Hiking Made Easy – Are you confused about what to wear hiking in hot weather? If so, then we are here to help you with summer clothing for hiking.
Hiking pleasures all hikers in all weathers and is also a tool that freshens up the soul. Summer hikes appeal to a lot of people with their subsidies. Summer offers you long daylight, with elegant and clear sunny skies.
And the perk of having vacations thrive on the benefits as one can spend as much time as he wants on the trails. The fact that holds significance during summer hikes is knowing what to wear hiking in hot weather.
As summer also appears to be the worst time of the year to be outside during the scorching heat of the sun. The sun can burn the ground you are walking on that radiates the heat. Heat is also a ground for causing blisters.
All the chaparral and coastal regions that make up most of the hiking trails offer zero shade. But all these facts can’t take away the motivation of you to be outside on the track only if you know how to prepare yourself according to the weather.
If you know what to wear hiking in hot weather, what you should be having while dealing with the sun, or what should be avoided during the hike in elevated temperatures, you are all ready to start a journey.
Here, in this article, I am going to elucidate all the important aspects of hiking during summer and, most importantly, what to wear hiking in hot weather.
What Do Hikers Need to Know for Summer Hiking?
The common trouble of hiking in summer arises when hikers are not certain of what to wear hiking in hot weather. Many of them make the mistake of wearing shorts in dry regions or clothes of stuff like denim, cotton, and silk, which creates a hell of agony.
Here, you will get an illustrative review of all the items you should avoid with their pros and cons. By following these tips, you will stay cool and safe from the sun and bugs on a hot summer day while your cohorts are enduring them.
What to Wear Hiking in Hot Weather?
Hiking in summer is fun only when you know what to wear hiking in hot weather. Fabrics that are breathable, light-weighted, and able to dry quickly are most suitable for summer hiking.
Moreover, hiking in hot weather means looking forward to hot, sunny, moist weather with ticks and bugs. It also includes dealing with rains and storms and chilly nights.
So, if you are heading to bulk up your outdoor wardrobe for hiking, keep all that in mind, and it’ll make your choice of clothing easier.
The kind of hot weather varies in different regions. It is related to the region where you intend to go hiking. Keep considering the humidity level along with temperature elevation to prepare yourself for the upcoming journey.
For instance, hiking at the same temperatures but with different humidity levels affects contrarily. Less humid areas mean more and strong exposure to UV radiation.
This is the reason you see most of the hikers in hot and dry regions wear long sleeves, loose shirts, and long pants that provide extra protection against high alpine climates. Meanwhile, in moist regions, hikers won’t even think of putting on so many clothes.
Shorts Vs. Long Pants
As I described earlier, the choice of long pants and synthetic shorts completely depends upon the region you are planning to hike. Near the coastal region, where the climate is strikingly hot and humid, most hikers prefer wearing synthetic shorts.
So, now you can decide what to wear hiking in hot weather?
Especially if you are having an issue with chafing that causes severe discomfort, long pants are not suitable for you. But shorts are not acceptable by every hiker and on every hike as they do not provide enough protection from bugs, mosquitoes, sun, and other elements.
Hiking pants and leggings are the better option, but most people don’t like to wear leggings on long hikes. Hiking pants not only protect against sunburn but also prevent ticks from latching on to you.
But again, they are not always the most comfortable wear for hikers. The best I can advise you is to wear shorts while bringing rain pants along in your handy.
You can put them on if the weather suddenly changes and starts pouring rain or if it becomes windy or stormy. But again, the choice of what to wear while hiking in hot weather always depends on the trail conditions and local climate, and now you know the pros and cons of each clothing.
Men’s Hiking Shorts
Women’s Hiking Shorts
Hiking shirts can be opted from any brand, from expensive to cheap. But the priority relies on shirts that are comfortable and fit well on your body so that the shoulder pack and hip belt don’t bother you much.
You can choose a basic or a fancy one as long as it fits comfortably under the straps of your backpack. Most hikers usually prefer tank top shirts or synthetic t-shirts.
The most likable material for what to wear hiking in hot weather includes polyester, nylon, or even merino wool or silk. Cotton is highly suggested to be avoided. I will be putting a complete guide of what materials should be avoided and the pros and cons of these materials below.
Some hikers also go for button-up shirts with collars. I usually don’t like them myself, but I see they provide the benefit of extra sun and bug protection.
The shirts that are most recommended are simple basic t-shirts or a fleece pullover and raincoat. They are all enough and can even provide warmth if the weather takes a turn and becomes cold.
Men’s Summer Hiking Shirt
Women’s Summer Hiking Shirt
Shoes and Socks
Beginners usually ask if they can wear sandals like Tevas or chacos on hiking. Well, my answer is yes, you can as long as the sandals provide you with the comfort to run on a long trail.
Though, I personally don’t recommend wearing sandals on hiking. They are okay for urban hiking like parks or municipal paths. But if you are heading toward rocky, rooty hiking in summer, all kinds of sandals should be avoided.
If you are looking for what to wear hiking in hot weather, I would suggest you go for sneakers or lightweight runners along with hiking socks.
To buy best USA made hiking boots, read this article: Hiking Boots Made In USA – Top 10
But, whether you are wearing shoes or sandals, make sure to break them in first properly by wearing them on short and easy hikes. This test on various trails and terrains will not only make them comfortable but also help you know how your legs and feet feel in them.
Don’t panic over the appearance of blisters while testing on your new shoes. New shoes usually cause them before making their comfortable wear.
