what to wear hiking in hot

What to Wear Hiking in Hot Weather

Hiking in hot weather requires special considerations to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. Before hitting the trails, it’s important to understand the weather conditions and choose the right trail based on your fitness level and preferences. Hydration is crucial in hot weather, so carrying enough water and staying hydrated throughout the hike is essential. Sun protection is vital to prevent sunburn and heat-related illnesses, so wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses is strongly recommended. Pacing yourself and choosing the right timing for your hike can make a significant difference in dealing with the heat and minimizing the risk of overheating.

When it comes to what to wear hiking in hot weather, it’s important to prioritize light and breathable clothing that allows air circulation and helps wick away sweat. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you cool and dry by pulling moisture away from your skin. Long-sleeve shirts and pants made of lightweight and breathable materials can provide protection from the sun and prevent insect bites. Wearing a hat and sunglasses can further protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Choosing proper footwear, such as breathable hiking shoes or sandals, is crucial for comfort and preventing blisters in hot weather.

Along with appropriate clothing, there are essential gear and accessories to consider for a successful hiking trip in hot weather. Sunscreen should be applied generously to protect exposed skin from sunburn. Insect repellent can help keep bugs at bay and prevent bites. Carrying a hydration pack or water bottles ensures easy access to water throughout the hike. A lightweight backpack is useful for carrying essential items and keeping them organized. A cooling towel can provide instant relief by lowering body temperature during breaks or hot spells. By considering these factors and wearing the right gear, you can have a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in hot weather.

  • Choosing the right trail: Consider the difficulty level and terrain when selecting a hiking trail in hot weather.
  • Staying hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration during hot weather hikes.
  • Wearing appropriate clothing: Opt for light and breathable clothing made from moisture-wicking fabric. Wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, a hat, sunglasses, and proper footwear for sun protection and comfort.

Considerations for Hiking in Hot Weather

When venturing out for a hike in scorching hot weather, certain considerations can make all the difference. Let’s dive into what you need to know about hiking in hot weather and how to make the most of your outdoor adventure. From understanding the weather conditions to choosing the right trail, staying hydrated, protecting yourself from the sun, and finding the perfect hiking attire, we’ll equip you with the essentials for a safe and enjoyable hike in the heat.

Understanding the Weather Conditions

Incorporating understanding weather conditions into your hiking adventure in hot weather is crucial for safety and success. Take note of the following key considerations:

1. Stay updated on the forecasted temperature for your hike to prepare and plan accordingly.

2. Gauge discomfort by monitoring humidity levels, as high humidity can intensify the heat’s impact.

3. Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by considering the UV index. Higher UV index increases the risk of sunburn and heat-related illnesses, so apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and use sunglasses with UV protection.

4. Be mindful of severe weather warnings or thunderstorm alerts, as extreme weather conditions pose additional risks that should be taken seriously.

5. Take into account wind conditions during your hike. While wind can provide relief from the heat, strong winds may increase the risk of dehydration and skin irritation. Plan accordingly.


5. Take into account wind conditions in Alaska during your hike. While wind can provide relief from the heat, strong winds may increase the risk of dehydration and skin irritation. Plan accordingly.

By understanding the weather conditions, you can make informed decisions about the timing and location of your hike, what to wear, and necessary precautions to take. Enjoy your hot weather hiking adventure while staying safe!

Choosing the Right Trail

Choosing the right trail is crucial for a successful hiking experience in hot weather. When making your decision, it is important to consider the following factors:

1. Length and Difficulty: Prioritize your fitness level and the time you have available. Find a trail that aligns with your abilities and schedule.

2. Shade: It is advisable to search for trails that offer ample shade. This can be in the form of tree cover or canyons, which provide relief from the intense heat.

3. Water Availability: It is essential to choose trails that have accessible water sources. This will enable you to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration during your hike.

