5 Ways to Stay Cool While Hiking in the Heat-Panergy
Hiking in hot weather can get… well, hot!
Temperatures easily and frequently exceed 100°F where I live, and when you’re hiking in that temperature with limited shade, you want to do everything you can to stay cool.
In this post, I have 5 simple tips for staying cool on all your hot weather hikes this Summer!
Let’s get started.
Hot Weather Hiking Tips
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1) Your Clothing
Light colored clothing reflects heat, while darker colored clothing tends to absorb it.
When I’m going on a really hot hike, I like to wear light colored clothing, whenever I can.
In addition to light colored clothing, nowadays you can find clothing that’s specifically made to help keep you cool.
Patagonia’s Capilene Cool fabric is my absolute favorite. I have 2 different styles and I linked my favorite below!
It’s made with a quick-drying, moisture-wicking stretch fabric and provides 50+ UPF protection.
I know that it might seem counterintuitive to wear long-sleeves on a hot hike, but this fabric is so light and breathable, and I love that I don’t need to worry about sunscreen on my arms!
My Favorite Hot Weather Hiking Shirt:
Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody (I seriously love this top!)
Patagonia Sunshade Hooded Shirt (same fabric, just slightly thicker)
Backcountry Tahoe Sun Hoody
2) Wear Loose Fitting Clothing
The next tip is to avoid wearing super tight clothes and swap them for looser options.
Looser clothing will allow for more air circulation as you hike to help keep you cool.
3) Bring A Buff
“Buff” is just the name brand of a headband or neck gaitor. It’s “multifunctional headwear” that offers sun protection.
Why is this great for hot weather hiking?
You can get it wet and wear it around your neck or as a headband to help keep you cool.
I prefer to wear it around my neck and then rotate it as I hike.
4) Avoid The Hottest Time Of Day
This next tip is probably pretty obvious, but it’s to avoid hiking in the hottest time of day, which is typically 12pm-3pm.
I’m a total morning person, so I love to get an early start and be done hiking around the hottest time of day.
Also, I try to hike in the shade as much as possible, or at least take frequent breaks in the shade during hot hikes.
Don’t underestimate a good break in the shade!
When hiking, it’s important to be self-aware and stop when you need a break, especially when you’re in the heat.
5) Stay Hydrated
This last point is important on every hike.
Proper hydration is crucial, and it will actually help keep you cool.
Too many people go for hours without drinking and then stop and chug a bunch of water - this is not a good practice.
Drink frequently, and make sure you’re carrying plenty of water for the duration of your hike.
In addition to water, you also need to replenish electrolytes in order to stay hydrated.
Of course, in the hot summer travel essential equipment is a portable fan