Hiking in a Skirt – one good reason

Ok, it’s Frank here. I don’t usually hike in anything but shorts, no matter what the season.

I don’t walk in a skirt and neither does Sue. We’ve never found a good reason until a few days ago.

Heading into the Walls of Jerusalem - Tasmania - the one on the left is wearing the skirt (Hi Rhona & Simon)

Heading into the Walls of Jerusalem - Tasmania - the one on the left is wearing the skirt (Hi Rhona & Simon)

We came across an article at Dressed in Dirt.  

This excellent site,  subtitled the tips and tales of a female backpacker is run by Adelaide Brown.

Adelaide is a writer currently living in Portland, OR, she  runs the Portland Women’s Outdoor Club and has done “a good bit of travel” including  a few months on the Appalachian Trail.

Anyway, back to the story, what is the big advantage of wearing a shirt hiking?   Drumroll…… pee-ability (a new word invented by Adelaide)

I am NOT going into the details here,  as I am NO expert on female peeing issues while hiking (and never plan to become educated….. ever) but Adelaide makes a great case in her article –  Why you should hike in a skirt (or at least think about it) Hint, there is more than one reason, all pretty good, even for males….

p.s. If you want to read another funny post by Adelaide – check out this one titled: I am not cute , it made me laugh, a lot!

All right you fashion guru’s, question time.
Have you ever done a long distance hike in a skirt? (we’re not talking a day stroll here)
Would you wear a shirt now you have been fully briefed?
Any males out there, what is your opinion of wearing a skirt on a multi day trip?
Females, can you see the advantages?

Keep it nice.


  1. says

    I have two hiking skirts and while they are fine for some hikes the real issue is with the longer one. Fine for straightaways with no stepping up or down, otherwise you get tangled up quickly. The shorter skirt is easier to wear.
    You do have to make sure you don’t get thigh chafing. It can develop quickly!
    As for peeing…..I don’t see skirts as any advantage there.

    • Frank says

      Hi Sarah, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment – for anyone who does not know, Sarah runs a fantastic site called Trail Cooking Highly recommend a visit.
      Mmm, from your feedback don’t think a skirt is for me! (or Sue)

  2. Barbara says

    While I understand the pee-ability thing (being a girl an’ all, what I don’t understand is the “without having to take off my backpack”. I can walk in my backpack, climb Marion’s Lookout in my backpack, but I can’t see myself with enough control over my centre of gravity to pee in my backpack! And if the first time I have to use that cute little yellow whistle around my neck is to retrieve me from entanglement in my backpack and newly dampened vegetation with my knickers around my ankles then believe me I’ll sulk for days.

  3. Scott says

    I did about a 2 hour hike today wearing a columbia cordouroy skirt. It was very light weight and 18 inches long. It was much more comfortable than wearing shorts. I plan on purchasing more skirts to hike in the future. Just have to deal with the double takes as I walk past people.

  4. says

    A skirt is the way to go! Air circulation, no sunburned knees,great for ‘peeability’ (but so is a ‘shewee’ when you have trousers on, so that’s not the key advantage for me). It’s the sense of freedom and the air circulation that make it a winner for me. I wear skirts from ‘Macabi’ which are designed for outdoor activity – loose and long, but can be ‘trouser-fied’ with a clip and shortened at the sides, if required…. so I hike in it long, use the clip to reign it into trousers if breezy, and ramp the sides up for water crossing, so they’re like shorts. Quickdry fabric makes it v practical. Great deep pockets too! Also, in some parts of the world where I’ve worn the skirts, such as Nepal and the Indian Himalaya, the women love it when you’re in skirts, as they are. The skirt also acts as a great changing room for getting dressed under after a swim in the open… stretch the elasticated waist to fit under your armpits and you have a perfect changing tent. And no, honestly, I’m not on commission, I just love hiking in such an easy versatile garment!

    • Frank says

      Great comment Lisa,
      The skirt looks very versatile. The website has some great pics of women wearing the skirts in heaps of locations and adventures: This is the link for anyone who is interested. http://www.macabiskirt.com/

      Thanks for dropping by,
      Keep up the adventuring!


  5. says

    I have been hiking in a kilt for a few years now and will NEVER return to shorts. Apart from COMFORT, The advantage of a kilt or skirt is that there is nothing pulling on your leg at every stride you take. After a few kilometres of hiking you really notice the different and I find unlike others in shorts I am no way near as exhausted due to having so much freedom as I walk. Interesting to note, the kilt was originally worn by Scottish highlanders who hiked through the highlands rather than riding horse, whereas bifurcated garments were invented largely due to horse riding, thus making kilts and skirts a perfect functional design for hiking. Most of the skirts available today are made for woman and I have found they can be a little limiting for men; this is where the kilt or utility/hiking kilt made specifically for men is perfect for our long stride when we walk. Heaps of kilt companies such as sports kilt, Utilikilt and USAkilts are making kilts specifically with hiking in mind due to the overwhelming demand and hiking companies like Mountain Hardwear have made the Elkommando Kilt as they see the need for demand. Please do visit my site http://www.facebook.com/mensskirts which promotes skirted garments as a part of men’s clothing today.

  6. Nicole W. says

    I’m 42 and did a 2 day backpack trip in Yellowstone and a 4 day backpack trip in Glacier N.P. this last summer all in the Macabi skirt and I will never hike in pants again. It was long for full protection from plants and sun, but it’s full enough around that it provided for great mobility and never got in the way even on steep climbs. The sun protection was great but on those hot days I could hike my skirt up and get a nice breeze to cool down. I could also easily remove or add layers to my bottom half without having to take what I was wearing off like I would have to in pants. Also I mastered peeing without taking my backpack off or baring my backside which was the greatest things ever and very important when we were encountering bears quite often in Glacier and I didn’t want to be caught with my pants down. It also has great pockets for things I wanted to have easily accessible like my camera, lip balm, sunscreen, or a snack.

  7. Thomas Steinsberger says

    I am wearing dresses all year long for any kind of activities. For hiking and travelling in general, I mostly wear knee to mid calf length soft cotton ore jersey a line dresses combined with a vest or jacket. For me it is the most comfortable garment. It keeps me cool in summer and warm in winter. For traveling in towns, I use to wear my full length dresses every single day since many years.
    Enjoy the freedom of wearing skirts and dresses when ever you like

  8. Julie says

    I love my Macpac merino skirt – soft and comfortable and a great cut and length. I usually wear with leggings underneath, but if it gets hot the leggings come off – more easily than with shorts (cf your shorts and leggings/gaiters blog). Or if it starts raining, I can whip the skirt off and the waterproof pants come up over the leggings. The only disadvantage is, it doesn’t have any pockets but there are plenty in my jackets and pack.

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