Hello, sc/out/s I'm newish (Been lurking for a little while) to this board and going /out/ in general as spring approaches i would like to get out more i don't know shit about this, any ideas of guides/books i should take a look at. good clothing/gear companies, out/ essentials just basically what types of things ill need to do to get started (Southern Canada)
Welcome, and i guess the best way to start out is go to your local provincial parks and just hike. You will learn what you need as you go. Lots of good information on here, take from it what suits you and disregard what doesnt. I dont know any good books, no reason to adopt one persons philosophy but im sure it wouldnt hurt to learn skills from books. Also, post about your own experiences and what you have found to work. REI or your canadian equivalent, MEC is a good place to at least inquire about gear and they offer free classes in navigation or many other activities
Not OP but also curious
I am a midwesterner (US) but would like to slowly get into altitude hiking/alpinism/mountaineering. Have some experience ez trail hiking.
Anyone else in a similar situation before they became /out/? Obviously have to find my way to the rockies/cascades
I have "Ray Mears - Essential Bushcraft" lying around. I would'nt say that you "need" this book, but its great. Also the chapter on clothing gives very simple and basic guidelines about what to wear according to different climates.
I guess southern Canada is not much different that Scandinavia where i'm from so I'll tell you what I wear.
*Moisture transporting next-to-skin layer: If cold both on legs and upper-body, if not then only on upper-body. This can be wool or synthetic, the latter is cheaper and lighter but will smell after some days if not washed. This layer stays on my body the whole time.
*Warming mid-layer: A Wool or fleece clothing. In summer a single shirt is sometimes enough but in the winter this means something like two shirts of different thickness, gloves and hat and a mid-layer for my legs, like an extra, thicker pair of long-johns or even fleece pants. All mid-layer clothing can be worn at the same time at the coldest times (when I'm sitting still in the evening) but otherwise come off depending on physical activity. Your warmest shirt might end up staying in your backpack the whole day and only come out in the evening so many people like packing a down jacket since it gives best weight-to-insulation. Just be aware that down must not become wet and be carefull with sparks from your fire. Fleece and wool handles moisture better; fleece is lighter than wool, dries fast and is cheap. Wool dries a bit slower that fleece and is more heavy but on the other hand still gives insulation when wet. Wool is also better at regulating your climate (sweat, temperature) and will not begin to smell bad like synthetics do. I prefer wool. Dont wear cotton for mid-layer. It sucks moisture, dries slowly and is not warm when wet.
*Outer-layer. For pants I always wear my Fjällräven trousers ("Vidda Pro") but most outdoor pants or poly-cotton milsurp pant will be fine (around 66% polyester and 33% cotton is great). These are tough, has good pockets and dries fast - and some, like Fjällräven, even has a small degree of water-repelency. Depending on the trip and weather I sometimes bring rain pants in (mine are goretex active shell, but normal light rain trousers will do fine)
For my upper-body I bring a goretex jacket if there's any chance of real rain. Otherwise I might wear a softshell jacket. Many people like to not be wearing their water-proof jacket when its not raining. Then it's worth considering having a very simple and light waterproof jacket and then some sort of comfortable, windproof, outer-layer for when it's not raining. For general outdoor use I think a strong polycotton jacket or parka would be cool, maybe milsurp. Polycotton is fine, but avoid pure cotton. For light hiking however a milsurp-style jacket would be dumb, instead go for for a light wind-proof synthetic jacket.
*Feet: I wear Meindl leather boots without goretex both summer and winter, always with good quality wool hiking socks. In the winter I add thin liner-socks underneath, preferably in a wool-synthetic blend but normal runing-socks are fine. Take time and try many different pairs of boots before you buy. Choose the right amount af support (More rugged terrain and heavier loads in your backpack means more support, the opposite means you can have a lighter and less restricting boot. Talk to the people in your outdoor store about what you need!)
For most people, a synthetic all-round boot with goretex and medium support and ancle height will be great. Leather boots tend to be heavier but also stronger. Synthetic boots has to have a goretex-lining to keep water out but they still breathe great. Leather boots come both with or without goretex. Leather boots with goretex are totally waterproof (remember that you'll still get moist from sweat!), good leather boots without goretex are 99% waterproof with good care and boot-wax and they will breathe better than those with goretex.
Like with other cloting synthetic boots will begin to smell more easily. I find that leather gives a better climate for my feet.
Most "outdoor" styled pants will likely do fine. As I wrote military surplus pants might be a way of getting simething cheap. As always just avoid 100 % cotton, instead go for a polyster-cotton mix, or even pure synthetic. Fjällräven pants are sewn in 66 % polyester and 33 % cotton that has been waxed with something they call Greenland Wax (Which is a mix of beeswax and parafine). Other companies use mostly polyester and other ways of semi-waterproofing like DWR treatments, however it is always a balance when it comes to pants. The best general outdoor pant is NOT something that is completely waterproof or even close, get rain pants for that.