I received the question “Why so many Korean wear hiking clothes when hiking? from my foreign friend and I realized it could be weird as so many people are wearing hiking clothes in a mountain. After that when I hiked the mountain I also got surprised at I could see a lot of people were wearing the hiking fashion clothes than I expected!
Today I write about my thought why so many people are wearing the hiking clothes.
1. Korean care what other people think and the hiking clothes fashion got trendy.
The North Face brand got so popular that even many middle school and high school students started to wear the North Face’s padded jackets.
You can see the many Korean students are wearing the padded jackets in above picture. Almost every middle and high school students wear the uniform in Korea but usually, the uniform is thin to wear in cold weather. In Korea normally the temperature fall down to 14F(-10C) in winter that the uniform is not enough to be a worm. So many schools started to allow wearing the padded jackets and from some point north face jacket became trendy. (But this fashion already changed now in 2017 that North Face jacket became a little old fashion.)
In the similar time as the North Face jacket got popular through the Korea students, the hiking fashion got popular through the middle-aged Korean. Between 2006 and 2012, the Korea hiking clothing market grew about 500%. There is the statistics data that the one person in Korea paid about 1000USD in a year for buying hiking clothes.
2. Many people like hiking.
70% of land in Korea is the mountain that there are so many mountains in Korea. In my case, I live in a suburb in Seoul and there are more than 6 mountains where I can go within 30mins with a car, and the nearest mountain is in 10mins with walking from my home. It is easy to hike that I started to hike the mountain a lot since I was in university. I assume it will be similar with other Korean. They can easily hike mountains for exercise that especially many middle-aged Korean men hike. So many middle-aged men hike the mountain that in Korea there is the perception that “Hiking=Middle-aged men(Ahajussi(아저씨)in Korean)”
As many middle-aged men who have the purchasing power frequently hike, the expensive hiking clothes could be easily trendy in Korea.
3. It is comfortable
After the hiking clothes got trendy, there are people who wear even traveling in abroad…The most reason why people wear hiking clothes even in daily day and travel are they say it is comfortable. Good at waterproof, light, sweat isn’t trapped inside.
For me, I just wear the hiking pants and the hiking shoes. When I hiked the Bukhansan-Mountain in Korea with the normal shoes it was so slippery that I bought the hiking boots since then.
Today I will show you the people who are wearing the hiking clothes when I was hiking the Gwanggyo Mountain in Korea. It is the pictures I took when I was going up the top of the mountain.
I think more than 50% were wearing the hiking clothes when I was hiking the mountain.
Thanks for reading.:) If you have a question, please leave a comment.