What Outdoor Wear & Gear
Need for Your Trip?
It is a good idea to know what outdoor wear / outdoor clothes and gear you need to prepare for your trip here.
weather and temperature in Rockies Mountain could change dramatically
through a day. You better dress layers so that you can easily add and
remove clothing to make you comfortable.
What outdoor gear and wear do you need to bring?
According to the weather
here, what outdoor clothes to prepare obviously depends on what time of
year and what you do. The followings outdoor clothes and gear are
recommended. You can adjust to fit your preference.
Outdoor Wear and Gear for Summer – Mid-Jun to the end of August
- Supportive and sturdy sandals.
- Socks – I prefer wool or cotton socks.
- Shoes – lightweight running shoes (trainers) or, better still, trail runners.
- Hiking boots for serious hiking.
and long pants / trousers or pants with zip-on/zip-off legs, according
to personal taste. I like the paints with zip-on/off legs myself because
I do not have to try to find a private place to change my paints to
shorts (or from shorts to paints) when temperature changes. Another
benefit is carry less piece of shorts with you while hiking.
- Long-sleeved shirts.
– I prefer polyester t-shirt while I am hiking. The reason is it is
easily to dry if it got wet by sweat or rain. I wear cotton shirt once
while hiking. The sweat soaks the shirt during hottest time (1-300pm)
and late afternoon, the temperature drops and wind comes up. I felt so
cold with the soak wet cotton t-shirt which is hard to dry.
fleece jacket or a sweater (jumper), I do not recommended the cotton
ones because it is easily to get soak wet and hard to dry due to the
unpredictable rain. Unless you have a water proof jacket to protect wet.
water-proof / -resistant and wind proof jacket to serve as an outer
shell. I found normally the wind picks up afternoon here. Water and wind
proof jacket is idea to keep you warm from wind or rain.
- Daypack bag to carry your jackets when they are not in use,
- Sun hat.
- Sunscreen – you need it even though it is cloudy day.
- Insect repellent
bottle – either refill it from your hotel tap or buy it direct from
store. Do not drink untreated water from lakes, rivers and streams.
baby carrier if you are serious hiker with an infant or toddler. The
baby stroller or push chair is only good for Banff or Lake Lousie towns.
Not useful for uneven hiking trails.
- Binoculars - you might need for wildlife watch.
If you are going backcountry hiking. The following the outdoor wear and outdoor gear checklist are suggested by National Parks Canada. You can adjust to fit your need.
- Long underwear
- Wool sweater, down vest, or fleece jacket
- Raingear pants and jacket, gaiters
- Hat and gloves / mittens
- Shorts, pants and shirt
- Extra socks
- Hiking Boots - with ankle support and good soles
- Sandals / runners - for fording streams and at camp
- Tent with waterproof fly
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Stove, fuel, pot, dishes, eating and cooking utensils
- Food including enough for an extra day
- Water filter, purification tablets or extra fuel for boiling your water
- Wilderness Pass
- Topographic map
- Waterproof matches &/or lighter
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Signaling device (whistle/mirror)
- Emergency blanket
- Repair kit
- Sunglasses, sunhat
- Sunscreen & lip balm
- Garbage bags
- Pencil & paper
- Toilet paper
- Rope 8 m. approx.
- Water bottle
- Notebook / sketchpad
- Camera & film
- Bear spray
- Insect repellant
- Field guide(s)
Outdoor Wear and Gear for Transitional Months – Late May to Early June, September to early October
Transitional months leading up to or away from summer, so your outdoor clothes can mainly rely on the summer packing list. It is most likely cooler in this transitional time period than summer, so you will be fine to add warm hat, gloves and an extra thicker sweater (jumper) or long-sleeved fleece jacket based on the summer packing list.
Outdoor Wear and Gear for Winter – Late October to Early May
Your goal is to stay warm and dry, and the key to that is layers.
- Winter hat such as toque cap or beanie - can be fleece or wool.
- Scarf or neck warmer.
- Long underwear - tops and bottoms.
- Long-sleeved shirts - turtlenecks are good for layering.
- Sweater / jumper - wool or fleece.
- Hooded, thigh-length and well insulated jacket.
- Mittens or gloves – I prefer mittens as mittens are warmer than gloves.
- Wool or cotton pants / trousers.
- Wool or cotton socks.
- Boots that are rated down to -30º C or colder.
- Sunglasses – protect your eyes from bright of sunlight reflecting off snow.
- Lip balm and moisturizer to protect your skin from the dry air.
If you are going to ski, besides the basic outdoor wear listed above, you also need extra stuff. The followings are suggested while you are skiing.
- Helmet, which will keep you really warm and would be wise for a beginner (or actually for anyone).
- Wool / fleece toque cap or beanie, if you're not wearing a helmet.
- A face mask.
neck warmer keeps your neck warm all the time, and you can always pull
it up over mouth and nose if they start to get cold. Knit cotton neck
warmers are easier to breath through than fleece ones.
- Ski gloves or mittens – I personally like the mittens as it keeps my fingers warm better.
- Long underwear – polypro is better.
- Turtleneck in a comfortable, breathable fabric, such as cotton or silk
- Warm, thick fleece pullover.
- Windproof jacket with well insulation.
- Insulated ski pants. I personally like the high-waisted one so that the snow doesn't go down the back of my pants when I fall.
- Wool, silk blend or cotton socks.
- Properly fitted ski boots.
- Sunscreen and SPF protective lip balm, even on cloudy days.
- Goggles or sunglasses. I like the goggles while skiing as it can serve as sunglasses and face mask.
- A daypack bag for carrying extra stuff while they are not in use temporally.
You probably ask “What I need wear at Restaurants?”
The outdoor clothes for all restaurants here are casual at lunch time. At dinner time, moderately priced restaurants are casual, expensive restaurants are smart casual attire.
If you will be attending a New Year's Eve or Christmas party at one of upscale hotels, such as Chateau Lake Louise, you'll want slightly dressier attire - a coat and tie if you're a man and a cocktail outfit if you're a woman.
If you come from a warm places where you cannot find those winter
Banff Outdoor wear and gear, you always can buy them in Calgary, Canmore
If you are looking for discount womens outdoor clothing or mens outdoor clothing, you probably should start to shop while you are planning your trip. Mountain Equipment Co-op, Sport Check and Mark’s Work Wearhouse
have large selection of outdoor wear and outdoor gear, and you can
order online or buy at store located in Calgary while you arrive.