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What to wear hiking in hot weather

what to wear hiking in hot weather

Ever asked yourself, “What should I wear hiking in hot weather?” As an experienced hiker who has braved the sweltering heat of countless summer hikes, I’m here to share my seasoned insights.

Hot weather hiking presents its unique set of challenges. The sun is unforgiving, and your body responds differently than it would in cooler, more forgiving climates. However, with the right gear and a few hot weather hiking tips up your sleeve, you can conquer any trail under the scorching sun.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll journey together through the dos and don’ts of hot weather hiking apparel. From choosing breathable fabrics to understanding the importance of sun protection, I’ll share all the hiking clothes and essentials that have helped me stay cool on a summer hike.

We’ll also talk about hydration, pacing, and how to recognize signs of heat-related illnesses—because safety is as important as comfort when it comes to hot weather hiking.

So, lace-up your hiking boots (I’ll even give tips on the best ones for hot weather), fill up your water bottle, and let’s dive into this adventure together.

Whether you’re planning a casual day hike or a challenging multi-day trek, this guide is your trusted companion for staying cool, safe, and stylish on hot weather hikes. Ready to beat the heat? Let’s get started!

What to Wear for Hot-Weather Hiking: The Exact Breakdown

Here’s the precise breakdown of what to wear for your hot-weather hiking adventure:

Choose UPF-rated clothing: Garments with a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating are designed to block UV radiation, protecting your skin from harmful sun exposure. Look for shirts and shorts with a UPF rating of 30 or higher that help against harmful uv rays.

What to Wear for Hot-Weather Hiking : Put a hat on

A wide-brimmed hat provides shade for your face and neck, reducing your risk of sunburn on exposed skin and heatstroke. Hats with ventilation features can also help keep your head cool.

What to Wear for Hot-Weather Hiking : Cool your neck

Cooling neck wraps or bandanas can be soaked in water and worn around the neck on a hot day. They provide instant relief from the heat and can significantly lower your body temperature.

What to Wear for Hot-Weather Hiking : Wear the right hiking socks

Opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters. Merino wool socks are a great option. Materials like merino wool or synthetic blends are excellent choices for a hot weather hike.

What to Wear for Hot-Weather Hiking : Carry a hydration pack

Hydration packs allow you to drink water without having to stop and open a bottle, ensuring you stay hydrated throughout your hike. Plus, many of these packs have extra pockets for storing essentials like snacks and sunscreen to beat the summer heat.

Wear light colors:

Light-colored clothing reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it, helping to keep you cooler. Avoid dark colors in hot weather which can make you feel hotter.

Wear loose, breathable clothing:

Loose-fitting clothing allows air to circulate around your body, promoting sweat evaporation and helping to regulate your body temperature. Look for hot weather hiking clothes made from breathable fabrics like cotton or technical synthetics. Breathable hiking shirts and hiking pants will help tremendously in warm weather.

Sun protection is a definite.

You should put sun protection on every 2 hours, even more if you are sweating alot and your sunscreen is coming off.

Breathable hiking shoes are super important on a summer hike. You’ll want to make sure you have the right hiking shoes for hot weather hiking. Your winter shoes are very different from your summer hiking shoes.

Dressing appropriately for hot weather hiking can make your experience more enjoyable and safer. Now that you know what to wear, it’s time to pack your bag and hit the trails!

What to Avoid for Hot summer hikes

Just as there are items that are essential for hot weather hiking, there are also certain things that you should avoid. These can make your hike uncomfortable, or worse, put you at risk of heat-related illnesses. Here’s a list of what not to wear or bring along on your hot-weather hike:

Avoid Polyester, Nylon and Acrylic Fabrics:

While these materials may be durable, they are not ideal for hot weather as they tend to retain heat and can make you feel hotter. Additionally, they do not absorb sweat well, which can lead to discomfort and skin irritation.

Avoid Cotton Socks:

Cotton socks may seem like a good idea because cotton is breathable. However, when it comes to socks, cotton is not the best choice. Cotton retains moisture and takes a long time to dry, which can lead to blisters.

Try to Wear Natural Breathable Fabrics Where Possible:

Linen, cottons, and jerseys are excellent fabric choices for hot weather hiking. They are light, breathable, and wick away sweat from your body, helping to keep you cool. Avoid heavy, non-breathable fabrics that can trap heat and make you feel uncomfortable.

Avoid Tight Clothing:

Tight clothing can restrict movement and trap heat, making you feel hotter. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that allows air to circulate and cool your body.

Avoid Dark Colors: Dark colors absorb more heat, so stick with light-colored clothing that reflects sunlight and helps to keep you cooler.

Avoid Carrying Unnecessary Items:

The heavier your backpack, the harder your body has to work, and the hotter you’ll get. Only pack what you need for the hike to keep your load as light as possible.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a more comfortable and enjoyable hot-weather hiking experience. Always remember, the key to a successful hike is preparation and making smart choices. Happy hiking!

As a seasoned hiker with extensive experience in hot-weather hiking, I understand the unique challenges that come with hitting the trails under the scorching sun. I’ve faced these challenges head-on during my numerous hiking adventures across various terrains and climates, from arid deserts to tropical forests.

This first-hand experience has provided me with invaluable insights into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to preparing for a hot-weather hike.

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