Hiking equipment - wicking

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Understand why some materials are better for hiking clothes than others.

This activity originates from Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland.


- Baggage scale
- Coat hangers
- Water source
- Pair of denim jeans
- Fast drying hiking pants
- Cotton t-shirt
- Sports t-shirt (Wicking layer, synthetic)
- Cotton hoodie
- Wool base layer

- Alternatively ask the Scouts to bring what they would hike in. So they first hand can see how it reacts when in contact with water.


This activity should be the starter in the beginning of the Scout meeting, and finished off with a discussion at the end of the meeting.

In the beginning of the meeting the Scouts need to weigh the different clothes and write down the weight. Then soak the clothes in water, reweigh them and write these weights. Then put the clothes on a rack to dry.

Towards the end of the meeting weigh the different clothes again and write down these new weights. These should be compared to both the original and the weight immediately after they were soaked.

What are the results, and are any of them surprising?
What have you learnt from this activity?
When coming to a place where it can rain a lot, which clothes would be best - ones which dry quickly or ones which absorb the water?
What would you pack on you next hike?

But remember; You should be comfortable without breaking the bank!


  • Hike
  • hike equipment
  • Jeans
  • kandersteg

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