What to Wear When Hiking In Summer? [Complete Guide]

Hiking in summer is very fun. You get to do many interesting things without having to worry about needing practically any proper hiking gear. Many hikers will tell you that you do not need any special gear for hiking in summer aside from some good hiking shoes.

I know that many new hikers think that they need to buy all the summer hiking clothes that they see in stores. In case you are in a position to buy special summer hiking gear, I want to tell you what you should get and what you should avoid. I hope that this will save you a lot of research time and money.

So, stick around for this complete guide on what to wear when hiking during the summer. You will learn all about the best summer hiking gear for both guys and girls and the needed accessories. Let’s get right into the guide and see what it is all about!


hiking in sunny summer day

What Should You Wear For Hiking In Summer?

There are a ton of great summer hiking clothes that you can choose from. These clothes are pretty versatile; they come in different sizes, colors, and a few material options. You should be aware of the materials that are best for summer gear and the right fit for the clothes. Let’s get into the list and see what exactly you need to know about these things:

Hiking Pants

Hiking pants are essential as they can make or break your trip. If you wear uncomfortable clothes that make you sweat or feel itchy, you will not have a pleasant trip. This means that you need to know the perfect type of pants to wear.

Pants with zippers

I would recommend that you get a pair of long pants that have zippers you can use to remove a part of the pant leg. You can turn these types of long pants into short pants in seconds, while they are also a great 2-in-1 option for hikers on a tighter budget.

Waterproof pants

Another thing that I would recommend is that you get either waterproof pants or a pair of rain pants. Rain pants can protect you from excess water or rain, helping you stay dry at all times. That is a great thing because wearing soaked clothes can lead to cold for longer.

Comfortable pants

Your pants should also keep you comfortable for the duration of the hikes. I recommend that you get pants from nylon, polyester, or any material that is breathable and lightweight at the same time. You should also look for pant materials that are quick-drying, easy to clean, and can adjust to the movement of your body.

Hiking Shirts

Hiking shirts are as crucial as hiking pants. Many new hikers rely on cotton shirts at home, but they end up sweating through them quickly. Cotton is not the most suitable material for hiking shirts, so let’s see what material and fit is suitable in this situation:

Shirts with light colors

You do not want to get shirts in dark colors like black. Black color can attract sun rays much more than light colors, and as a result, it will make you sweat a lot more. When you go hiking, the best thing for you to wear is a white shirt with short or long sleeves. Both are good options for summer hiking.

Dri-Fit shirts

I love Dri-Fit shirts as they are best at wicking the sweat and moisture away from your body. They are one of the best body-fitting options suitable for this kind of weather. Even though they do not absorb a lot of moisture, I still recommend that you always bring a few such shirts on your trip and change them if needed.

Loose shirts

If you are not into shirts that wrap your body tightly, you can always go with looser shirts. They are a great choice for warm weather as they make people comfy but still protected. Even if the fit is loose, you should want the shirt to be moisture-wicking and quick-drying.

Shirts from natural fabrics

Hiking shirts from natural materials are the best for this situation. For example, merino wool is the perfect option as it has all quality you would look for in material for hot weather hiking. Still, merino wool is a bit expensive, so you might have to rely on other materials like polyester, nylon, etc.


If you are not into hiking shirts with long sleeves, you can always go with a t-shirt with short sleeves and a fleece on top. Light fleece is the best option for sun protection, although you can always add sunscreen to your arms. Whether you wear a fleece or not is a matter of personal preference, but I recommend getting one and putting it in your backpack. That way, you will have it in case you need it.

Hiking Boots

You might be thinking that you can avoid wearing hiking shoes or boots during the summer. You can always go for a pair of sandals, but they are not always the best option. They can cause some discomfort and can cause blistering if you walk for too long.

Hiking sandals are the more affordable, lighter option. If you ask me, I would recommend that you have both the hiking sandals and hiking boots at your disposal. That way, you can switch between the two when hiking.

The reason why I would recommend hiking shoes or boots is that they offer more protection and safety. You can use them to walk on tough terrain or water. The soles will protect your feet from discomfort, while the shoe will protect your ankles.

Keep in mind that you need to wear your hiking sandals, shoes, or boots before going on a hike with them. Even if they take a long time to wear in, you must go through the process. If you go on a hike with brand new shoes, you will come back home with some brand new blisters!

If you go with hiking shoes or boots, always remember that you need thick hiking socks. If you are hiking in cold or hot weather, thick hiking socks will protect your feet from blistering.

