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Sierra Trading Post Tip: Hiking apparel offers protection from the elements, but it should do more than keep you warm or increase your body temperature. Instead, it should help you maintain a constant body temperature, or regulate your thermal equilibrium. Instead of losing heat as you generate energy, good hiking apparel helps you maintain a constant temperature.
This is important for a number of reasons. In adverse conditions, maintaining a thermal equilibrium helps you stay warm and hike longer. When your hiking apparel maintains a constant temperature, your body uses less energy where you lose as much heat as you are generating without your body having to either produce extra heat or lose it through sweating.
The more your hiking apparel is able to help you maintain your thermal equilibrium, the less energy your body has to use, so you'll be able to hike longer and stay more comfortable at the same time.