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Summer hiking outfits for women

17 April 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!

Top 10 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. 

  3. Wear a hat and sunglasses - Protect your face and eyes from the sun's harmful rays with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection. 

  4. 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. 

  5. Choose appropriate footwear - Hiking boots or trail runners with good traction and support are essential for navigating rough terrain and preventing slips and falls. 

  6. 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 and avoid cotton. 

  7. Bring a rain jacket - Summer weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for sudden showers by packing a lightweight rain jacket. 

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

  9. 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. 

  10. 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. 

Putting it all together: Outfit examples for different types of summer hikes

Short and easy walks

Comfortable and breathable clothing that allows for easy movement. 

Base Layer:
Choose a comfortable and breathable base layer. For low-intensity hikes, a cotton blend t-shirt or tank top can suffice, providing comfort and softness. If you often get sweaty or if it’s really hot, choose a t-shirt or tank top in moisture-wicking materials like polyester. 

Wear lightweight and comfortable trousers or shorts that won't restrict your movement. Opt for materials like nylon or polyester that dry quickly and won't cling to your skin. 

Mid Layer:
It can feel colder in the shade of the forest, so make sure to bring a thin fleece as a mid layer. 

Wear comfortable and supportive hiking shoes or trail runners that offer good traction and stability on uneven terrain. Don’t forget to wear breathable socks made from moisture-wicking materials like polyester or wool. 

Hiking Accessories:
Consider wearing a hat with a brim to protect your face and eyes from the sun.  

Long and challenging trails

Durable and multi-functional clothing that keeps you dry. 

Base Layer:
Wear moisture-wicking and breathable clothing to keep sweat away from the skin and to prevent overheating. 

Consider wearing hiking shorts or convertible trousers for increased mobility and flexibility on the trail. Choose lightweight and breathable trousers or shorts made from quick-drying materials.  

Mid Layer:
Dress in layers to regulate your body temperature and adjust to changing weather conditions. A thin fleece can be a good addition to your outfit.  

Wear a supportive and comfortable pair of hiking boots with good ankle support and socks made of moisture-wicking materials to prevent blisters. 

Hiking Accessories:
Consider wearing a hat or visor to protect the face from the sun and keep hair out of the face.  

Hot and sunny hikes

Moisture-wicking clothing that regulates your body temperature. 

Base Layer:
Wear a lightweight and breathable base layer with a looser fit. Consider wearing a long-sleeved, light-colored top made from a moisture-wicking material like polyester. This will help you keep cool while providing sun protection. 

Shorts can be really good during hot summer days, but they also expose your legs to the sun, insects, and thorny bushes. Wearing long trousers or leggings made of lightweight, breathable materials can provide more protection while still keeping you cool and comfortable during your hike. 

Wear breathable hiking shoes or trail runners with moisture-wicking and quick-drying socks. 

Hiking Accessories:
Protect your face and eyes from the sun with a hat. A neck gaiter made of moisture-wicking material can be soaked in cold water and worn around your neck to help keep you cool. 

Do you really need a jacket? 

While summer weather can be warm and sunny, it can also be unpredictable and change quickly, especially in mountainous or forested areas. It's always a good idea to bring a lightweight jacket or raincoat with you on a summer hike, just in case the weather turns cooler or wetter. It can also protect you from wind and provide an extra layer of insulation if you need it. A lightweight and packable rain jacket does not take up too much space or weight in your backpack.