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Choosing the Right Clothing for your Trek

About the author


Paul Goodyer

Nomad founder and CEO

Paul set off at just 17 on his first independent trip across Europe and into Northern Africa. He was away for ten months encountering some of the first overland companies and experiencing life with indigenous tribes. This and subsequent extensive journeys, revealed the pitfalls of being inadequately equipped and the misery of ill health whilst travelling. Nomad began on a market stall in Reading and has now grown to 10 stores all across the UK and the largest range of specialist travel equipment online.

Nomad Travel Health Services

Nomad Travel Clinics

Need help? Please book an appointment or call
0134 155 5061

Using the Nomad clinic services gives you a one-to-one experience with a qualified, highly trained, travel health nurse.

The consultation includes:

  • A detailed medical history
  • Risk assessment based on style and length of your trip
  • Advice on preventative measures you can take

Your pharmacy based travel clinic is all very well but for specialist advice at the same or lower cost come to Nomad. This is strongly advised if you are on a more adventurous or complex itinerary, or have special medical needs. Nomad Travel Clinics are specialists in:

  • Last minute travel
  • Complex itineraries
  • Travel health and existing medical conditions
  • Open 6 days per week

allowing 6-8 weeks for your vaccination programme, you have time to fit in full courses of vaccines where required which provides you with the best possible protection against certain vaccine preventable diseases. If you don’t have time to complete courses before you go, you risk travelling with little or even no protection against sometimes high risk diseases.

Nomad Pharmacy

Nomad Travel Pharmacy has a wide range of Pharmacy items for all your outdoor and travel needs. Browse the Nomad Pharmacy here...

Cold, wet, hot and dry. Don’t be surprised if you experience all of these conditions on a single trek especially on the mountains and hills. When you are walking your body will create a lot of heat when you stop you will cool down rapidly. Here are some top tips for temperature control and protection from the elements.


  • Base layer – worn tight against the skin. Merino wool is best for base layers; both insulating and relatively quick drying to wick away the moisture created when you are exerting energy. It is also very breathable, however it is expensive. Man made fabrics (such as polypropylene) are quick drying, fast wicking, relatively thermal but can get a bit smelly unless treated with a bacteria killer. They usually offer good value.
  • Mid layer - this can be a fleece or light weight jumper, breathable, but both these options can be bulky in your day bag. Better still is a light insulated jacket like our own Fuego jacket. Both have the advantage of being very windproof, highly insulating, remarkably packable and often warm enough unless the weather is extreme.
  • Mid outer - if you think your trip could get very cold (the top of Kili, overnight on the Machu Pichu trail) you will also need this. I go for a down Gilet. They again are very packable and offer great insulation.
  • Outer shell - this has got to be breathable, packable and 100% waterproof as you will probably only wear it when the weather closes in. For lowland trekking consider a poncho. It will cover you and your pack and is useful as a ground sheet when taking a break. Don’t forget to pack some lightweight water proof trousers.

Layering will only work if there is a layer of air between your layers. Warmth is created by you and is trapped between the layers and within the insulating clothing. If it is all too tight it simply will not work.

Choose the Right Fabric

For your general clothing try to avoid cotton if there is any chance of cold wet weather. It drys slowly. I wear cotton trousers as I prefer the feel but it is best to wear a synthetic top. This is because when you are wearing a day sack and are exerting yourself (generating heat) moisture will form underneath the bag because you have caused an occlusion. The trouble comes when you stop for a well earned break and take off your pack the colder air is likely to chill you.


Make sure you pack two hats for your trek. A wide brimmed hat will offer protection from the sun for your head and neck. An insulating hat is important as so much body heat escapes through the head. Making sure you keep that warmth in when trekking in cold climates is vital.