Hiking during summer can be fascinating. Many tend to shun hiking activities during summer since they are scared of the heat. But this should not be the case. Extreme high temperature experienced during winter can be manageable while hiking. The secret is simple: the right choice of dressing plus proper hydration.
This article will focus on the former. When it comes to dressing in relation to hiking, I feel like summer is the best time. This is due to the fact that you don’t have to put on very heavy clothing making you feel so heavy and weirdly rigid (of course you have to carry some just in case of anything). Summer is a time to loosen up! Moreover, the brightness of the environment itself is a mood booster. In this regard, what exactly is the best way to dress up for hiking during summer? A few tips first.
The best thing about hiking in the summer is that you don’t even have to wear those gloomy colors. They absorb the sun rays. This is why you will have to look for clothing with lighter colors such as white, khaki or tan. These will reflect the sun rays, rather than absorb them, helping to keep you cool.
The heat during summer requires light and loose-fitting clothes which air can easily go through. This helps regulate body temperature. Materials such as nylon and polyester usually work well.
Wearing clothes with open vents during hikes could help a lot in improving airflow. This assists in cooling the body.
As much as any type of clothing can prevent sun rays from reaching the skin to some extent, wearing clothes that are UPF-rated will always provide more surety of protection.
Having to put on extra clothing in the heat may sound illogical. Those with vulnerable skin, please do. This provides the required protection against UV rays. After all, these should just be lightweight clothes that don’t cause much discomfort.
To protect your face from sun rays, you need to wear a cap. However, if you want that extra protection that goes all the way to your neck, a hat will do the perfect job. The brim of the hat which goes all the way around will provide a shade that will secure both your face and the back of your neck.
If you have ever walked in the heat for long and felt the scorching sun rays at the back of your neck then you know how distressful that is. To avoid this, dampen a scarf, bandana, a light cloth, or a sun-protective neck gaiter in water and wear around your neck. This will keep the back of your neck as cool as the water evaporates. You can also opt for a special polymer-crystal filled neck scarf as this will maintain the moisture for a way longer duration.
You have to be careful about the kind of socks you wear for hiking when it is hot. Never wear cotton socks as these absorb a lot of moisture and take quite long to dry up. While wearing closed shoes, moist feet can do you a lot of harm, not to mention damaging your shoes. Moist feet can cause bad odors among other feet problems. To avoid this, wear wool or synthetic socks instead.
Wear hiking sunglasses to protect your eyes from excessive sunlight.
Wearing pants while hiking on a hot day may sound really absurd. Wait until you go hiking on a tick-infested hiking trail. So, it is always important to have a pair of light, loosely fitting pants with you while hiking during summer. This will of course help with the airflow. However, for more convenience, choose convertible hiking pants. With this, you can always take away the lower part when there is a need to and boom, you have your pair of shorts.
This is what you wear to a place that you are certain there are no ticks. This is a favorite hiking attire for many girls. This is due to the fact that they are comfy, expose a large part of the body to fresh air and above all, girls feel good in them. Girls like to feel good. So, why not?
Hiking in a skirt may look so odd and old fashion, but during summer this could do you a lot of good. They allow for more ventilation as compared to pants and shorts. Skirts also have the added advantage of easy response to nature calls in the woods (you won’t have to expose your backside).
Leggings are definitely a good option for hiking on a hot day. They are always comfortable since they are elastic. Once you get yourself some leggings made of lightweight material, you are good to go. You can also wear leggings under your skirts to avoid ticks and mosquito bites.
It is very easy to select tops for hiking during summer. You can go for tank tops, t-shirts with open vents or lightweight long-sleeved tops. On a day when the scorch from the sun is unbearable, it is more advisable to wear a lightweight long-sleeved top with a light color (remember not to wear cotton). This will not absorb heat, dry up quickly after absorbing moisture and protect your skin from sun rays.
These should be comfortable, supportive and breathable to avoid blisters.
Everyone is terrified of snakes. To secure your legs from snake bites, please consider having your leg gaiters on in the woods.
When hiking during the summer, you will definitely need sunglasses. They protect your eyes not only from the harmful sun rays but also from dirt and sand.
As much as a hat will do a better job than a cap in securing both the face and the neck from sun rays, I understand that not everybody is a fan of hats. It's ok. Even a cap will serve you well enough. In this case, don’t forget to secure your neck using a scarf or any other applicable piece of clothing.
This is very simple. It is all about the three L’s of summer clothing - Lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored. Wearing clothes with these features will expose your body to lots and lots of fresh air. This will keep your body cool and so there will be no reason to sweat.
Drink lots of water. This will cool your system and prevent sweating. Even when you sweat, the water you drink will substitute the water lost through sweating.
Wearing a damp piece of clothing around your neck or head will keep your body cool. This will hence prevent sweating.
While hiking, wash your face from time to time. Better yet, take advantage of the slightest opportunity you get to jump into any available authorized water source you come across and swim. This will make you feel fresh as you proceed with your journey in the heat.
Too much activity will result in heavy breathing. This will, in turn, lead to more water loss through perspiration.
Use a head gaiter to cover up to your head. Leaving much of your skin open will expose the sweat on it to evaporation. This will cause much water loss.
Walking in the shade will keep your body cool as it is free from direct sun rays. You can also opt to walk in the night and relax during the day (if it does not freak you out).
All the above provide the solutions to the problems you are likely to face while hiking in summer. Remember that undergarments also have to be lightweight in order to dry quickly. It is also important to consider bringing a friend along to a summer hike. You want to experience a heatstroke with nobody around to help out. Hike wear usually incorporates a lot of baggy clothing, but who said it should not be stylish? You can play around with your colors and minimize your packing in order to have that simple but stylish look. Now you have no reason to shun a summer hike.