Maria Clegg

Maria Clegg Credit: Maria Clegg

Now that the weather is warmer, the flowers are blooming and New Yorkers are wearing fewer clothes, there’s no excuse for not spending time outdoors.

Maria Clegg, assistant store manager of the SoHo REI store, says this is the time people spring into motion.

“We see an uptick in people’s commitment to getting outdoors when the weather gets warmer,” she says.

Clegg shared what kind of clothing and gear a budding outdoor enthusiast needs, and how to get inspired to get started.

1. Start with the feet. “Whatever you’re looking to do, it all starts with getting people into the right footwear,” Clegg says.

2. Wear something comfortable next to the skin. Cotton is not the best, because when it gets wet it can get cold and won’t dry quickly. Better fabrics that pull water from the body include wool, polyester blends or synthetics.

4. Before you head to the store, take an inventory of your closet. You may have forgotten about that wicking T-shirt you bought at this time last year!

5. Think about your budget and how much you’ll be using your gear. “You don’t need $200 shades for a toodle around Central Park,” says Clegg, adding “but the reality is you have to make an investment sometimes.”

6. Clegg says anyone who wants to take a hike or walk out in nature must have a good quality raincoat. “It’s essential,” she says.

7. Don’t be afraid to get started. “We try to open people up to the possibility that anybody can do this for the first time,” says Clegg.

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