What To Wear Hiking In Summer in 2020

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Are you a hiker, you know, in love with the trails? This is for you:

Hiking is great. It is a lot of fun too. However, it is even greater and more fun in warm water. However, you have to know what to wear hiking in summer.

By the time I am writing this article, it is late May 2020.

I know… sad time to be writing this article especially for outdoor enthusiasts. Covid-19 has locked all of us inside our homes. Tell you what though, as soon as we can, we will take to the trails.

What should I wear for a day hike in summer?

  • Loose clothing – nothing too tight for airflow
  • Light summer hiking shoes
  • Light and breathable clothing
  • Shorts or light pants
  • Polyester and nylon materials
  • Waterproof, lightweight rain jacket
  • Hiking sandals for paved trails

This is not a very new topic on this blog. We have touched on its severally on articles that you can find below:

What to wear on a hike and still look cute

What to wear on a hiking date

However, a good thing bears repeating several times. Your outfit for hiking in summer can make or break your trail experience.

Here are a few important things that you must have on your person.

Summer Underwear

Do you wear underwear when hiking? Underwear is a must-have item for hiking, whether in cold or hot weather.

Cotton, and other natural fiber underwear is tempting.

However, do not wear cotton. Seriously, this will soak up the sweat and chaff your skin. It can make hiking hell.

If you must do natural material, ensure it is wool. It has this fantastic quality of wicking away the sweat and leaving you feeling dry and comfy all day.

Synthetic underwear is your best bet for summer. You can try boxers like ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxer and panties such as ExOfficio Women’s Give-N-Go Bikini Briefs

Sorry ladies – only panties, boxers and under shorts here. This is not the time for that thong or stringy G-string.

Are compression shorts good for hiking? Yes they are, but they must be made of synthetic material.

Shirt and t-shirt

You can’t very well hike in the sun without a good shirt.

You need to choose your shirt material carefully. First, it must not retain moisture. You see, hiking in the heat is a lot of work, sweat generating work. Therefore, you need a shirt that will wick the moisture away from your skin.

Wool t-shirts work very well. Wool is the blue boy of the outdoors because it does not develop odor. It also dries faster.

You could also wear shirts such as Little Donkey Andy Men’s Stretch shirt. Another good option is the ZITY Men’s Quick Dry T-Shirt.

I mean, there are hundreds of options for you.

Summer hiking pants and shorts

When it comes to summer hiking pants and shorts for both men and women, you will be spoilt for choice.

Not only do these pants feel comfortable, they also let your legs get some air. They also last a long time. However, be sure to only choose hiking items.

In case an afternoon shower catches you outside, you need pants that can dry faster. Perhaps you will be hiking waterfall trails. The looser the pants are (not too loose as to look ridiculous), the better!

What pants to wear for hiking? You can choose convertible hiking pants. These have many benefits.

When it gets colder in the evening, you can add the leg part and turn it into full pants. When the sun is up, you can unzip the leg part and remain with the shorts.

There are convertible pants for men, women and even youths.

Women can also find nice summer trail shorts. However, if you will be gone most of the day, please check the weather forecast. If rain and cold wind are in the forecast, well, ditch the shorts for pants.

You can buy Columbia Women’s Anytime Outdoor Long Short on Amazon.com.

Shoes and Socks

What shoe is best for hiking in summer?

Well, trail footwear is very important. Generally, you should choose lightweight hiking boots or shoes.

But that is the general rule of thumb! Most of the time, what you wear should be determined by the terrain that you will be hiking.

Can you wear hiking boots in the summer?

If you will be doing difficult or extremely difficult trails, you need hard trail boots. If you will be hiking in areas prone with snakes and insects, you need good boots.

Boots give you good ankle support. Shoes do not. Therefore, for steep trails, choose hiking boots.

For the easy to moderate trails, choose hiking shoes.

Do not wear your trails shoes or boots straight out of the box. They can give you nasty blisters or ball of foot pain. Take a few to several days before the hiking trip to break them in.

What kind of socks to wear hiking in the summer? Well, AVOID COTTON SOCKS!

If your feet sweat, and they will, well, cotton socks absorb moisture and they do not let it go fast enough. That my friend is how people get blisters!

Merino wool socks are the best for hiking in the heat. Synthetic socks are also a good choice for you. These ones wick the moisture away, keeping your skin safe from chaffing.

Lightweight rain jacket

What is the best lightweight waterproof jacket? Such would be a good choice for hiking in the heat.

It does not matter whether you are going for a day hike in summer or for a couple hours hike. But:

You need a lightweight rain jacket. Get a packable one like Columbia Women’s Switchback Iii jacket.

You never know when the weather could turn. It is not much weight. It is simple, has many pockets to store a few personal items.

Besides, if you do not need to wear it, you can simply pack it away in your backpack. Such jackets fold really small. You can refer to my article on how to fold clothes into a backpack.

Best backpack for summer hiking

You will still need a backpack for hiking in the heat. Because you will need to carry food, snacks and a lot of water, make it a moderate size. This means 35 liters or so.

The best day hiking backpack is light in weight, has many storage pockets and two r three big compartments for your jacket, extra t-shirt and so on.

Most importantly, it should have clips to attach your hiking poles. It should also have side pockets for your water bottle or for your coffee mug.

When you are on the trails, you actually live off your backpack. You can try the


You have seen what to wear hiking in summer. You may also buy sunglasses and a hat especially if the sun is blazing hot.

Helpful Tip: How do you stay cool while hiking? Drink a lot of water, hike in the shade whenever you can and bring a hat too.