One thing I should mention here is that never ever use cotton socks for hiking. They will not let your feet dry and also cause blister formation promptly. When you are up for hiking in summer, go for socks with temperature regulation properties like merino wool.
Men’s Hiking Sandals
Women’s Hiking Sandals
Wide Hat and Sunglasses
While struggling with what to wear hiking in hot weather, we usually forget to mention the necessity of face and ear protection and also eye care.
The best hiking hats are those with a 360-degree brim. Even the baseball cap can also provide enough safety if you are comfortable with it. You can also tuck a bandanna under the back of your call to provide extra protection to your neck and ears.
Wherever you are going for a hike, whether in summer or winter, never forget to leave your sunglasses behind, taking care of your eyes is the most significant, especially when you are hiking in mountainous regions.
The potency of the Sun’s UV rays increases 4% with every 1000-foot gain in altitude. For normal hiking terrains, category 3 lense blocks 80% of visible light. For glacial hiking, a category 4 lens that blocks 90% of visible light is recommended.
Summer Hiking Hat
What to Avoid While Hiking in Hot Weather?
Whether you are a beginner or a pro in hiking mountains, the choice of your outfit in hot weather can break the coolness of your experience.
Here I am going to elaborate on the clothing mistakes most hikers commit when they don’t know what to wear hiking in hot weather. These outfits can either be a reason for your discomfort on your tremendous journey or, the worst, potentially damaging.
Cotton is the material most commonly used in summer suits. But when you are on your way to hike under the sun on a hot sunny day, it will be the worst choice. Cotton is an adsorbent.
So, if you get rain on your way or get soaked up by your sweat due to exertion, it won’t dry quickly. In hot weather, it is going to make you feel sweaty and damp the whole day. And for a similar reason, it is unsuitable for winter hiking as well because it can make you cold very fast.
When I say cotton outfits, it doesn’t only mean outerwear, including your shirts and pants. It also includes your innerwear like bras, underwear, shorts, and socks. All the cotton stuff should be avoided completely during hiking. So next, if someone asks you what to wear hiking in hot weather, you can guide them well.
The most common mistake during trekking in hot weather is made mostly by hikers wearing jeans or denim during long journey hours.
Denim jackets too are back in fashion but should be avoided during hiking in hot weather. When you are on your way to hiking, you should have complete knowledge of what to wear while hiking in hot weather. It will save you from a lot of havoc.
Denim is a bad choice because it absorbs really well. Whether your sweat, rainwater, or even the river water will all be soaked up. Such outfits prove potentially damaging in the long run.
Wet denim jackets or pants are hard to dry off and can cause chaffing of your skin, especially in the thighs and armpits. It will not only hurt you and make you uneasy but is also uncomfortable for the people who see you walking by them.
Though Silk is a rather better choice than cotton and denim but still is not appropriate for a list of what to wear hiking in hot weather. Cotton and denim are absorbent of moisture, while silk is moisture wicker. So, if you are planning on a long journey, I advise you to avoid silk, especially in hot weather.
Silk has moisture-wicking ability but still retains moisture if not chemically treated. Another bad thing is that it holds on to unpleasant odors.
So, if you are planning to wear silk during the hike on hot summer days, your friends are going to suffer a lot because of the smell of sweat. Another disastrous effect is that they are thin material and good for airflow but can be torn off very quickly when clutched on a rock during a journey.
Bras with Clasps
Being a woman, I should be vocal in providing a complete guide on what to wear for hiking in hot weather for women. As I mentioned earlier, cotton bras should be avoided during a long journey because they absorb water and leave you feeling sweaty the whole day.
Here is another avoidance, and that is of bras with clasps. Whether metal or plastic, all kinds of bras with clasps should be avoided. Here are the reasons.
When you are on your long day hiking, you must be wearing a backpack that suits perfectly on your back and shifts here and there as you walk. This movement, along with sweating by exertion, can irritate your skin.
Even if you have a backpack, still wearing bras with clasps on is not a good idea. They, along with sweat, are enough to irritate your skin. When you are not wearing bras with clasps while hitting a gym or running, you should not be wearing them while hiking as well.
FAQs – What to Wear Hiking in Hot Weather?
What should I wear for hot weather hiking?
Make sure you get white, tan, or khaki-colored clothing. Dress in airy, loose-fitting garments. Wearing clothes that are easy to move in and easy to control your body’s temperature is a good idea.
It is recommended to use synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester. In several cases, cotton is acceptable.
What should you not wear while hiking?
You should not wear cotton. Hiking may be dangerous if you wear improper clothing. In terms of what to wear hiking, cotton is one of the most common fabrics to avoid.
Are hiking boots good for hot weather?
If you’re planning to go hiking in the summer, you’ll need a boot that can endure the heat. The best hiking boots for summer are lightweight, ventilated, and provide excellent grip and support.
The first thing to consider when purchasing hiking boots is whether or not they are water-resistant.
Can I wear leggings to hike?
Yes, you can hike in yoga pants. More than ever, customers desire a single pair of tights that can be worn for anything from grocery shopping to mountain hiking.
Hiking in hot weather often necessitates more preparation than hiking in cold weather. Make sure you prepare ahead and keep a careful eye on the weather prediction since hot weather may be dangerous.
As an additional piece of advice, try to start your hike early in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day.
Do not put yourself at risk by hiking in hot temperatures, and apply as many of these ideas and methods as possible to guarantee that you have a great and memorable hiking experience.
Share your summer hiking experience with all of us in the comments section below!