What to Wear When Hiking in Hot Weather

Updated Dec 23, 2022
what to wear when hiking in hot weather

When hiking in hot weather, what you wear is extremely important. Not only do you want to be comfortable, but you also want to be safe. In this blog post, we will discuss what to wear when hiking in hot weather, as well as what type of gear is recommended. We’ll also give you some tips on how to layer your clothing properly so that you can stay cool and comfortable on your hike!

Choose UPF Clothing

UPF clothing is one of the best things to happen when it comes to hiking in hot and/or sunny weather, and you should always wear this protection on your hikes, regardless of how hot it is. It’s been designed for sun protection and helps keep you cool, even on the hottest and sunniest of days.

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which refers to the level of protection it provides from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The higher the UPF number, the better the sun protection. A UPF rating of 15 is a minimal amount of protection, while 30 is good and 50+ is excellent. A UPF of 50 permits only about 2% of the UV rays to penetrate, leaving you 98% protected from the rays.

Cover Up

While it may seem counter-intuitive to cover up in the heat, it’s one of the best things you can do. You need to protect your skin from being exposed to the sun for too long, or else you’ll end up with a nasty sunburn.

There are many different types of clothing that offer UPF protection, from shirts and pants to hats and gloves. You could also opt for a lightweight long-sleeve shirt that has vents or holes cut out of it for breathability, which will help keep you cool.

Choose Light-Colored Clothing

Light-colored clothing is another good choice when hiking in hot weather, as it reflects the sun’s rays. This will help keep you cooler than if you were to wear dark-colored clothing.

Wear Loose Fitting Clothing

Loose fitting clothing is a good choice when hiking in hot weather, as it allows your skin to breathe and helps keep you cool. Tight-fitting clothing can trap heat and moisture against your body, which will make you feel uncomfortable and sweaty. Also, clothing that fit tightly stretch the fabric’s weave, decreasing the UPF rating.

Put a Hat On

While it may not seem like much, what you put on your head can be one of the most important factors in keeping cool while hiking. Hats help to keep the sun off of your head and face, and also prevent you from sweating profusely.

A hiking hat is especially important if you’re going to be hiking in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its peak. A wide-brimmed hat is best, as it covers more of your head, ears, and neck than a baseball cap.

Choose the Right Shoes

You’ll want to choose shoes that are made for hiking and that have good ventilation. If you’re hiking in hot weather, it’s also a good idea to take along a pair of sandals or water shoes, so you can cool your feet off in a stream or river if you come across one.

Part of choosing the right footwear includes wearing the right socks. Avoid socks that are made of cotton, and instead opt for wool and synthetic materials that will wick the sweat more effectively. Managing sweat on your feet is one of the best ways to prevent blisters while hiking.

The Ultimate List for What to Wear When Hiking in Hot Weather

Here we’ve assembled our favorite suggestions for specific items of clothing that we love when it comes to sun protection and keeping cool.

UPF 50+ Hiking Shirt – These shirts is made from a fabric with UPF 50+ protection to shield you from harmful UV rays. It’s also made from a lightweight and breathable fabric, so your skin can breathe while you’re hiking. These are great suggestions for men and women

UPF 50+ Hiking Pants – These pants are great for summer hikes as they have built-in UPF protection and are moisture wicking to keep you cool in the heat. Check out our favorites for both men and women!

UPF 50+ Buff – this CoolNet UV+ Buff has built in insect shield, which is an odorless insect repellent that lasts up to 70 washes. 

Sun Hat – this 360 degree wide brim hat provides great protection for your ears, neck, and face, while also wicking extra moisture and providing a UPF of 50+. 

Related Post: Best Hiking Hats of 2022

Wool Socks – Several companies make great wool blend socks for both that are lightweight but still provide light cushioning and sweat wicking. Here is our selection of the Best Hiking Socks and sock liners

Related Post: Best Hiking Socks

Sunscreen – while this isn’t a physical item that you wear and is actually something you apply, it’s always something you should have on when outdoors, especially when on hot weather hikes and during sun exposure. 


Knowing what to wear when hiking in hot weather can be a challenge, but with the right clothing and gear you’ll be able to stay cool and comfortable on your hike. Be sure to choose light-colored, loose fitting clothing made from breathable materials, put a hat on your head, and choose the right shoes for your hike. And don’t forget sunscreen! Sunscreen should always be used when hiking, even on cloudy days.

We hope this list of what to wear when hiking in hot weather helps you stay safe and comfortable on your next hike! Stay cool out there!

About the Author

Ashley Vitiello

Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, hiking, wildflowers, and mushrooms. If she isn’t writing content for Know Nothing Nomads, she’s probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley

Know Nothing Nomads