4. Elevation Gain: Consider the elevation gain of the trail. Higher elevations generally provide cooler temperatures, so it is recommended to select trails that take you to higher points. This will offer relief from the scorching heat. You should also pay attention to what socks to wear hiking in summer to keep your feet cool and comfortable.

5. Trail Popularity: In popular areas, opt for less crowded trails. This will provide you with more privacy and reduce the risk of heat-related health issues.

6. Trail Condition: Take the time to check the trail conditions for any closures or restrictions due to extreme heat or fire danger. Ensuring that the trails you choose are safe and open is of utmost importance.

By taking these factors into account, you can choose a trail that suits your abilities, provides shade and water, and guarantees a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in hot weather.


Hydration is crucial for hiking in hot weather. Staying hydrated helps regulate body temperature, prevent heat-related illnesses, and maintain physical performance.

Here are some important points to consider for hydration during hot weather hikes:

  1. Drink water regularly: Drink water throughout the hike, even before feeling thirsty. Aim to drink at least 8 ounces of water every 20-30 minutes.
  2. Bring a hydration pack or water bottles: Carry enough water for the entire hike. Consider using a hydration pack for easy access to water.
  3. Include electrolytes: Along with water, electrolytes are important for replenishing minerals lost through sweat. Sports drinks or electrolyte tablets can help maintain electrolyte balance.
  4. Monitor urine color: Check the color of your urine to gauge hydration levels. Clear or pale yellow urine indicates proper hydration, while dark yellow urine may signal dehydration.
  5. Hydrate before and after the hike: Start hydrating well before the hike and continue replenishing fluids afterward to recover and rehydrate.

Pro-tip: Plan your route to include water sources like streams or natural springs. Consider carrying a water filter or purifier for safe drinking water from natural sources. Stay hydrated and enjoy your hot weather hiking adventure!

Note: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using a water filter or purifier to ensure proper usage and filtration effectiveness.

Sun Protection

To ensure sun protection while hiking in hot weather, consider the following factors:

1. Wear sunscreen: Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to all exposed skin to protect from harmful UV rays and prevent sunburn.

2. Choose the right clothing: Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that cover your skin. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants made of UPF-rated materials for additional sun protection. Also, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes.

3. Stay in the shade: Hike in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Find shaded areas along your route to take breaks and cool off.

4. Hydrate properly: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Carry a hydration pack or water bottles to ensure you have enough water for the hike. Sports drinks with electrolytes can help replenish lost nutrients.

5. Take breaks: Rest in shaded areas periodically to cool down. Remove your backpack and allow air circulation during breaks to prevent overheating.

6. Choose light-colored clothing: Light colors reflect sunlight and help keep you cooler. Dark-colored clothing absorbs heat and can make you feel hotter.

Remember, sun protection is crucial to prevent heat strokes, sunburn, and other heat-related illnesses. By following these measures, you can enjoy your hot weather adventures safely.

Pace and Timing

During hot weather hiking, pace and timing are crucial for an enjoyable and safe adventure. Consider the following aspects:

1. Set a moderate pace: When hiking in hot weather, maintain a moderate and steady pace to conserve energy and prevent exhaustion. Aim for a pace that allows you to continue comfortably without feeling fatigued.

2. Time your hikes wisely: Plan hikes during cooler parts of the day, like early mornings or late afternoons, to avoid the hottest hours. By adjusting your timing, you can hike in more bearable temperatures and reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses.

3. Take breaks in shaded areas: Schedule periodic breaks in shaded areas to rest and cool down. This allows your body to recuperate and avoid overheating. Look for natural shade or bring a lightweight portable shade for extra protection.

4. Adjust pace according to conditions: If you encounter particularly hot or humid weather, slow down and decrease your hiking speed to maintain a comfortable body temperature.

5. Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for hiking in hot weather. Drink water regularly, even before feeling thirsty, to prevent dehydration. Carry enough water for the entire hike and consider electrolyte replacement drinks to replenish lost minerals from sweating.

Remember, pace and timing are crucial for a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in hot weather. Pay attention to your body’s signals, adapt accordingly, and make sensible decisions for a successful adventure.

