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Hiking Skirts:
Do You Need One?

Hiking skirts!

Or maybe you call them walking skirts?

Regardless of name, what do you think of this question:

Hiking skirts aren't for everyone, but why not consider wearing one on your next hike? Here are some tips for choosing the best hiking skirt.

The question surfaced because I've been fascinated by this idea for women hikers ever since I saw a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in a skirt that reached to her knees.

Her heavily muscled, rather dusty legs screamed "competent hiker!!!"

And I began to wonder whether hiking in a skirt was a good idea.

Historically, skirts have been used by both genders.

Back in the "olden days", women always wore skirts, regardless of the activity.

And men have worn kilts in the outdoors for generations.

But are they a good idea for hikers?

Female hiker wearing green backpack gazing at snow covered mountainWould the view of Mt. Rainier seem better in a hiking skirt?

Why wear hiking skirts on the trail?

Let's get right down to the nitty gritty of trail skirts for your type of hiking:

  • Is a hiking skirt practical?
  • Are they comfortable?

  • Can bare legs be realistic when you're hiking off trail through brush and mud?
  • Is a skirt modest enough to cover all of your assets when hiking up hill?
  • Does a skirt make answering Nature's call any easier?

For a look at some answers, try these resources:

  • This forum kicks around the question from multiple angles: freedom of movement, ease of answering Nature's call, ventilation ... have a look for yourself.

Trail skirt update

UPDATE: Here's a skirt I find to be worthy of your attention, because it features:

  • neutral color to hide dirt and blend in with surroundings,
  • a slight flare for ease of movement (I bought one size up to give myself extra room),
  • moisture wicking fabric so my sweat doesn't stay on my body,
  • a bit stretchy so it moves with me,
  • reasonably deep pockets for lip balm and hair ties,
  • belt loops for attaching trail stuff,
  • can be worn into town after a hike if you select a hide-the-dirt color.

I've got one hanging in my hiking clothes closet for all of these reasons!

Take a look:

Royal Robbins Women's Terra Hiker Skirt

And if you'd like a comfy skirt that has built-in semi-compression shorts, comes in sizes XS - XXL and a wide array of colors, and has the happy name of Happy Girl Skirt, plus UV 50+ protection, how could I blame you??

Not just for the ladies!

Hiking kilts for men offer the same advantages that women's hiking skirts do, including ventilation and freedom of movement.

Mountain Hardware makes a trail worthy kilt in a weather resistant fabric, providing moisture wicking as well as modesty.

It has way more pockets than my hiking skirt! (she said in a wistful tone)

And I'm not the first woman to notice that a man in a kilt is worth a second look.

Just sayin'!!

Your turn to chime in

I hope you'll share your own experiences if you definitely DO or DO NOT like to hike in a skirt. Many women hikers would like to learn from your experiences.

Send in your comments and opinions about the wisdom or down side of wearing a skirt on the trail - it's really easy to do using the form below.

And thanks in advance for being willing to share with your trail sisters.

One question: Should skirt wearers have a secret handshake or something?

Clan of The Skirt Hikers!

Hiking In A Skirt: Pros and Cons

Do you have a strong opinion about this? Share it!

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A picture is worth how many words?? Let us see your favorite hiking skirt.[ ? ]


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What Other Visitors Have Said About Hiking Skirts

Click below to see contributions from other female hikers to this page...

A Skirt Is The Way To Go For Men & Women 
It is refreshing to see more women on the trail sporting skirts. Not only are they functional but they look great too. If modesty is a concern then a …

A male perspective: unlimited stride, ventilation, comfort, no sweaty crotch 
I am a male and have discovered hiking in a skirt. Six years ago I had major groin surgery and recovery was long and painful; there is scar tissue that …

I would be hesitant to wear a skirt on the trail 
Although I think I have the legs to carry it off, I am a women of a certain size, i.e. a size 16, not a size 2, so frankly my thighs would rub together …

Women have the best options, vs men 
Being a working man, I've always worn strong pants to work and play in. While hiking in Costa Rica, found the cotton bluejeans a no no, they do not …

Never going back to shorts 
I've been hiking with a skirt now for 4 years. I will never go back to pants and shorts. The ease of going to the bathroom in the bush, the ventilation …

Sharon, the hiking nut!! 
Most shorts I have hiked in do not ventilate well. Because most women's hiking gear seems to be light colored, it looks as if you have wet your pants. …

Skirts for California Not rated yet
You start your hike in pants and wish you wore shorts as the day warms up. You start your hike in shorts and wish you wore pants because you are cold …

