Hiking in summer is significantly different from any other time of the year. The sun hits harder, and you are more prone to fatigue and burnout. However, choosing the right outfits can help mitigate the effect of the burning weather and increase your comfort when your peers are burning out.
Knowing the best Hiking Outfits for summer is not just about it being short sleeves. Actually, wearing a short sleeve may be counterproductive, so you need to watch out.
This guide will explain What to wear walking in summer, ranging from fabric type to shoes and every other necessary item. You will also learn other pro tips to make your summer hike enjoyable and one of the most memorable experiences ever.
Tips on What to Wear on Hikes in Summer
Go for the Best Hiking Clothes For Hot Weather
Apparently, your choice of clothes is the most significant factor you need to consider when hiking in hot weather. Your shirts, pants, shorts, and socks, must be top-notch to be at your best throughout your walk. To know the best Summer hiking clothes to go for, there are several metrics to consider, and they will be highlighted in the next few sections.
Number 1 Choice: Merino Wool
Some fabrics are more suited for hot weather and should be your target. A good fabric has to be breathable for easy air penetration. However, it should be a bit thick to deflect the sun successfully. A thick, breathable fabric will keep you refreshed for a long time. It would also be nice if the fabric is quick drying as it significantly reduces the issue of stickiness, which can be pretty irritating when walking a long trail.
Based on research, a good fabric choice that meets all three requirements is Merino Wool. Polyester and Nylon are good alternatives, even though they may not offer as much relief as Merino wool-made clothes. The good thing is that they are typically cheaper.
Cotton is not exactly the best choice when picking Hiking clothes in summer. While breathable, it holds in sweat and sticks to your body, defeating its breathability benefit.
Number 1 Choice: White Color
Colors matter a whole lot when choosing Hiking clothes for summer. Go for clothes with light colors because they reflect the sun’s rays. On the other hand, Dark colors absorb the rays leaving you uncomfortably warm with an increased risk of burnout. Top light color fabrics include Khaki, White, Tan, Olive Green and Beige. You should avoid colors like red and blue as they are one of the worst choices for a long sunny walk.
It would help if you went for clothes designed to allow ventilation. There are many clothes with ventilation zippers in the armpit, thigh and even ankles. These zippers are strategically placed in their respective locations to allow easy airflow for better comfort. Most clothing companies that serve the hiking market have continued to focus on the increasing need for ventilation, so you will not have a problem finding shirts, shorts and pants with ventilation zippers.
Choose UPF-Rated Clothes
Number 1 Choice: 50+ UPF Rating.
You should ensure that the clothes you want for summer hiking have an excellent UPF rating. The UPF rating system is a unique measurement that determines how much UV radiation can penetrate clothes.
Clothes with a UPF rating of 30+ are relatively good choices as they can block off up to 96% radiation. Clothing with a 50+ rating has about 99% UV deflective reinforcement.
Some clothes may not have a specified UPF rating, so you may need to be specific when trying to meet the 30+ and 50+ requirements.
Wear Clothes that Cover You Properly
Choosing clothes that cover your body for your first summer hiking is the way to go. Short sleeves are not bad, but your skin can suffer varying reactions when it gets really hot. The best way to avoid these reactions is to opt for long sleeves that cover the wrists or short sleeves that go over the elbow. Handless shirts are not recommended for hiking in 100 degree weather or at any temperature close to the number.
You will find many long-sleeved dresses that meet all the other requirements already outlined.
Wear A Hat
A nice hat is essential when considering what to wear when hiking in the summer. Hiking during the sunny or dry season has its unique demand. The sunlight exposure to the head can lead to loss of clarity within a few hours of just walling. Getting an excellent sunhat that covers the head and protects the face, neck, ears, and dome can significantly reduce the effect of the sun’s rays.
A good sunhat should have a nice 360-degree wide brim as it adequately protects your upper face. A baseball cap with a tucked-in bandana at the back is also a relatively good alternative worth trying.
