perfect hiking temperature

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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Chip Down
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perfect hiking temperature

Post by Chip Down » February 9th, 2019, 7:08 pm

I'm amazed at how often non-hikers have asked me "what's the perfect hiking temperature"? How odd. Anyway, to answer the question, I start with disclaimers: I'm assuming it's overcast and calm, so there's no heat benefit from the sun and no detriment from the wind. And I assume a hike where there's no specific strategic benefit to temperature, so only comfort is a consideration. At which point the person who posed the question mutters "damn, Chip always turns a simple question into something complicated" :roll:

I'm thinking about 50-ish. Warm enough that I don't really need hat and gloves, but cool enough that I can comfortably cover all skin for protection from poison oak, bugs, etc, without over heating. If trail hiking, add a few degrees, maybe 55. Anything over 60 is starting to get uncomfortable. On the low end, it starts getting less fun if it dips into the teens, especially on an all-day hike where cold starts to wear you down.

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adamschneider
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by adamschneider » February 9th, 2019, 9:17 pm

My ears get cold below about 55°F. I say 55°-60° is perfect.

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drm
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by drm » February 10th, 2019, 9:38 am

It ain't the 18 degrees outside now (in The Dalles). I just had an operation to remove a skin cancer on my schnoz that required using a graft afterwards, and the doctor says that being outside in really cold temperatures inhibits healing. So I'm stuck indoors! I'm experimenting with various types of nose warmers, but they will all look silly.

Otherwise, I really don't mind summer heat as long as there is decent shade.

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Water
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by Water » February 10th, 2019, 10:44 am

sorry to hear that drm--hope it was one of the more benign ones that are more common and just happen with aging.. My father had a few of those on his face that he had to get taken care of when he was in his early to mid-60's. He's lucky as he had an area of malignant melanoma on his upper back about the size of a beer coaster in his 40's.. had it removed and some other treatment and knock on wood.. that was basically 30 years ago.

what about just a balaclava? or the 'glacier glasses' with the nose cover, I've seen those.

Heal quick and back to hiking--or hope it gets warm!
Feel Free to Feel Free

RobFromRedland
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by RobFromRedland » February 10th, 2019, 11:26 am

I'd agree with the 50ish comment. Anything colder and I will probably have to wear gloves and/or a hat (at least part of the time). In the 50's once you get going it is cool enough to keep you from sweating much, but not so cold you need to layer up too much.

Interesting question....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

Aimless
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by Aimless » February 10th, 2019, 11:40 am

I tend to be happiest hiking within the range from the high 50s to low 60s, but I can be quite happy when hiking in a much broader range of temps. Having a range of clothing options helps immensely. Also, having local hikes at elevations ranging from near sea level up to above 6000 ft. can assist one in finding a hike where the temperature is the most pleasant.

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texasbb
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by texasbb » February 10th, 2019, 2:50 pm

The perfect hiking temperature is probably 50-ish. But the perfect temperature for sitting around camp in the evening is a little higher, maybe 65. And the perfect sleeping temperature is a little lower, maybe 40. Rarely get all three on any given day, but who cares.

Brian95
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by Brian95 » February 10th, 2019, 3:40 pm

I guess I'm in the minority that I prefer it in the 80s and sunny, even on long and strenuous hikes. :)

But I'd say it really depends on the conditions of the hike. If I'm in a sunny area then I can deal with the 60s or 70s, while if I'm in a shady area then even the 90s are comfortable for me. Definitely also depends on how strenuous and humid it is as well.

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drm
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by drm » February 15th, 2019, 7:36 am

Water wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 10:44 am
sorry to hear that drm--hope it was one of the more benign ones that are more common and just happen with aging.
No, it was a malignant melanoma, but they caught it early. I'm told there is no future risk.

Brian95 and I are in agreement. Bring on the heat (with appropriate sunscreen of course :lol: )

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retired jerry
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Re: perfect hiking temperature

Post by retired jerry » February 15th, 2019, 7:58 am

too bad but it sounds like the prognosis is good as long as you stay out of the cold for a while, was it sun exposure to your nose?

optimum temperature - 40 F - easily cover up for sun and bug protection, no overheating

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