What to Wear Hiking in Hot Weather

When hiking in hot weather, it is important to consider what to wear for comfort and protection. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Choose light and breathable clothing: Opt for lightweight fabrics like moisture-wicking materials or merino wool. These fabrics allow air circulation and help in wicking away sweat, keeping you cool.
  2. Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants: Despite the heat, wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants can protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Look for clothing with high UPF ratings for added sun protection.
  3. Don a wide-brimmed hat: A wide-brimmed hat will shield your face and neck from the sun, preventing sunburn and providing shade to keep you cooler.
  4. Protect your eyes with sunglasses: Invest in sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays and glare. Look for sunglasses suitable for outdoor activities like hiking.
  5. Choose proper footwear: Opt for lightweight hiking shoes or boots that provide ventilation and support. It is important to choose breathable materials and consider wearing hiking socks to prevent blisters during summer hiking.

Remember to adjust your clothing choices based on the specific conditions and duration of your hike. It is crucial to be prepared with sunscreen, enough water, and easily digestible food. Stay hydrated and take breaks in shaded areas to prevent heat strokes or exhaustion.

By following these guidelines and wearing appropriate clothing, you can have an enjoyable and safe hiking experience in hot weather.

Light and Breathable Clothing

When hiking in hot weather, it is important to prioritize comfort and prevent overheating by wearing light and breathable clothing. Here are some options for light and breathable hiking attire:

  • Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics such as polyester or merino wool. These fabrics effectively draw away sweat and allow it to evaporate quickly, resulting in a cool and dry feeling.
  • Maximize air circulation and ventilation by choosing shirts with short sleeves. Look for lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying fabrics for added comfort.
  • To protect yourself from harmful UV rays, wear a wide-brim hat that covers your face, neck, and ears. Opt for hats made from breathable materials like cotton or straw.
  • Contrary to popular belief, wearing long pants can actually help keep you cool. They provide sun protection and prevent rapid sweat evaporation. Look for lightweight, breathable hiking pants made from synthetic materials with UPF ratings.
  • Don’t forget about your feet. For hiking in hot weather, it’s essential to wear the right clothing and gear to keep yourself comfortable and protected.

wear hiking socks specifically designed to be moisture-wicking and breathable. These socks will keep your feet dry and minimize the risk of blisters.

By choosing light and breathable clothing, you can ensure a cool and comfortable hiking experience even in hot weather. Remember to stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, and take breaks when necessary to beat the heat and make the most of your hiking adventure.

Moisture-Wicking Fabric

When hiking in hot weather, it is crucial to wear moisture-wicking fabric. This will ensure your comfort and prevent sweat from saturating your garments. Moisture-wicking fabric effectively draws moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry. Let’s explore the key attributes of moisture-wicking fabric:

1. Efficient moisture management: This fabric efficiently transports moisture away from your body, absorbs sweat, and promotes rapid evaporation.

2. Quick-drying: Unlike regular fabric, moisture-wicking fabric dries rapidly, minimizing the likelihood of chafing and irritation.

3. Lightweight and breathable: These fabrics are typically lightweight and breathable, preventing overheating and helping regulate your body temperature.

4. Odor control: Certain moisture-wicking fabrics possess antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

5. Wide availability: Numerous outdoor clothing brands offer moisture-wicking fabric options for hiking apparel.

By opting for moisture-wicking fabric for your hiking attire, you can ensure dryness, comfort, and freshness throughout your hot weather adventures.

