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Summer Hiking Outfits for Women

April 17, 2023

Are you planning a summer hiking adventure but struggling to figure out what to wear? Finding the right hiking outfit can make all the difference in your comfort and enjoyment on the trail. We've got you covered with practical tips and stylish outfit ideas. Get ready to hit the trail with confidence and comfort!

Hiking in summer is not always hot and sunny (at least not in Sweden), so knowing how to dress for changing weather and for different types of hikes is essential. The right outfit can help regulate your body temperature, protect you against the sun and prevent chafing and blisters.  It’s about staying comfortable - and looking good doing it!


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13 tips for choosing the perfect summer hiking outfit

1. Choose moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics

Opt for synthetic or wool fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin and allow air to circulate to keep you cool and dry.

2. Avoid cotton

Cotton clothing tends to absorb moisture, which can leave you feeling sweaty and uncomfortable during a hike. Hiking with wet clothes and socks can also cause chafing. However, for low-intensity hikes in hot, dry climates, the breathability of cotton can provide comfort, making a cotton blend t-shirt a viable option.

3. Choose the right sleeve length

Short sleeves offer more breathability and freedom of movement, ideal for intense hikes or warmer days. However, long sleeves can provide added protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays and prevent bug bites. Lightweight, breathable fabrics with long sleeves can be a smart choice for extended outdoor exposure, ensuring you stay cool while shielding your skin.

4. Choose the right fit

A loose fit is more breathable, keeping you cool as air circulates more freely. On the other hand, a tighter fit is better for moisture-wicking, pulling sweat away from your skin to keep you dry during those intense hikes. Choose what works best for your activity level and weather conditions!

5. Dress in layers

Layers allow you to easily adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a mid-layer for warmth if needed, and finish with a lightweight, breathable outer layer to protect against wind and rain. In warm weather, you might not need the mid-layer, but it's wise to carry one just in case you find yourself feeling chilly in shady areas. The outer layer is also useful for wind protection on breezy days.

6. Opt for shorts if you need cooling and ventilation

Opt for hiking shorts on hot days or when tackling well-maintained trails. Shorts offer unbeatable ventilation, helping you stay cool as temperatures rise. They're perfect for leisurely hikes where you want maximum comfort and freedom of movement. Just remember, shorts leave your legs exposed to the sun, insects, and thorny bushes, so consider your trail's conditions before setting out.

7. Opt for trousers or leggings if you need protection

Full-length hiking pants are your go-to for cooler weather, dense vegetation, or rough terrain. They protect your legs from scratches, irritant plants, and insect bites while also offering additional warmth when the temperature drops. Consider pants with breathable, moisture-wicking, and lightweight materials to maintain comfort without sacrificing protection.

8. Choose appropriate footwear

Hiking boots or trail runners with good traction and support are essential for navigating rough terrain and preventing slips and falls. Opt for breathable materials over waterproof ones, as they allow for better air circulation and quicker drying in warm weather. Remember, while waterproof shoes can keep moisture out, non-waterproof footwear will dry out faster and keep your feet cooler, preventing discomfort from sweaty feet.

9. Wear socks that fit well

Properly fitting socks can prevent blisters and keep your feet dry and comfortable. Look for socks made of moisture-wicking materials like polyester or wool, and avoid cotton.

10. Bring a rain jacket

Summer weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for sudden showers by packing a lightweight rain jacket. It does not take up too much space and weight in your backpack.

11. Wear clothing with ventilation zippers

Ventilation zippers on jackets and trousers allow for better airflow and temperature regulation, keeping you cool and comfortable during summer hikes while still offering protection against the elements.

12. Opt for light colors

Light-colored clothing reflects the sun's rays, keeping you cooler than darker colors, which can absorb heat.

13. Protect yourself from the sun and from heat stroke

Protect your face and eyes from the sun's harmful rays with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection. To protect yourself from overheating, you can soak a moisture-wicking neck gaiter in cold water and wear it around your neck. As the water evaporates, it helps to cool you down.

14. Don't forget sunscreen and bug spray

Don't forget to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and bug spray to all exposed skin before getting dressed. This will ensure that you're protected from harmful UV rays and pesky bugs during your hike.