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What to wear when hiking in summer

18 April 2024

As the summer sun beckons us outdoors, there's no better time to hit the trails and explore the wonders of nature. But before you lace up those hiking boots, it's essential to consider the attire that'll keep you comfortable and protected on your trek. Join us as we delve into the must-haves, the fabric essentials, and the potential dangers to ensure your summer hiking adventures are nothing short of spectacular.

Prepare yourself for adventures in hot weather

Wearing cotton

Cotton absorbs moisture. On warm days the moisture left in the material can aid in cooling you down, but on colder days, wet cotton may cause you to freeze. Keep this in mind when choosing your summer hiking outfit.

Wearing synthetics

Synthetic fabrics are lightweight and have high breathability. Polyester has a great moisture-wicking ability. It effectively allows the moisture to leave your body and evaporate into the air.

Wearing wool

Wool clothing is often affiliated with winter wear, but other than keeping you warm, wool also effectively evaporates moisture into the air, thus cooling you down when it’s warm.

What colour to choose

Light colours reflect the sun rays while dark colours absorb them, working as a virtual extra layer of heat. Thus, choosing to wear a lighter-coloured garment will keep you cooler. We suggest choosing a white, tan, or a light pastel-coloured garment.

Ventilation possibilities

Choose gear with integrated ventilation zippers so that you can decide when you would like more air to flow in order to cool down. Loose-fitting clothing also helps to keep your body temperature down, and zip-off trousers make it easy to switch from long trousers to shorts.

Optimal outfit for hiking

Have a look at the gear we believe will make your summer day enjoyable no matter what activity you are about to embark upon!

Tops

When selecting a top for hiking in hot weather, it's crucial to prioritise breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

Opt for lightweight and airy fabrics like polyester or merino wool, which efficiently pull sweat away from the skin and allow for quick evaporation, keeping you cool and dry.

Finally, choose tops with a comfortable and loose fit to promote airflow and freedom of movement, ensuring optimal comfort during your hot-weather hikes.

Bottoms

When selecting trousers, shorts, or zip-offs for hiking in hot weather, it's essential to focus on breathability, comfort, and versatility. Look for features like stretch fabric and opt for a comfortable fit with an adjustable waistband for added flexibility and comfort on the trail.

Shorts: For those really hot days when you’re not afraid of either bugs or shrubs, shorts are the perfect choice of trousers to wear.

Zip-off trousers: When you’re unsure of what weather or terrain you’re about to encounter, choose zip-off trousers. If you’re cold or walking around in sharp shrubs, keep the zippered legs on, and if you get warm simply zip them off!

Hiking trousers: Look for lightweight and quick-drying materials like nylon or polyester blends that offer excellent moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool and dry. Consider options with built-in ventilation to enhance airflow and regulate temperature during intense hikes.

Accessories and shoes

Cap: Wearing a cap is excellent for preventing both heatstroke and sunburn but also for keeping the sun away from your eyes.

Neck warmer: Wearing a neck warmer in summer can help to prevent sunburn and aid in cooling you down by wicking moisture from your neck. We recommend choosing one in a lighter colour.

Socks: Choose socks that are fast drying and have a high moisture-wicking ability. Socks in cotton are not recommended during hot days. And, it’s important to wear socks in the correct size to avoid chafing.

Shoes: Chafing equals bad memories so a pair of comfortable shoes is the best investment for future adventures! Get a pair that is comfortable and waterproof, in case of any sudden downfalls.

Packable rain gear for unexpected weather switches

Summer is amazing but can sometimes be a little unpredictable, the weather can switch from sunshine to intense downpours in minutes. Be ready for anything with our packable, lightweight, and easy-to-put-on Arcade Jacket and Trousers.

The long zipper on the leg of the trousers makes them easy to pull on if the rain starts pouring down. When the sun is allowed back, simply fold it up in its own pocket and stow it in your backpack. It takes virtually no space!

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Explore the Arcade series

Our lightest shell set yet

Summer hiking dangers

Hiking and walking in rough terrain during a hot summer day can be both incredibly fun and at the same time dangerous if you’re not vigilant. You need to be aware of the heat of the sun, know the signs of dehydration, and know how to handle the situations that may occur during warm weather hiking.

Sunburn

  • Wear thin and light clothing

  • Use sunscreen and skin-soothing moisturisers

  • Maintain a high water intake

Getting sunburned during your outdoor activity is a sure way of creating discomfort and an unpleasant time outside. To avoid a sunburn wear thin and lightweight covering clothing and don’t forget about sunscreen. Apply sunscreen generously and a good 15 minutes before heading out for the best effect. Reapply every two hours on exposed areas like your face, ears, legs, and arms, and sooner if you’re sweating a lot.

Treat the sunburn and discomfort by getting out of the sun as soon as possible, using a skin-soothing moisturiser, taking a cool shower, and drinking lots of extra water. Take time to let your skin heal and take extra care to protect burnt areas.

Dehydration

  • Early signs include fatigue & mouth dryness

  • Drink 0.5 l/hour in small sips & eat salty snacks

  • Make sure your animal friends have water too!

Prevent dehydration by drinking adequate amounts of water during your time outside. Aim for at least 0.5 litres of water per hour during less intense activities and increase the amount of fluids if you increase your activity level or the temperature rises.

Don’t forget about your animal friends! Bring extra water with you if you’re travelling with an animal companion.

Signs of dehydration are similar to those of overhydration - examples are headache, cramps, and nausea, and early signs are mouth dryness and fatigue. Always have water close by, but don’t drink too much at once and take small sips each time. It’s also a good idea to bring salty snacks in case you need to even your body's electrolyte balance. Our backpacks come with hydration reservoirs, perfect for preventing dehydration when on your adventure. You can also check out our guide on how to purify water here.

Heatstroke

Signs are confusion, nausea & a feeling of dizziness

Avoid hiking when the sun is at its highest & use a cap as a shield from sunlight

Water! Drink it and use it to cool down the skin

Signs of heatstroke are intense headaches, nausea, confusion, high body temperature, and a feeling of dizziness, that appear if you’re extremely overheated. It’s important to immediately get the affected person (or yourself) to a cool and shaded place.

Water cools the skin down fast, so if you have extra water nearby, putting a damp cloth on the forehead or a wet neck warmer around your neck may help to bring the temperature down. Taking a dip in a nearby lake or river is also an excellent way of lowering the body temperature fast.

And remember to drink water once the acute symptoms have gone down. Heatstroke may be confused with heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar but not as severe. By treating heat exhaustion, heatstroke can be prevented. Avoid hiking during the most intense hours of sunlight and wear a cap to protect your head and eyes from direct sunlight.

Mosquitoes & ticks

Wear light, thin & long-sleeved clothing to cover up exposed parts

Use gentle and nature-friendly insect repellents

Check yourself after each trip outside

Mosquitoes and other insects can easily lower your hiking mood. Prevent their company by wearing lighter colours, since dark and vivid colours attract these nasty little creatures more easily. Also, covering up your ankles, feet, and neck is a good idea. By wearing long-sleeved (yet lightweight and breathable) shirts and long trousers you can keep the little bugs away from your exposed skin.

Of course, wearing insect repellents is a good way to go as well. It’s important to wear an insect repellent that is considered gentle towards your skin as well as the environment. If possible, avoid being out at their prime time - dusk and dawn. Checking yourself for ticks after a day outside is important, get the little ones out as soon as possible if they’ve found a new home on you.

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