Long-Sleeve Shirts and Pants

Choose long-sleeve shirts and pants made from breathable fabrics, such as lightweight merino wool, designed for hot weather hiking. Long-sleeve shirts and pants provide several benefits when hiking in hot weather. These materials dry quickly, allowing moisture to evaporate and keeping you cooler. These long-sleeve shirts and pants shield your skin from harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn and long-term sun damage. They also help protect you from mosquito bites and other insect stings, preventing discomfort and potential health risks. They keep you cooler in hot weather by providing a barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays, preventing direct heat absorption. They offer protection from thorny bushes, rough terrain, and abrasive surfaces, reducing the risk of cuts, scrapes, and abrasions. Long-sleeve shirts and pants also provide an extra layer of insulation in cooler evening temperatures or higher elevations, keeping you warm and comfortable. It is recommended to choose long-sleeve shirts and pants made from breathable fabrics, such as lightweight merino wool, designed for hot weather hiking. You should also consider garments with UV and UPF ratings for added sun protection.


When hiking in hot weather, it is crucial to wear a hat in order to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Here are some options to consider:

Wide-brim hat: This type of hat provides excellent coverage for your face, neck, and ears, effectively shading these areas from direct sunlight and preventing sunburn.

Baseball cap: A baseball cap offers some protection for your face, especially your forehead and eyes. It does not provide as much coverage for your neck and ears.

Wooly hat: A wooly hat is particularly useful for keeping you warm during cooler mornings or high-altitude hikes. Merino wool, in particular, can effectively regulate body temperature and wick away sweat.

When selecting a hat, opt for one made from breathable fabrics that allow air circulation to keep your head cool. Look for hats with UPF ratings, as they indicate the hat’s ability to block UV rays. Choose light-colored hats, as they reflect sunlight and are less likely to absorb heat. Dark-colored hats, on the other hand, tend to quickly heat up and can make you feel uncomfortable.

In addition to wearing a hat, it is important to consider other sun protection measures such as applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, and opting for lightweight clothing with UPF ratings. Remember to stay hydrated, wear appropriate footwear, and make safe decisions while hiking in hot weather to fully enjoy your outdoor adventure!


When hiking in hot weather, wearing sunglasses is essential to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Consider these important factors when choosing sunglasses for your hot weather adventure:

UV protection: Look for sunglasses with 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from UVA and UVB rays.

Polarized lenses: Choose sunglasses with polarized lenses to reduce glare from water, sand, and pavement, improving vision and reducing eye strain.

Wraparound style: Opt for sunglasses with a wraparound style or large frames for maximum coverage and to minimize side sun exposure.

Durable materials: Select sunglasses made from durable materials like polycarbonate or nylon to withstand hiking conditions.

Comfortable fit: Look for sunglasses with adjustable nose pads and lightweight frames for a comfortable fit in 40-degree weather during long hikes.

Darker lens colors: Consider sunglasses with gray or brown lenses for hiking in bright sunlight, as these reduce overall light transmission.

Scratch-resistant coating: Look for sunglasses with a scratch-resistant coating to protect against lens scratches and maintain clear vision.

Sunglasses have a long history of protecting eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Ancient Inuit people used walrus ivory goggles to reduce glare from the snow, while Chinese judges in the 12th century wore sunglasses with smoky quartz lenses to hide their eye expressions during court proceedings. Modern sunglasses evolved in the early 1900s, with tinted lenses becoming popular among movie stars. Today, sunglasses serve as both a fashion accessory and essential eye protection during outdoor activities in hot weather.

Proper Footwear

Proper Footwear is absolutely crucial for hot weather hikes to ensure optimum comfort, support, and protection. When considering the best footwear options, here are some key points to keep in mind:

– It’s important to choose footwear that isbreathable, such as shoes or boots made with mesh or synthetic fabrics. These materials promote air circulation, which helps prevent overheating and excessive sweating.

– Look for shoes with excellent traction, especially ones designed specifically for hiking or boots with slip-resistant outsoles. This will give you better grip and stability on uneven terrain, minimizing the risk of slips and falls.

– If you’ll be hiking on rocky or challenging trails, ankle support becomes even more essential. It’s crucial to choose footwear that provides adequate support to the ankle, reducing the chances of sprains and injuries.

– Opting for lightweight options is a wise decision, particularly in hot weather conditions. Lightweight hiking shoes or even trail running shoes can greatly reduce fatigue and enhance overall comfort during your hiking experience.

