What To Wear Hiking In Hot Weather

12 Top Hiking Essentials – A Complete Guide On What To Wear Hiking In Hot Weather

Are you planning to hike this coming summer? Want to know what to wear hiking in hot weather? Consider these 12 hiking essentials to ensure you hike in comfort! 

Hiking can be one of the most fulfilling but also most challenging activities, even in the most temperate, mild, and manageable conditions.

Whilst extended trekking is certainly intense, even short day hikes can be incredibly taxing to the unprepared or inexperienced hiker, but long hikes in hot weather will no doubt take the challenge to a whole new level, as well as additional health concerns to be aware of.

Even experienced hikers can be caught out by hot weather when hiking, as it can be deceptive and cause hikers to go out underprepared for the challenges that hot weather presents.

In this guide, we’re going to look at what to wear when hiking in hot weather to ensure you are as comfortable and safe as possible. These 12 items and clothing for hiking in hot weather will ensure you’re prepared for an unforgettable hike, regardless of the conditions!

Disclaimer: Kindly note that this post may contain links to services or products that we trust and recommend and from which I may earn commissions. You may read our privacy policy to learn more.

Before You Hit The Trail – Grab Your Hiking Essentials 

  1. A hiking day backpack
  2. Comfy pair of men’s boots, or woman’s hiking boots
  3. Hiking water bottle for hydration
  4. A cozy men’s and woman’s windbreaker for those gusty summits
  5. A set of hiking poles

What To Wear Hiking In Summer – 12 Must-Have’s

Sunglasses

When hiking in hot weather you may find yourself exposed to a lot of direct sunlight, with little shade or protection for your eyes.

It can be really difficult to enjoy hiking or taking in the scenery of your hike when you are constantly squinting, and not wearing sunglasses can actually cause discomfort or even headaches due to the excessive brightness of direct sunlight.

To protect yourself from this and make yourself more comfortable, a set of quality sunglasses are a must-have that will enable you to enjoy the views of your hike far more easily. 

Consider these awesome lightweight polarized sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection and work well to block out glare whilst hiking.

Headwear

Another absolutely critical piece of clothing to wear when hiking in hot weather is headwear.

You may question this, as leaving the head uncovered will allow heat to radiate from the top of your head more easily.

While this is true, a head covering is essential as it helps reduce the direct heat that your head absorbs, and will provide shade for your head and eyes that will keep you cooler, even if headwear does insulate the top of your head slightly.

There are some great types of headwear, from bucket hats to sports caps, and these will offer you great protection from the heat helping you to hike in greater comfort.

Hiking Shorts – Hot Weather Hiking Clothes

When considering the best hiking clothes for hot weather, a pair of comfy hiking shorts should be top of mind. 

Hiking pants are a very popular choice as they are versatile, durable, and allow for greater comfort when hiking, but hiking shorts are an excellent alternative that will allow you to stay cooler.

Hiking shorts are often made of similar materials to hiking pants and are as tough and durable as their full-length counterparts, but they allow you to feel the air on your skin which will help wick away sweat from your body and keep you much cooler.

Quick Dry T-shirts

For the upper body, a quick-drying t-shirt is a must when hiking in hot weather. Avoiding cotton t-shirts is key as cotton absorbs moisture and is slow to dry.

It’s best to use polyester or synthetic material shirts that are made of breathable material as these will wick away sweat much more effectively, keeping you much cooler in the process.Going for a shirt with light colors will help reflect heat away from you also, and it’s best to avoid dark colors as these will absorb heat making you much warmer.

What To Wear Hiking In Hot Weather © Image Courtesy of deimagine from Getty Images Signature by Canva
What To Wear Hiking In Hot Weather © Image Courtesy of deimagine from Getty Images Signature by Canva

A Base Layer

While this may sound counter-intuitive, a base layer can be a great way to increase your cooling when hiking in hot weather.

A cooling layer will improve your sweat-wicking potential even more which will improve your ability to manage your temperature, especially on longer hikes.

Summer Hiking Boots/Hiking Shoes

Proper footwear is key for hiking, but heavier winter hiking boots will slow you down and make you much too hot when hiking in hot weather.

A pair of lighter and fitted hiking boots or hiking shoes are key to staying light on your feet and keeping your feet cool.

Often these boots won’t be as waterproof as winter boots but offer far superior cooling and breathability, which is much more important during summer hikes.

Hiking Sandals

Another popular choice for summer hiking is hiking sandals, which provide massively superior cooling for hikes over easier terrain or in harsh summer weather.

Hiking sandals will help you keep a cooler temperature and allow you to exhaust a lot of body heat much more effectively. 

Do keep in mind that these may not be suitable for all terrains, so it’s best to research your hike ahead of time to make sure that these are appropriate. 

A Light Rain Jacket/Mackintosh

A rain jacket will often be unnecessary during hot summer hikes, but a small light mackintosh or rain poncho is still a good thing to bring along.

Hot weather doesn’t always mean dry weather, and being able to keep dry in an unexpected summer storm while you hike will make you that much more comfortable.

These jackets are often light and easy to pack so they make a great addition to any summer hiking pack.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is really important when hiking because it provides you with crucial extra protection from sunburn and heatstroke, both of which can make your hike miserable and even risk serious injury or health issues.

A quality high SPF sunscreen applied to your face and any other exposed areas will keep you safe and help you to stay cool, so don’t forget how important good sun protection is.

Light Hiking Socks

When hiking in hot weather, it’s important to have lightweight socks that are designed specifically for hiking.

These socks should ideally be made of nylon or a blend of some other types of fabric that allows for great breathability and keeps your feet cool throughout.

A Light Shirt – Hot Weather Hiking Clothing

Shirts are a great choice for hiking in hot weather as they can be worn in a variety of ways to help you manage your temperature effectively.

They are a very efficient extra layer that can be worn buttoned, unbuttoned, or rolled up, and they are easy to tie around your waist when not being used. 

A good lightweight polyester fabric shirt is a great choice for added breathability and is a good quick dry option. Try to steer clear of cotton shirts! 

A Hydration Pack

Drinking enough water when hiking is crucial to stave off heatstroke and stay cool. Hiking can take you away from good water sources, so bringing several liters of water is key to staving off dangerous dehydration.

Final Thoughts – What To Wear Hiking In Hot Weather

In general, hiking in hot weather requires a bit more planning than hiking in cold temperatures. You need to pay close attention to the weather forecast and plan accordingly, as it’s easy to overlook just how dangerous hot weather can be. 

As an added tip, do try to head out on your hike in the early morning to avoid the peak hours of the day when the sun and heat will be at their worst. 

Countless hikers fall ill and collapse when hiking in extreme temperatures, so don’t put yourself at risk and use as many of these tips and tricks as possible to ensure you have a positive and memorable hiking trip!

Marco Santos

Scroll to top