Whether as part of WWOOFing or for other reasons, many travelers find themselves working in agriculture at some point along their journey. If you foresee working with plants as a possible part of your future adventures here are some invaluable, versatile items that double-up as good hiking gear.

To say these items are invaluable is almost an understatement. I wore them every single day for months as I worked farming in Wicklow, Ireland and North Carolina, U.S.A. With the exception of the shoes, which eventually got too stinky, the gear is still holding up strong.

Thing To Bring #1

REI Sahara Convertible Pants: Cover Your Butt!

  • Water Resistant
  • Hard to tear
  • Usually $65.00
  • Found at REI: Online and in stores
  • Comes in black, khaki and often “gravel” green

Cover your butt, and legs and knees from thorns, thistles, sun exposure, wind, compost, rain and most other variables that accompany farming. This lightweight, nylon material dries quickly, is easy to wash and will scrunch into the most compact backpack alcove.

In cold climates the pants serve as a protective layer over long underwear and in sweltering heat they won’t stick to your sweat.

Their lightness in weight and side pocket make the pants especially good for on-the-move travel. Passports and wallets can be secure in the side pocket where you’ll know they’re by your side.

The REI brand is recommended here, but North Face, Marmot, and Mountain Hardwear all make something similar (just typically at higher prices.) The feature to look for is the Nylon material which allows for the quick-dry, lightweight, water resistance.

Thing To Bring #2


Salomon XR WATERPROOF Trail Running Shoe: Don’t Lug Boots Around!

  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Serve as good substitutes for both boots and running shoes
  • $ 130.00 ($90 while on sale)
  • Found at REI: Online and in stores
  • Found online at Salomon
  • Comes in turquoise/black/pop green or navy/gray/green

These lightweight, waterproof sneaks will keep your feet warm and dry without weighing you down. With the lace-less, “quicklace” tie system they also won’t trip you up on rugged hikes. They’re perfect if you want to go running and mud mucking but you don’t have room to pack both sneakers and wellies.

In bright turquoise and “pop!” green, who wouldn’t want a pair? Similar shoes found under “trail running” section at Salomon.com. Look for “waterproof” in the description.

Thing To Bring #3


UV Protection Solar Top, in “tea-berry!”

  • Machine Washable
  • 92% Polyester
  • Well Priced
  • UV protection
  • $29.97
  • Found  in store at Bass Pro Shops or online (search UV protection)
  • Comes in tea-berry plaid and sometimes turquoise

As long as you aren’t trying to make a fashion statement, this compactable, lightweight long sleeve will protect you from UV and from most prickers. It’s a great option if sun-blocking lotion isn’t your thing, or if you want to be doubly careful and wear both. It won’t stick (much) to sweat.

It’s easy to scrunch into a tiny ball and super easy to clean. It has built-in front and back “capes” to allow air to circulate through. The shirt dries quickly and doesn’t easily hold stenches.

It’s best in hot-weather climates, but you can buy one size-up for cold weather which would allow you to wear something warm underneath.

At $30, it’s a great buy relative to other similar UV protection products, and, again, it comes in “tea-berry plaid.”

Other Great Items To Bring WWOOFing

  • Nylon “UPF” protection sunhats with neck cover
  • Gloves
  • “Under Armor” brand fitted polyester tees (excellent for lightweight warmth)
  • “Under Armor” brand tight fit cold-gear polyester legging