What to Wear Walking the Great Wall of China in Winter

Winter Great Wall Hiking Clothing Guide

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The Great Wall of China ranks among the most celebrated architectural marvels in the world. Travelers who visit during the relatively mild Beijing Winter experience the lowest foot traffic.

Average temperatures range from 39 degrees Fahrenheit in December to 42 degrees in February. That can be quite comfortable for walking the Great Wall as long as you wear appropriate clothing. If you plan to walk the Great Wall of China during Winter, consider the following clothing tips.

Bring Three Layers of Upper-Body Clothing

The three-layer rule is a catch-all that applies to casual walkers and long-range hikers alike. The basic idea is to arrive at the Great Wall with something along the lines of an undershirt, hoodie, and insulated jacket. A wind-resistant outer layer may prove beneficial at deflecting cold air and maintaining prime body temperatures.

Leisure walkers generally do not generally work up a substantial sweat through exertion. Keeping the three layers on makes sense until you come across lengthy inclines. When negotiating these sections, either tie the jacket around your waist or roll it up and store it in your backpack.

Hiking enthusiasts are generally more likely to take on longer treks and more challenging stretches that rise and fall. You can strip off and add layers according to temperature and exertion during your walk. Naturally, there are a few dos and don’ts to what type of clothing to wear.

  • No Cotton: This material tends to accumulate moisture.
  • Arm-Length Shirts: It’s important to cover as much skin as possible when walking the Great Wall.

The three-layer system allows Great Wall visitors the ability to regulate your body comfort by removing clothing items when appropriate.

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Great Wall Leg and Footwear Considerations

In terms of keeping your lower extremities comfortable, it goes without saying that long pants are a must. And, two layers of pants may be wise to enhance your walking and hiking comfort.

There are entire lines of snug-fitting apparel that are used by athletes competing in frigid conditions. These make excellent first layer options for the lower body. You can wear loose-fitting jeans, hiking attire or even sweatpants over them and remain perfectly comfortable. The outer layer can also be tossed in the backpack as the sun’s rays warm you up.

Footwear may be the most crucial item to get right when walking the Great Wall during Winter. When you arrive in Beijing, there’s a good chance snow will have dusted the expansive landscape and the Great Wall. With that in mind, hiking footwear with firm-gripping soles are critical.

The Great Wall footing can also vary from flat to rugged. Appropriate footwear should be insulated and provide ankle support. Obviously, warm socks are a necessity as well.

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Accessorize when Walking the Great Wall of China

Embracing the breathtaking views from the Great Wall comfortably requires a few, sometimes-overlooked accessories. Even if you’re an outdoors enthusiast who tends to “rough it,” the following items may enhance your Great Wall experience.

  • UV-rated Sunglasses
  • Hiking Gloves with Gripping Capabilities
  • Knit-Styled Hat
  • Earmuffs
  • Hand and Foot Warmers
  • Headlamp for Nightly Walks
  • Sunblock for Exposed Areas Such as Your Nose
  • A Scarf or Neck Covering Item

One of the more popular sections people visitor during Winter is called Mutianyu. The section has a cable car that can help visitors reach peak heights under slippery conditions and the train runs to it directly from Beijing in a little over one hour.

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