6 Gear Necessities for a Windy Hike

September 27, 2016 How to

Being exposed to the elements, such as wind and rain, is simply something you deal with while hiking. However, a windy hike can be absolutely deadly. If you are hiking in high elevations, during winter, or in an area known for high winds, being prepared could save your life. With proper gear, a windy hike can be tolerable.

Windy in Hokkaido Japan

Photo Credit: Robert Thomson via Flickr


To reduce your chance of being caught in deadly gusts, always check weather conditions before setting out on a hike or backpacking trip. There are a number of reasons why windy conditions can be uncomfortable to hike in. When exposed to windy conditions, wind burn on the skin, teary eyes, and runny nose occur, which could ruin a hike.

The items in this list are recommended because they all will prevent wind burn and chill during your windy hike, especially if temperatures are low. Please read more about hiking in the rain if conditions will be both windy and rainy.

1. Wind resistant jacket

wind resistant jacket on hiker in windy weather

Photo Credit: Madison Dragna via Flickr

A wind-resistant jacket is going to be your first defense and most crucial component against wind. Many rain jackets are made to be wind-resistant as well. These jackets have a hood, typically cinch at the wrist and waist, and are made of a wind protective material.

2. Buff or Bandana

buff on hiker in windy weather

Photo Credit: Madison Dragna via Flickr

A buff is a multi-use accessory. During a windy hike, a buff or bandana can protect your face from wind burn, keep your hair out of your face, or wipe away tears and snot if necessary. When it comes to wind and cold, your nose and eyes could become runny, making a bandana quite helpful.

3. Gloves

hiker wearing gloves in windy weather

Photo Credit: Madison Dragna via Flickr

When it comes to gloves, a pair of lightweight gloves are better than no gloves at all. If your hands are exposed to the wind, you might get wind burn, dry hands, or cracked hands. Gloves work as a protective layer and a warming layer.

4. Puffy or Fleece Jacket

hiker in puffy jacket in windy weather

Photo Credit: Madison Dragna via Flickr

Depending on the temperature on the windy day, an insulating, lightweight jacket may be necessary to keep you warm during your windy hike. Even if a jacket may be too hot to wear while hiking, it may be necessary during windy snack breaks.

5. Pants

hikers wearing pants on Mt Washington

Photo Credit: Madison Dragna via Flickr

Pants are recommended during a windy hike in order to prevent wind burn and chill. Hiking pants, rain pants, wind pants, or even leggings are better than bare skin.

6. Trekking Poles

hiker using trekking poles on knife's edge

Photo Credit: Madison Dragna via Flickr

When wind really become treacherous and dangerous, trekking poles come in handy. They can keep your stable and help you push through the windy conditions.

7. Beanie or Headband

hiker wearing beanie on trail

Photo Credit: Madison Dragna

Wind can really chill your ears. A beanie or a headband will keep your ears warm while also keeping your hair back.

What gear do you bring on a windy hike? Tell us your suggestions in the comments below!

Madison Dragna