If you are hiking steep mountains, one of the things you need to prepare for is the plummeting temperature. Getting hypothermia can be very dangerous, especially if you are up there with no safety nets in place. It’s why you have to dress up in proper gear, Alpaca fiber as a base layer cloth and thick jackets.

When talking about base layers, the common materials that come to mind are sheep wool, cotton, nylon, polyester, and even silk, which surprisingly enough gives decent breathability and water absorption.

However, if you are looking at the warmest womens base layer, look no further than alpaca fiber.

The market share of alpaca fiber or alpaca wool is expected to grow in the next few years as the fashion industry experiment with different materials. It is even more relevant now that the world is moving toward sustainable products. To date, Peru remains the largest exporter of alpaca fiber, contributing 80% of the world’s supply.

Purpose of the Base Layer

The base layer is the cloth next to your skin. There are several reasons why you should never hike without one. But the three primary motivations are:


To protect your skin

Wind chill can be harsh on your skin, but you also have to protect yourself from UV rays. The warmest women’s base layer will also guard you against harmful ultraviolet radiation. Also, the alpaca cloth will prevent your shoulders from chafing, which is what will happen when the backpack’s straps rub on your bare skin.


To manage moisture

The fabric should be breathable in case you have to walk under the midday sun. It should also absorb moisture to soak in the sweat. What most people do not realize is that you lose more heat quicker when you are soaking wet.


Maintain your body’s temperature

The body’s natural temperature ranges from 1°C to 37.2°C. Whatever you do, you need to be within those ranges to prevent yourself from overheating or developing hypothermia.

Benefits of Alpaca Fiber as the Base Layer

 As you might expect, alpaca fiber is spun from these camel-like animals that live in South America. Depending on the extraction process, the thread can be light to heavy, which is why it is ideal for a wide range of clothing.

Here are some advantages of choosing alpaca fiber for women’s base clothing:


  1. They are more durable compared to sheep wool. It is also significantly softer, which feels gentle against the skin.


  1. The fiber consists of microscopic air pockets, which results in optimum breathability.


  1. Alpaca wool possesses high insulation properties. Whether you are hiking under the heat of the sun, you are in no danger of overheating. If you are climbing up in the dead of winter, you can use it as a base layer under your thick clothing to prevent hypothermia.


  1. It is hypoallergenic due to the absence of lanolin, which can be found on sheep wool. There was a study by the International Wool Secretariat that said 3 in 10 Americans are allergic to sheep wool. But it could also be due to the coarse fibers of the sheep wool that triggers an allergic reaction.


Another advantage of this fiber is its resistance to water in the sense that it wicks away the moisture. Lastly, alpaca fiber is fire-retardant. While it is not exactly resistant to fire, you would have to set it to flames deliberately. So, if you are setting your eyes on conquering your next mountain, consider alpaca fiber as your base layer. It just might be your best decision yet. The woolen blankets made from alpaca fiber are also great.