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Summer Hiking Tips: What Gear to Wear

Summer Hiking Tips: What Gear to Wear

Are you planning a summer hiking trip? If so, it's time to gear up for your experience with clothing and products that fit, keep you cool, and are long-lasting. Check out our summer hiking tips to find the essentials for your outdoor adventures, so you can enjoy an unforgettable time in the sunshine.

Essential Clothing Items for Summer Hiking

Summer hiking calls for clothing and gear designed to keep you comfortable and protected in warmer temperatures. Let's dive into the essential clothing items for summer hiking.

Moisture-Wicking Tops

Wearing moisture-wicking tops is crucial during summer hikes to help keep you cool and dry. Moisture-wicking materials are designed to lift sweat away from your body and transfer it to the surface of the fabric where it can evaporate more quickly. This helps regulate your body temperature and prevent overheating. Look for materials like polyester, nylon and merino wool when choosing your summer hiking tops.

Pro Tip: Avoid cotton at all costs, as it absorbs moisture and can cause chafing, making your hike potentially uncomfortable.

Lightweight Hiking Pants or Shorts

Similar to the importance of a moisture-wicking top, lightweight hiking pants or shorts are also essential during summer adventures. They allow for increased airflow and help keep your legs cool and comfortable. Look for materials that dry quickly, like nylon, since you might encounter mud, streams or unexpected weather during your hike.

Many hikers prefer pants with zip-off legs since they can be converted to shorts as temperatures fluctuate throughout the day, so you stay comfortable no matter what.

Sun Protection Clothing

During summer hikes, it's essential to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Look for clothing with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to filter out the majority of the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can shield your face and eyes from the sun, preventing sunburn and glare.

Remember to apply sunscreen on exposed skin, including your neck and the back of your hands, for added protection.

Breathable Socks and Footwear

Your feet bear the brunt of your hike, so it's essential to keep them as comfortable as possible. Shop for moisture-wicking, breathable socks to help keep your feet dry and cool. Materials like merino wool or synthetic blends are great choices since they wick away moisture and provide cushioning.

Choosing lightweight, well-ventilated footwear is equally important. Look for shoes or boots with mesh panels and a moisture-wicking lining that allow for increased airflow and quick-drying capabilities.

Hydration and Nutrition for Summer Hiking

Maintaining proper hydration and nutrition during your summer hikes will keep you going on long, hot days. Let's discuss how to stay hydrated and fueled while enjoying your outdoor adventures.

Water Bottles or Hydration Systems

Ensuring you have enough water during summer hikes is crucial to prevent dehydration and maintain your energy. While hiking, it's generally recommended to drink at least one liter of water per hour. Depending on your hike's length, the temperature, and water sources, you might need to carry multiple water bottles or a hydration system.

Hydration systems, like hydration bladders with drinking tubes, are convenient and efficient, since you can drink water without stopping your hike. However, carrying water bottles is also efficient. If you do need to carry around water bottles, make sure there's plenty of space in your bag!

Electrolyte Replacements

Sweating during summer hikes can cause a loss of electrolytes, which are essential minerals responsible for maintaining balance in your body. Replacing these electrolytes is vital to avoid cramps and keep your muscles moving. Consider adding electrolyte tablets or powders into your water or carrying sports drinks specifically designed for replenishing lost electrolytes.

You can also stock up on electrolyte-rich snacks like bananas, dried fruits or pretzels during your hike.

Nutrient-Dense Snacks

When hiking in the summer, your body will burn more calories and require more energy. Having nutrient-dense snacks on hand can help replenish your energy levels and provide a well-needed boost. Bring along high-calorie, lightweight and easy-to-consume snacks like trail mix, energy bars, nuts and jerky.

Be sure to pack your snacks in easily accessible pockets or containers, so you're more likely to consume them regularly throughout your hike.

By incorporating these essential clothing items, hydration strategies and nutrition tips into your hiking, you'll be equipped to have a safe and memorable summer in the sun.

Backpack and Accessories for Summer Hiking

In addition to having the right clothes and nutrition, you'll need to gear up for summer hiking with the right backpack and accessories. Let's take a look at some tips for finding the right gear.

Lightweight Backpack

A lightweight backpack is essential for summer hiking. A heavy pack can cause strain on your back and shoulders and make it hard to take longer trips. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect lightweight backpack for your needs:

  • Look for a pack with a capacity between 20-35 liters, depending on the length of your hike.
  • Make sure your backpack has proper ventilation and comfortable padding to minimize sweat buildup and discomfort on hot summer days.
  • Choose a pack with various compartments and pockets for easy organization and access to gear.
  • Look for water-resistant or waterproof material to protect your belongings from unexpected rain showers.

