear the right clothes for your favorite activity

Wear the right clothes for your favorite activity

Outdoor sports tend to be hard on clothing. You?re actively participating, not sitting and watching the sport happen. So, you need clothing that is as tough as your activity. Read on to find out how to choose clothing for tough outdoor sports.

Weather first

Know the weather conditions during your activity. Often enough, the weather ends up being a mixed bag ? cold in the morning and scorching hot during the day. Or there could be rain headed your way. Regardless, knowing what the weather is going to be will definitely affect your outdoor clothing choices.

Clothing material

Cotton is an all-natural and breathable fabric. But, it has the downfall of holding onto sweat and moisture and stays wet longer. This dampness acts like air conditioning, cooling you down. While this may sound great while the sun is pounding on you, it can give you the chills quickly as the temperature drops.

Instead, go for man-made materials that keep you dry by wicking moisture away from your body. Clothing made from these kinds of materials are great for layering since they tend to be lightweight. If all-natural is your preference, look for clothing made from merino wool. It wicks moisture and repels odors. Since it is a wool, it?s perfect for colder weather and some warmer climates.



Pants or shorts? It?s a personal choice and much of the decision depends on the activity. Shorts give ultimate mobility and freedom while being cooler than pants. Pants are warmer and protect your lower half from cuts, scratches, sunburn and some insect bites.

For those of you who have a hard time deciding, there are convertible pants. These garments have zip-off legs that change them to shorts instantly. Here again, look for options that are lightweight and quick drying. Otherwise, you might chafe in areas that you never thought possible. 


It should go without saying that any shoe you wear should fit you well and not be brand spanking new. Why not new? Because you don?t know if they will cause discomfort or blisters until you?ve worn them a while. Once you get a feel for your shoes, you?ll know they are reliable and good to go. 

Every great fitting pair of shoes or boots demands the perfect pair of socks to go with them. As mentioned before, try to avoid cotton if you can. Once cotton socks get wet, they stay that way for hours. They also hold in fine sand and other debris, which can cause painful blisters and scrapes on your feet. Fortunately, there are plenty of moisture wicking socks on the market, in both man-made and all-natural fabrics. For those whose skin reacts to man-made fabrics, look for wool socks. They will help keep your feet warm and dry through almost every activity.

Other necessities

Depending on your sport, you?ll probably need other gear. Full brimmed hats are great ? they keep the sun off your head, face and neck. Many are water repellent, so you can stay dry and comfortable in the rain. Lightweight jackets to repel wind, rain or both can come in handy. If the weather report is unsure, choose a jacket that is lightweight and easily folded into a pack or gear bag.

Another idea is a basic rain poncho. They work great in a pinch. Just be aware that a poncho will trap heat and moisture next to your body.

So, there you have it ? some of the basics when it comes to choosing the right clothing for your next outdoor sporting adventure. Go out and have some fun!