Hiking Accessories

Hiking Accessories

There are a ton of accessories that you need to take with you on a hike if you want to have a good trip. Here is a list of the most important things to pack for the trip!

Sun protection

Always pack some sunscreen. When hiking in the summer, the sun’s rays are very hot, and they can cause sunburn. Who wants to have sleeve tan lines all summer long, am I right?! So, take the sunscreen and do not be afraid to apply a lot of it during the trip.

Hip belt

A hip belt is a great accessory for people who carry smaller backpacks on hiking trips. You can attach several things to this belt, including a flashlight, an insect repellent spray, your sunglasses, a bandana, and even a water bottle. The list is never-ending!


Sunglasses are essential for hot weather as they can improve your vision. With that, you will not have to force your eyes at all. You will be able to see everything without a problem.


You must use something to protect your head. When hiking in the summer, a hat or bandana or any other head-covering can protect your head from becoming too hot. That will also save you from becoming dehydrated and suffering a headache. So, put a hat on – be safe!

What Should You Not Wear While Hiking In Summer?

There are several things you do not need when hiking in hot weather. For example, many people like to take a hoodie or light jacket in case they need it. You and I both know they will not need it, and they are taking this extra weight for no good reason. Here are some of the other clothes you should avoid wearing when hiking in hot weather:

Too thick clothes

Some of the things you should avoid wearing during the summer are clothes that will make you hot and sweaty. It can be a hoodie or a regular t-shirt with long sleeves. If they are not breathable and loose, you will soak in sweat as soon as you hit the trail.

Cotton clothes

Also, I want to mention that you should not wear any cotton clothes. That means t-shirts, sweaters, or anything made from this material will not be a good fit. Stick to natural materials or the more affordable materials like polyester, nylon, etc.

Heavy backpacks

You should not wear a heavy backpack as it will only weigh you down and make you sweat. If the hike is longer, do not pack anything but the essentials. If the hike is shorter, you can take a camelback or a water bottle that you will carry in your hand.

What to Wear When Hiking During Summer Guys

What to Wear When Hiking During Summer: Guys

Even though I have covered some of the things that both guys and girls should wear during the summer, I want to give you a shortlist of the must-haves for summer hikers. Here is what guys should wear during summer hikes:

  • Comfortable hiking underwear that will not cause friction between the legs.

  • Loose, breathable, waterproof hiking pants. You can also wear shorts if you wish to.

  • Loose, breathable shirt with light colors. It can have short or long sleeves.

  • fleece that you will use in case the weather is windy, and you want to protect yourself from getting a cold.

  • Thick socks to protect your feet from injuries

  • Worn in hiking shoes or sandals with foot and ankle support. If you go with hiking shoes, make sure they are durable and waterproof.

  • Sunglasses that you will use to protect your eyes and improve your vision.

  • hat that you will use to protect your head from being too exposed to the sun.

  • Backpack to store your food, water, a change of clothes, a first aid kit, etc.

That should be it. You can take anything you want aside from these things, based on your personal preference.

What to Wear When Hiking During Summer girls

What to Wear When Hiking During Summer: Girls

The things that guys and girls wear to hikes are generally similar. Here are the things that girls would wear when hiking in summer:

  • Comfortable hiking underwear.

  • A breathable, moisture-wicking sports bra.

  • Moisture-wicking hiking t-shirt in light colors.

  • Waterproof, loose pants for hiking or a pair of breathable leggings.

  • Hiking shoes or boots or sandals that have been worn in.

  • fleece in case of windy weather.

  • Comfortable thick socks to protect the feet.

  • Accessories like backpacks, sunglasses, bandanas, hats, and so on.

Depending on the climate, you can switch some things on this list. If it is raining, I do not recommend going with sandals as your feet will be soaking in rainwater and freezing for most of the trip. So, keep the weather conditions in mind when dressing and packing for your trip.

Other Essentials You Need To Know

Aside from the hiking clothes, I would like to mention a few other essentials you need to know. These are crucial to you having a great trip. Here they are:

  • First aid kit - you need to have it in case of emergency or an accident.

  • Navigation tools - will help you get around the trail without any problems.

  • Multi-tool - you can use it to set up camp, get firewood, eat your lunch, etc.

  • Enough water and food to last you for the duration of the trip!


Thank you for sticking with me through this guide. I hope that you learned a lot of valuable information on the type of gear you need for summer hikes. Do not forget to consider the notes I made when buying some new hiking gear.

Let me know what your favorite brand for summer hiking clothes is. I would love to hear your thoughts on the gear I recommended, but you can feel free to share your recommendation in the comments. I cannot wait to read everything you write!

Andrew Mullen

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