Map, Compass, and Navigation Tools

To keep yourself on track and in the right areas, carry gear like maps, a compass or other navigation tools like a GPS device or smartphone with downloaded maps. Also, before heading out, familiarize yourself with the area and have a plan for your route.

Practice using your compass and map to navigate your way around the area. And it's always a good idea to share your hiking plans with friends or family, so they know your whereabouts in case of an emergency.

Additional Accessories: Trekking Poles, Sun Hat, and Sunglasses

Here are some other accessories to consider taking on your summer hikes:

  • Trekking Poles: These poles can help reduce stress on your knees, especially during steep ascents or descents, and improve balance on uneven terrain.
  • Sun Hat: A wide-brimmed hat with UPF protection can shield your face and neck from the sun, keeping you cool and minimizing the risk of sunburn.
  • Sunglasses: Look for sunglasses with 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays. Polarized lenses can help reduce glare and improve clarity on bright, sunny days.

Remember, you may need to shop for more personalized accessories depending on your chosen trail. A trekking pole may not be needed for a flat, woodsy hike, but if you'll be climbing mountains or an uneven landscape, these poles can make a big difference.

Safety Gear for Summer Hiking

Safety should never be compromised while hiking, regardless of the season or length of your hike. And in the summer, it's important to stay safe from the heat and keep these must-have items in your bag:

First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have for any outdoor adventure. Be prepared to handle minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes and blisters, with the following items:

  • Adhesive bandages in different sizes
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Blister treatment pads or moleskin
  • Tweezers
  • Pain relief medication
  • An emergency blanket

Don't forget to include personal medications and customize your first aid kit according to the nature of your hike.

Insect Repellent and Sunscreen

Effective insect repellent is crucial for keeping pests at bay. When choosing an insect repellent, look for products containing 20-30% DEET or natural alternatives like lemon eucalyptus oil. Apply the repellent on exposed skin and clothing, as per the product's directions.

It's also essential to protect your skin from overexposure to the sun to avoid sunburn and long-term skin damage. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply frequently throughout the day, especially after sweating or swimming.

Emergency Items: Whistle, Headlamp, Personal Locator Beacon

Carrying emergency items such as a whistle, headlamp and personal locator beacon on your summer hike can make a huge difference in case of the unexpected. Here's why:

  • Whistle: A whistle can be heard over long distances and is more effective than shouting when signaling for help in distress.
  • Headlamp: A headlamp not only provides light during night hikes but also serves as a backup if you find yourself stranded or delayed. Having a light source can help you navigate your way back to safety and signal for help if needed.
  • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB): A PLB can be a lifesaver in emergency situations where you're unable to call for help. A PLB sends a distress signal with your location to search and rescue satellites, alerting authorities and expediting the rescue process.

With these essential backpack and safety accessories in hand, you'll be prepared to tackle summer trails with confidence, knowing you have the gear to make your hiking experience enjoyable and safe.

About Stio

If you're looking for functional, beautiful summer outdoor clothing, Stio is here to help. Stio was founded to inspire connection with the outdoors through products that work well and help us immerse ourselves in nature. From moisture-wicking gear to rainwear and versatile footwear, let us help you find the best products so you can find quiet moments this summer to enjoy the natural world.

Summer Hiking Gear FAQs

What are the essential summer hiking gears?

Essential summer hiking items include a lightweight backpack, proper hiking boots or shoes, moisture-wicking clothing, sun protection, navigation tools, hydration system and a basic first aid kit. These items help ensure a safe and pleasant experience while enjoying the great outdoors.

How to choose the perfect hiking boots/shoes?

Choosing hiking boots or shoes depends on your personal preferences, the type of terrain you'll encounter, and the duration of your hike. Factors to consider include waterproofing, breathability, weight, durability and support. Moreover, it's important to try different pairs to find the perfect fit and break them in before hitting the trails.

When should I replace my hiking boots?

Hiking boots have a limited lifespan, and you should replace them when they begin to fail at protecting your feet or providing necessary support. Look for signs like worn-out soles, separating materials and decreasing comfort. Most hiking boots last for 500-1000 miles, depending on the quality, materials and care.

What are the best fabrics for a summer hike?

During the summer, lightweight, breathable and quick-drying fabrics are ideal. Materials like polyester, nylon and merino wool are perfect for wicking moisture away from your body, drying quickly, and keeping you comfortable. Avoid cotton, as it retains moisture and can cause discomfort, chafing and increased body temperature.

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