Hiking Gear: Is Merino Wool a Good Choice for Summer Adventures?
Last month I posted an article on The Heli-Ski Blog about Icebreaker clothing. Our guides and guests have been raving about the performance of this amazing clothing ("keeps me warm", "Doesn't stink!" are the sorts of comments I keep hearing). So I thought I'd explore the practicality of Icebreaker for heli-hiking, climbing and other summer adventures.
After discussing the value of Icebreaker clothing for heli-skiing and ski touring, I asked Kent Hawkins of Icebreaker to switch gears to summer...
JC: We see our hiking and climbing guests moving away from cotton t-shirts as well. What would be the best garment for our summer guests hiking at 8000 feet under endless blue skies?
KH: Well merino sheep often “hike” in these exact same conditions. In the high alps of New Zealand merino sheep live up to 7000 feet above sea level and enjoy bright sunny days. In the valley the temperature can get into the 30’s and so they need to be able to stay cool in the heat. If the fibre did not breathe, the animal would die in this environment. Icebreaker is a great choice for summer hikes for three reasons:
- Icebreaker clothes provide UV protection from the sun so that you won’t burn.
- The breathability that helps in the winter also helps keep you cool in the summer.
- And as mentioned before, the same moisture management and odor control play an even bigger factor in the summer than the winter. Staying dry and odor free make your fellow hikers want to hang out with you that much more.
And for those of you that shop for ethically produced products and gear, Icebreaker is a company that you can feel good about supporting. They have solid relationships with only 30 farmers who grow the wool, they have chosen a small number of manufacturers who ahere to a strict code of conduct and produce an exceptional product, have a transparent supply chain and ensure that the animals that provide the wool for their products are treated ethically. Learn more about Icebreaker's commitment to quality product on their website at www.icebreaker.com.
Photo:Icebreaker's merino wool is perfect for Heli-Hiking at CMH on long hot summer days!