– Ensuring a proper fit is absolutely vital. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters, discomfort, and injuries. Take the time to try on different sizes and brands, aiming for a perfect fit. Make sure there is enough room in the toe box to prevent rubbing and blisters.

Fact: Wearing the right footwear significantly enhances your hiking experience and plays a crucial role in preventing foot fatigue, blisters, and sprains. So don’t underestimate the power of proper footwear when planning for your next outdoor adventure.

Essential Gear and Accessories

Essential Gear and Accessories - What to Wear Hiking in Hot Weather

Photo Credits: Jasonexplorer.Com by Matthew King

Load up your backpack and get ready for a hot weather hiking adventure! In this section, we’ll dive into the essential gear and accessories that will keep you comfortable and protected on the trails. From sunscreen to insect repellent, hydration packs to lightweight backpacks, we’ve got you covered with all the must-haves. Plus, we’ll introduce you to the cooling towel that will help you beat the heat and stay refreshed throughout your trek. Let’s gear up and hit the trails in style!


When hiking in hot weather, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is crucial. Here are important considerations for choosing and using sunscreen:

  1. Use High SPF: When choosing sunscreen, look for a high SPF of above 30 to ensure greater protection against UV rays.
  2. Choose Broad Spectrum: Ensure that the sunscreen you select offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  3. Opt for Water-Resistant: If you anticipate sweating or being exposed to water, it is recommended to choose water-resistant sunscreen for its effectiveness.
  4. Apply Generously: Remember to apply sunscreen generously on all exposed skin, including the face, neck, arms, and legs. Don’t forget areas like the ears and the back of the neck.
  5. Reapply Every Two Hours: It is important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming.
  6. Check Expiration Date: Always check the expiration date on your sunscreen to ensure its effectiveness.
  7. Consult a Dermatologist: If you have specific concerns or skin conditions, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist for suitable sunscreen recommendations.

Remember, sunscreen alone is not enough to protect you from the sun. It should be used in conjunction with other sun protection measures such as wearing protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. Seek shade during the hottest parts of the day and stay hydrated to prevent heat-related illnesses.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your hiking adventures in hot weather while keeping your skin safe from the harmful UV rays.

Insect Repellent

When hiking in hot weather, protecting yourself from insects is crucial. Here are some important points to consider when choosing an insect repellent:

1. Effectiveness: Look for an insect repellent that effectively repels mosquitos and ticks. It should provide long-lasting protection.

2. DEET concentration: Choose a repellent with at least 20% DEET concentration for maximum effectiveness.

3. Alternative ingredients: Consider repellents using lemon eucalyptus oil or picaridin as natural options. These may need more frequent reapplication but can be just as effective as DEET-based repellents.

4. Application method: Choose a convenient product form like sprays, lotions, or wipes for easy use during your hike date.

5. Compatibility: Take allergies or sensitivities into account. Some products may be more suitable for individuals with specific allergies or sensitive skin.

By selecting an effective and appropriate insect repellent, you can protect yourself from insect bites and enjoy a comfortable hiking experience in hot weather.

Hydration Pack or Water Bottles

Staying hydrated while hiking in hot weather is crucial for safety and well-being. Here are some options for staying hydrated on the trail:

Hydration pack: A backpack with a built-in water reservoir and a tube for drinking water while on the move. Choose a pack with the right capacity for your needs, considering hotter conditions may require more water.

Water bottles: Carrying lightweight, durable bottles with a good sealing mechanism is a traditional approach. Consider bringing multiple bottles for a sufficient water supply throughout your hike.

Water filter: If you need to refill from natural water sources, a portable filter can purify the water, making it safe to drink. These filters are compact and lightweight, perfect for your backpack.

Electrolyte tablets: Apart from plain water, replenishing electrolytes lost through sweating is important. Add these tablets to your water to maintain proper hydration levels during hot weather hikes.

