Hiking in the summer offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

However, dressing appropriately is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience on the trails.

In hot weather, it’s important to choose clothing that keeps you cool, protects you from the sun, and allows for easy movement. In this guide, we’ll provide you with tips on how to dress for hiking in the summer.

Dress for Hiking in Summer

Choose Moisture-Wicking Fabrics

When dressing for summer hiking, prioritize moisture-wicking fabrics for your clothing.

Materials like polyester, nylon, and merino wool are excellent choices as they draw sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your hike.

Avoid cotton as it tends to retain moisture and can cause discomfort during prolonged physical activity.

Opt for Lightweight and Breathable Clothing

Select lightweight and breathable clothing to stay cool on the trails.

Loose-fitting shirts and shorts made from breathable fabrics allow for better air circulation, preventing overheating.

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Consider shirts with ventilation panels or mesh inserts for added airflow.

If you prefer extra coverage, opt for lightweight long-sleeved shirts to protect your skin from the sun.

Wear a Hat for Sun Protection

Wearing a hat is crucial for protecting your face, neck, and head from direct sunlight. Choose a wide-brimmed hat made from a breathable material like cotton or nylon to keep your head cool.

A wide-brimmed hat also provides additional shade for your eyes, reducing glare and preventing sunburn on your face.

Protect Your Eyes with Sunglasses

Invest in a pair of high-quality sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Polarized lenses can reduce glare, especially if you’re hiking near water or at higher elevations.

Wrap-around styles can also provide additional coverage from sunlight and dust.

Apply Sunscreen Liberally

Before heading out on your hike, apply a generous amount of sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin.

Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF rating to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you’re sweating heavily or swimming.

Select Comfortable and Supportive Footwear

Your choice of footwear is crucial for a comfortable hiking experience.

Opt for lightweight and breathable hiking shoes or boots that provide ample support and traction.

The Best Women Leggings for Hiking in Summer 2023

Look for pairs with good arch support and cushioning to reduce fatigue and discomfort during long hikes.

Consider Wearing Hiking Sandals

For less demanding trails or water crossings, consider wearing hiking sandals.

Hiking sandals offer excellent breathability and allow your feet to breathe during hot weather. Choose sandals with sturdy soles and adjustable straps for a secure fit.

Dress in Layers for Temperature Fluctuations

While summer days can be hot, temperatures can drop during early mornings or at higher elevations.

Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to temperature fluctuations.

Start with a moisture-wicking base layer and add a lightweight long-sleeved shirt or a breathable jacket that can be easily removed if it gets warmer.

Carry a Lightweight Backpack

Carry a lightweight backpack to store essentials such as water, snacks, a map, a first aid kit, and extra layers.

Look for a backpack with adjustable straps and a padded back panel for comfort.

A hydration system or a water reservoir is also convenient for staying hydrated during your hike.


Dressing appropriately for summer hiking is essential to ensure a comfortable and safe outdoor adventure. Choose moisture-wicking fabrics, lightweight and breathable clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection. Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen liberally to protect your eyes and skin from UV rays. Select comfortable and supportive footwear, and consider hiking sandals for certain trail conditions. Dressing in layers and carrying a lightweight backpack are also important for adapting to changing weather and having all the essentials at hand. By following these tips, you can make the most of your summer hikes and enjoy the beauty of nature while staying cool and comfortable on the trails.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Q: Is it necessary to wear long-sleeved shirts in the summer for hiking?
    A: Long-sleeved shirts made from lightweight and breathable fabrics can offer sun protection without causing overheating. They can also protect your arms from scratches and insect bites on overgrown trails.

  2. Q: Should I wear a specific type of socks for summer hiking?
    A: Choose moisture-wicking and quick-drying socks made from materials like merino wool or synthetic blends. These socks help prevent blisters and keep your feet dry and comfortable during hot weather.

  3. Q: Can I wear shorts for hiking in the summer?
    A: Yes, shorts made from moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics can be suitable for summer hiking. Just ensure they provide enough coverage and protection from the sun and rough terrain.

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