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What to wear when hiking in summer?

What to wear when hiking in summer? Check out the following to learn how to have fun and stay healthy when it’s hot and what to wear when hiking summer! if you want to know further then read our article on hot weather hiking tips.

On a sunny day, you can wear hiking boots and head out to find an alpine lake, a mountain peak, or a dramatic slot canyon. But intense heat can come with the sun, and if you don’t know how to deal with the two together, your fun day can turn into one that hurts and could be dangerous.

Health tips: Avoid sunburn, dehydration, over-hydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke by taking care of yourself.

Planning tips: Decide where and when to hike.

Advice on clothing and gear: With the right clothes, you can feel good. Read more: what to pack in a hiking backpack

what to wear when hiking summer

How to Plan for Hiking in Hot Weather

When planning a hike in hot weather, it’s essential to think about when and where you’ll be going. Remember that it can take 10 to 14 days to get used to high heat, so be careful and take it easy on your first few hikes when the weather gets warmer.

When to Hike 

Avoid the hottest part of the day, usually between noon and 3 p.m. On hot days, avoid this time by starting your hike early and finishing it early in the afternoon or leaving after 3 p.m. If you can’t avoid hiking during the hottest times, plan your trip to be in the shade or near a body of water.

Go on a night hike. If you live in a hot place or visit one, the heat can be uncomfortable or unbearable during the day. Hiking at night can help you cool off. In our article, Night Hiking Basics, you can learn more about hiking at night.

Places to hike

Stay in the shade. Choosing a hike that keeps you in the shadow of trees or inside steep canyon walls instead of out in the sun is best.

Hike near water. If there isn’t much shade, but you’re near the ocean or a big lake, go for a hike where you can enjoy the cool breeze from the water. If hiking near a river, you can keep cool by dipping your hat, shirt, or bandana in the water and draping it around your body. As the water evaporates, it will cool you down.

Tips on what to wear and bring on a hike in hot weather

Dressing right for a hike can make a big difference in your comfort.

Choose light colors. 

Wearing light colors that reflect the sun’s rays instead of dark colors that soak them up helps you stay cool. Look for white, tan, or khaki shirts, shorts, and pants.

Wear loose clothes that let air in. 

Wearing light, loose clothes that let air in will help your body control its temperature. You can choose nylon or polyester.

Cotton might be acceptable. 

You’ve heard that cotton kills before. Cotton has a bad name when it comes to being outside because it soaks up a lot of water and dries slowly, which can be uncomfortable and dangerous on wet and cold days. But when it’s hot and dry, the moisture can feel good against your skin and make you feel relaxed as it evaporates.

But you have to be careful when you wear cotton. 

Ensure you don’t mind how wet cotton feels next to your skin (some people don’t like it) and that it won’t irritate your skin if it rubs against it. More importantly, if you might be outside when the temperature drops in the evening, bring a change of clothes or wear synthetics instead of cotton.

Open vents. 

Some hiking shirts, shorts, and pants have open vents built in. On a hot day, they open these to help the airflow.

Choose clothing with a UPF rating. 

All clothing blocks some of the sun’s rays, but only dress with a UPF rating is sure to protect you. The UPF 15, UPF 30, and UPF 50+ ratings are the most common. Please find out more in our article on the basics of clothing for sun protection.

Cover up.

It may seem silly to wear more clothes when it’s hot outside. Still, the extra coverage can help protect your skin from susceptible UV rays. Stay safe with a lightweight long-sleeve shirt, sun sleeves, and a neck gaiter.

Put on a hat. 

A hat protecting your face and neck from the sun is essential. A baseball cap gives shade, but a sun hat with a brim that goes all around is better.

You can cool your neck by soaking a bandana, a neck gaiter that protects from the sun, or another light piece of fabric in water and wearing it over your head or around your neck to keep the back relaxed and covered while the water evaporates. Unique neck scarves filled with polymer crystals keep the moisture in even longer.

Wear the right socks. 

Never wear cotton socks; choose wool or manufactured socks that fit well. If your socks are too big, they might have wrinkles that rub; if they are too small, they might cause pressure points and slip. Please read our article on how to avoid and treat blisters to learn more.

Carry a hydration pack. 

It might not seem like a big deal, but if you always have a sip tube on hand, you’ll be more likely to drink water than if you have to look for a water bottle.

Bring a squirt bottle. 

If things get tough, you can sneak up on your hiking partners with water or use the mist setting to make a cloud of cool air whenever you want.


Health Risks of Hiking in Hot Weather

Some of the most common health risks of hiking in hot weather are sunburn, dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.


Clothing that protects you from the sun is an excellent first line of defense, but remember to put sunscreen on any skin that isn’t covered. This will help keep you from getting sunburned. When hiking in the sun, you must always wear sunscreen. Always follow the instructions on the sunscreen bottle, but here are the basics:

Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more for hikes that last more than 2 hours.