Remember to drink water regularly, even before feeling thirsty. Be proactive in managing your hydration and choose the option that best suits your hiking style and preferences.

Lightweight Backpack

A lightweight backpack is essential for hiking in hot weather. It should be able to carry all your essentials without adding extra weight or causing discomfort. When choosing a lightweight backpack, there are several factors to consider. First, consider the weight of the backpack itself. Look for one made from lightweight materials like nylon or polyester to avoid unnecessary weight. Next, consider the capacity of the backpack. Make sure it has enough room for essential items such as water, snacks, sunscreen, and a first aid kit.

Comfort is also key in choosing a lightweight backpack. Opt for one with padded shoulder straps and a waist belt to distribute weight evenly and prevent strain on your back and shoulders. Organization is another important factor. Select a backpack with multiple compartments and pockets for easy access and organization of your belongings.

Ventilation is crucial when hiking in hot weather. Look for a backpack with a breathable back panel to allow air circulation and prevent excessive sweating. Durability is also a consideration. Make sure the backpack is made from high-quality materials and stitching to withstand the challenges of hot weather hiking.

Water resistance is another feature to look for in a lightweight backpack. Consider one with water-resistant or waterproof features to protect your belongings from rain or water splashes. By taking these factors into account, you can find a comfortable and functional lightweight backpack that is perfect for your hot weather hiking adventures.

Cooling Towel

A cooling towel is a valuable accessory when hiking in hot weather. It effectively lowers your body temperature and provides relief from the intense heat. There are several important factors to consider when using a cooling towel:

Cooling towels are made from special fabrics that are designed to be moisture-activated. When you wet the towel and wring it out, it creates a refreshing cooling sensation when applied to your skin.

It is crucial to choose a cooling towel that dries quickly. This ensures easy and convenient reuse during your hike, especially in hot weather when sweat may cause dampness.

A high-quality cooling towel should retain its cooling effect for several hours before needing to be rewetted. This long-lasting coolness enhances your comfort throughout your outdoor adventure.

Selecting a lightweight and portable cooling towel is essential. It avoids adding unnecessary weight to your hiking gear, and it should be easy to pack away when not in use.

Another advantage of cooling towels is their versatility. They can not only cool down your body but also serve other purposes such as wiping away sweat or acting as a makeshift headband. When choosing a cooling towel, prioritize finding one that can fulfill multiple functions.

To further enhance the effectiveness of your cooling towel, consider storing it in a cooler or soaking it in ice water before your hike. This will provide an extra-refreshing and invigorating cooling sensation while you are on the trail.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best fabrics to wear when hiking in hot weather?

Opt for light, breathable, and quick-drying fabrics like merino wool, nylon, and polyester. Avoid cotton as it absorbs sweat instead of evaporating it.

2. Why is it important to cover up when hiking in hot weather?

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants can protect against the sun’s UV rays and prevent sunburn and heat-related illnesses.

3. How can I protect my face and head from the sun while hiking in hot weather?

Wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide necessary protection for the face, ears, neck, and head. Tucking a bandana under a baseball cap can add extra protection for the ears and neck.

4. What type of sunglasses should I wear when hiking in hot weather?

Protect your eyes with sunglasses that have category 3 lenses for regular trails and category 4 lenses for snowy or glaciated terrain. Wrap-around sunglasses or those with side shields are effective in blocking glare.

5. What should I consider when choosing hiking clothes for hot weather?

Choose clothes with ventilation zippers and opt for lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable fabrics. Look for UPF-rated clothing that blocks UV radiation.

6. What are some recommended hiking clothes for hot weather?

Recommended hiking clothes include sun shirts with built-in sun protection, lightweight and quick-dry hiking pants made from breathable fabrics, and breathable shoes or trail runners with good ventilation. Some specific recommendations include REI Sahara sun shirts, Prana pants and shorts, Darn Tough socks, Altra or Salomon trail runners, and an Outdoor Research sun hat.

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