I hike in a dress! Not rated yet
Skirts are great, but a dress is even better - a stretchy jersey A line one. A dress is cooler than trousers, it doesn't chafe around the waist, or get …

LOVE my skirts! Not rated yet
My favorite ever hiking skirt is one I bought in Australia. It was Kathmandu brand, a nice comfortable A-line, wicking, just super awesome. The only …

Love hiking in a skirt Not rated yet
Just finished a long multi-day backpack wearing a skirt and bike shorts. Pros: 1. Easy to update from shorts to long pants if the weather changes …

Why I love my hiking skirt! Not rated yet
I have a skirt for hiking and I love it! Hiking in a skirt gives me free movement and keeps me cool. I feel free with no pant legs rubbing on me. …

I just started and love it Not rated yet
Ventilation for sure. Look. I like the length on this one.

Hiking in a skirt Not rated yet
...is fancy. Its practical. Unless you mind dirt on the seam. I talk of longer skirts. Not the shortys. They are not practical for hikes. A long and wide …

The only way to go! Not rated yet
I have hiked, backpacked and even x-country skied in my long heavy twill skirts (Banana Republic from about 30 years ago). I wear long thick socks/stockings …

Ditch your rain paints for a rain skirt! Not rated yet
If you are tired of the fuss of putting on and taking off rain pants, try a rain skirt. They simply wrap around whatever you are already wearing and …

I wear skirts hiking for comfort and attractiveness, I am a large, curvy woman and trousers do not fit me properly. I wear an s line, stretchy skirt …

Yes!! Sometimes....... Not rated yet
I always prefer skirts, especially in warmer weather, so why not take that comfort with me outdoors? PRO: no sweaty crotch, cool breezes, and easier …

Why I'm switching to skirts! Not rated yet
So I've decided to switch my entire lower-body system from pants to skirts. Here's why. 1. Modesty. My last group backpacking trip was in winter, and …

I prefer a hiking skirt for ease of movement and comfort! Not rated yet
I've worn a hiking skirt on almost all my hikes! Here in CA the weather is warm, even up high above 10,000. My skirt needs to be quite flared to allow …

I hiked the entire Appalachian trail in a skirt! Not rated yet
I've been hiking and running in skirts for 15 years, including our AT thruhike, our Tahoe Rim Trail hike, our Long Trail thruhike, and our Camino de Santiago …

I am totally down with hiking in a skirt. Not rated yet
The first time I wore a skirt hiking was quite by accident. I set off in a bikini top and a sarong to get a better view from the cliff above. Wearing …

Yes to skirts!! Not rated yet
Once I started wearing a skirt I have never gone back. Love them.

I love walking in a skirt  Not rated yet
Hi. I've worn skirts to hike in warm, wet and winter weather. I made my own waterproof overskirt and use either a cotton or wool base skirt depending on …

It's the call of nature that does it for me! Not rated yet
I've always loved to walk and hike in a skirt. The primary reason is that it's very easy to, excuse me, pee standing up. No need to find a private place …

Click here to write your own.

Why I always wear a hiking skirt Not rated yet
I've been hiking only in long skirts since I was a teenager. The biggest reason is coolness combined with protection against Lyme Disease -- a whole …

Enjoy hiking in skirts and sport dresses Not rated yet
I have a skirt and several sports dresses I like to wear in the summer or warmer spring and fall days. I prefer dresses more because they allow even more …

Skirt Hiker Here! Not rated yet
I love wearing skirts instead of pants or shorts because they are more comfortable and it's easy to throw on a pair of thermal tights underneath if it …

Why I often wear a hiking skirt Not rated yet
I'm writing because my canvas hiking skirt died today; it was more than 40 years old, but I mourn it just the same. It was made of washed canvas, a sort …

Hiking skirts are the best! Not rated yet
I started wearing hiking skirts a couple of years ago as an alternative to shorts. I liked the idea of something a little more feminine but at the same …

I'm a skirt hiker Not rated yet
I'm a skirt hiker, and I frequently hike the Kendal Katwalk part of the PCT. I may even be your skirt hiker, but my legs are not particularly heavily …

A skirt is way more comfortable than shorts for hiking. Not rated yet
I pretty much always hike in skirt nowdays, at least in warmer weather. The thing is this. Historically skirts were considered very feminine and not …

Why wear anything else? Not rated yet
A hiking skirt is WAY more comfortable than pants or shorts. No chafing, no binding, and easier to get on/off if you come across a swimming hole. I've …

Click here to write your own.

Home page > Best Hiking Gear > Hiking Skirts

If you make or market skirts for hiking women, please contact me directly. I'd love to talk with you.

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