Hiking in Hijab

You know what?  I get more hits for people searching for ways to wear hijab than anything else.  I know I’m not muslim anymore, but I AM a physicist in geophysics, so let me share my wisdom on hijabing in the wilderness.

Oregon has two climates – cold and wet, and hot and dry.  Since we’re in cold and wet here in Benton County, this is what I usually do when I go up to Mary’s Peak to hike for a day with the geology students.  I wear spandex cycling tights (which you can also purchase for running) under my jeans.   You’ll thank me later.  So, jeans (bring a second pair if you’ll be out for awhile – just leave them in the car), and LAYER your shirts.  Get a very light long sleeved top, and wear a tshirt over it.  Then, a fleecy vest (if you have one), or a fleece itself.  Get a rainshell, preferably a gore-tex one (but only if you live in a ridiculously rainy climate like this one), and gloves if you don’t like your hands being freaking cold.

Ok, time out.  This is like, snowy-time hiking clothing.  When I went last time up Mary’s Peak for a class trip, I froze.  It was snowing/raining, windy, and I wore Keens.  For those of you who don’t know what Keens are, here’s a link of what shoes I wore. I love my red Keens!  Not good for snow.  The snow slips in under your arches, and then you’re hiking around in snow and rocks the rest of the time.  Mmm, flu.

I wore a lycra hijab, one piece, from Al Muhajaba El Aniqa.  I love their one-piece Al Amira hijabs.  They’re comfortable and non-fussy.  BUT, and this is a but: if you have silky hair like I did, they’ll slip right off.  Wear a lace headband to hold your wispies back, and to keep it firmly attached to your scalp.  I also recommend a thicker pashmina if it’s cold weather, and it doesn’t really look like rain.  Everyone will be so flippin jealous of you since you’ll be toasty and they’ll be ice cubes.

In the summer, wear the 2 piece lyra al-amira hijabs.  They fit closely, and you can wet them and pull them back on if you’re hot.  Alternatively, you could wear the Kuwaiti Al Amira hijabs, another favourite of mine.  They’re whispy thin, which lets the breeze in, and lets the heat from your head out (you’d be surprised how much heat you retain when you still have hair!).  The downside is that people might see your hair colour, but not your hair, if you catch my drift.

That’s all for now.  Just keep them pinned down and they won’t blow away.  Don’t let them flow over your shoulders (keep them close to your neck) so your daypacks don’t pull them off.  Keep hydrated!  Have fun 🙂


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