Many backpackers go about layering clothing the wrong way. It is a common misconception that the layers must be thick. Layering in thick layers really limits mobility and is not really functional for backpacking. The best way to layer is with thin clothing. Thin layers means you can have more layers. This is far more functional than a few thick layers.
There are several reasons why you would want to use multiple thin layers. For s start, thin layering makes it easier to move. Also, you are not weighed down by bulk and therefore you can keep your mobility at its optimum consistent with keeping sufficiently warm. In addition, several layers makes it easier to adjust your layering. If you get too warm, you can simply remove a layer. Since the layers are thin you will not be removing much clothing. This helps in two ways. You will not have to now carry a thick, bulky piece of clothing. With a thin layer you have a gradual change, so you won’t have to keep taking off and putting on clothing as your body temperature fluctuates. If you are wearing a few thick layers, taking off one can make for a dramatic change.
There should be three main layers to your clothing. The inner layer should be something that absorbs moisture well and dries quickly. In cold weather it should also help to insulate and keep your body heat in. The middle layer should be comprised of items that will insulate. The outer layer needs to be waterproof and able to repel the wind. It also helps if it has pockets or areas to store items like a compass and flashlight. You should always dress in layers because you will be the most protected from any bad weather. However, these three layers are not just for winter backpacking. You will find the inner absorbent layer is helpful in warmer weather too.
Layering your clothing should not be a challenge. Always keep to thin layers, and follow the three layer suggestion. In this way you should not lose mobility or be uncomfortable. On the other hand you will have maximum flexibility in terms of layer removal.
Clothing is meant for protection and that is how you should look at it. Choose items that are comfortable and serve a purpose. Be sure to think about keeping the items thin. Also remember to think about the three layers you should always have.
About the Author:
Brian McGregor is a backpacking enthusiast and author. You can read about his latest ebook on backpacking and backpacking trips, including six free backpacking gifts at