Fifteen minutes before going out in the sun, put on a lot of sunscreens.

Reapply after swimming or sweating for 40 to 80 minutes, after drying off with a towel, or at least every two hours.

Please find out more in our articles on How to Choose Sunscreen and When and How to Use Sunscreen.


When hiking in hot weather, it’s essential to drink enough water to keep from getting dehydrated. Dehydration can make you feel bad, making other heat-related illnesses like cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke more likely.

How much you need to drink depends on several things, like the temperature and humidity, how hard you’re working, your age, your body type, how much you sweat, and how long your hike is. A good rule of thumb is about a half liter of water per hour of moderate activity in moderate temperatures. From there, you may need to drink more as the temperature rises and the training gets more challenging. For example, if you are hiking hard in hot weather, you may need to drink at least one liter of water per hour. You’ll be able to fine-tune how much you swallow as you gain more experience.

When hiking with your dog, remember that they also need water. If you’re going somewhere dry, plan to bring enough water for your pet and a small bowl that you can pack.


The opposite of being too thirsty, or hyponatremia, is being too full of water. This rare condition mainly affects endurance athletes like marathon runners, ultrarunners, and triathletes. However, hikers should be aware of it.

In hyponatremia, the amount of sodium in the blood is so low that it makes it hard for cells to work. Hyponatremia can lead to coma and even death in the worst cases.

Hyponatremia has symptoms like dehydration, tiredness, headaches, and feeling sick. Because of this, some athletes mistakenly drink more water, which makes the problem worse.

How to avoid getting too hydrated: The best way to prevent getting too hydrated is to keep track of how much you drink.

Don’t drink too much. Stick to a few gulps of water every 15–20 minutes, and try not to drink more than you sweat. Putting on weight when you work out clearly shows you’re drinking too much.

Add salt—Keep your salt levels in check by occasionally switching from plain water to a sports drink with electrolytes or a salty snack like pretzels. Salt tablets are another option.

Heat Strikes

Heat cramps are sudden, painful tightenings of the muscles that can happen when working out in hot weather. Heat cramps can be helpful as a sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard and need to slow down. No one knows for sure what causes heat cramps, but making sure you drink enough water can help you avoid them. Do some gentle stretching if you have heat cramps to ease the pain.

Tired of the heat

Heat exhaustion is when your body can’t handle the stress of being hot. It can happen after being in hot weather for a long time and is often accompanied by dehydration.

Heat exhaustion has these signs:

  • A lot of sweating
  • Rapid pulse
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Heat exhaustion can be treated by:

If you or another hiker is showing signs of heat exhaustion, getting help right away is essential.

  • Get out of the heat. Find an excellent place to lie down and rest. Take off any extra clothes. If there are no trees to provide shade, but you have a tarp, use it to block the sun.
  • Rehydrate by drinking a lot of water and using salt tablets or electrolytes if you have them.
  • Splashing cool water on your face and head can feel good to cool off. If you’re hiking near a lake or stream, you can put your head in the water or put a bandana or hat on your head that you’ve dipped.
  • How to avoid getting tired from the heat:
  • Take your time to get used to the heat. It would be best if you started hiking in hot weather slowly. It can take ten days to two weeks to get used to the altitude, so be careful on your first few hikes of the season and go slowly.
  • Make sure you drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. A half-liter per hour is an excellent place to start, but depending on the hike’s challenge, you may need more.
  • Wear the right clothes: Choose light, loose clothes that let your body control its temperature and a sun hat that will keep your face and neck out of the sun.
  • Rest in the shade. If you need a break, find a shady spot instead of staying in the hot sun.
  • Know what you can do. Be honest about your fitness level, and pick hikes that match it.


When your body gets too hot, you have heat stroke. It is a severe medical condition that can happen quickly and immediately needs medical help. If you’re hiking with someone who shows signs of heat exhaustion and a change in their mental state, they may have heat stroke. Pay close attention to the following symptoms:

  • Painful headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sick and puking
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiety
  • A body temperature of at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit (if you have a way of measuring body temperature)

How to treat heat stroke:

A person with heat stroke needs to be cooled down quickly. Put the hiker down in the shade, remove any extra clothes, and cool them down with water and a fan. If you are near a lake or stream, you can try to lay the hiker down in the water, making sure their airway is clear. Also, keep in mind that quickly getting cold can lead to hypothermia.

Hydrate: Tell the hiker to drink water if they are awake enough to hold a water bottle.

Heat stroke can damage organs inside the body, so get the hiker out as soon as possible and take them to the hospital for more tests.

What to do to avoid heat stroke: Follow the same tips to avoid getting too tired from the heat.

Suppose you want to be better prepared for medical emergencies in the wilderness.

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