Get Excellent Summer-Friendly Sunglasses
Number 1 Choice: Category 4 sunglass
Nothing beats a pair of sunglasses when hiking on a hot sunny afternoon. Firstly, it makes the hike much more tolerable and enjoyable. The right sunglass choice can help protect the eyes. Now, you should know that the UV rays’ potency from the sun increases by up to 4% for every 100 feet covered in altitude. So your pathway would determine the type of sunglasses you need for the best protection.
If you plan to hike on a typical even-level path, category 3 sunglasses are a good enough choice. It can deflect 80% to 90% of visible light from entering the eyes. If you intend to walk into glaciated pathways or move above the snowline, category 4 sunglasses are the recommended option. It can keep off more than 90% of visible light and is usually preferable when the sun is at one of its highest hike schedules.
It is nice to have different sunglasses to fit the sun’s intensity at any time of the day. Also, you can increase your comfort by choosing a sunglass that has a leather wrap to reduce the possibility of skin heating during your walk.
Choice of Shoe
Shoes are one of the biggest considerations regarding hiking preparation in general. However, you have to give it better focus when hiking under the hot testing sun. Firstly, you have to go for comfortable hiking shoes. One of the most comfortable choices is a rubber sole-fitted boot with excellent lateral cushion. You will find rubber soles with soft suede leather material.
Also, ensure that your shoe offers a good grip on the ground to avoid slips. Hiking in the summer is as good as your control on the pathway, and a slip-resistant shoe gives you a good control level.
Getting more than a pair of shoes is also a good choice if you plan to cover a long distance in notoriously rough terrain for better comfort.
Other Tips to Consider When Hiking in Hot Weather
Now that you know the major outfits to wear for hiking in hot weather, you should consider other essential factors and tips for the best summer hiking experience. Sometimes, clothes, shoes, and other items may not be sufficient if you miss some essential rules.
Do Not Hike at the Hottest Time of the Day
Try as much as possible not to hike at the hottest time of the day. Irrespective of your outfit and gear, trekking the trails when the sun hits the hardest will have its toll on your mental and physical state. It is recommended that you rest at the hottest time of the day, which is often around 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Instead, let the morning from 7 am to 12 pm be your busiest hour range. Then slow down your work and walk rate from 12 pm to 2 pm. Avoid walks from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Even if you want to test your tenacity in the wild, exposing yourself to too much sun could make you doubt your entire effort and time dedicated to the journey.
Ensure You Are Equipped with Twice the Quantity Of Water You Would Ordinarily Need
Water is essential for hiking and indispensable for Summer hiking. If you typically get along with 2 water kegs for an average weather hike, then you will need about twice the quantity for a hot weather hike.
Starting your first hot summer hiking experience will open you to a new world of sensations. You are likely to get tired easily and faster, need water twice as much as is typical, and feel the need to relax much more. Do not deny yourself any of these demands, as they are all part of your experience.
You can get a bigger container for your water. Of course, it may increase your overall weight, so you may need to drop some loads that may not be essential.
Pack High-Calorie Food
You will need high-calorie foods on your trail more than any other food type. Even if you are trying to cut off some pounds, you need energy, and getting it easily when exhausted is important. High-calorie foods are easily digestible and can offer you much-needed energy within a short time. You could include Glucose, some baked muffins, and other packaged calorie foods that are relatively healthy.
You could pack some fiber for the fullness. However, ensure you mix it up with more calorie-filled carbs as it does not digest easily.
Take Breaks and Never Go Past Your Limit
Finally, aside from your Hiking clothes summer choice, another important factor you need to consider is if you have a tolerance for hot weather hiking. Summer hiking is not for everyone; you have to be sure you want to do it, not just because of peer pressure.
If it is an experience you really want, you should fix breaks according to your strength. Never push yourself past your limit, as there is no reward for getting burnt out and extremely stressed.
Hiking in hot weather is really fun. You will definitely find yourself against the elements and will likely come out victorious and high-spirited with the right gear and equipment. This guide has highlighted the most important accessories and information you need for a successful summer hike. The good thing is that they do not cost much and can be easily acquired from a reputable online store.