Considerations When Choosing Your Summer Outdoor Clothing
Shorts and a tee, right? Most people think summer outdoor clothing choices are easy to make. It is hot and you are likely doing something active outside so shorts and a t-shirt will suffice. However, dressing for summer is much more complicated than that. There are several considerations to think about when choosing your summer clothing for outdoor activities.
The main point to consider is what activities are you planning to be doing outside, in what sometimes can be extreme heat. This is when your outdoor clothing choices impact you the most. For example, you want to choose lightweight outdoor clothing if you are planning a summer hike or in contrast, if you are heading to the lake for some fishing and swimming you would want to have your camo bikinis and swimwear. Regardless of what you are planning this summer, there are several tips when it comes choosing outdoor apparel for active lifestyles in the summer.
Summer Outdoor Clothing Tips
The two most important factors in summer clothing choices are staying cool and protecting yourself from sun exposure. In almost every summer outdoor activity, these two factors are prevalent and can make or break your experience. As summer approaches in full force across the country, here are a few clothing tips to beat the heat and make the most out of every summer adventure.
Outdoor clothing starts with the material it is made from. Different activities require different kinds of clothing made from different materials. For instance, answering the question “what do you wear to go hiking?” has a much different answer than if instead of hiking it is hanging out with a few buddies around a campfire. Hiking will require more lightweight, breathable clothing while you are usually safe with a camo t-shirt and shorts for sitting around the campfire.
Cotton will hold moisture so activities, where you will be sweating a lot, means cotton clothing will stick to your skin and reduce the cooling benefits of your sweat leading to overheating. Moisture wicking fabrics will keep you dry and allow sweat to work, thus keeping you cooler and reducing the potential for heat-related illnesses. The material in summer outdoor apparel also can come with built-in benefits like sun protection. These fabrics provide an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) that blocks UV rays to protect your skin from the sun but also allows heat to escape to keep you cool.
Color is More Than a Fashion Statement
Adding Lifestyle Camo® to your summer wardrobe does more than just make a fashion statement. Second to only the material of your clothing, the color of outdoor clothing is the next important consideration. Darker colors absorb heat and lighter colors reflect it. All day sun and heat exposure should be matched with light colored clothing to keep you cool and reflect the sun’s heat, whereas darker colored clothing is more appropriate for cloudy summer days or evenings when temperatures fall.
Hats Are Important
Hats are usually thought of as more beneficial when it comes to cold weather outdoor clothing because most heat is lost through your head. However, the same principal holds true in the summer. Heat is being released through your head but when the temperatures are hot and not cold you do not want to trap heat in but rather release it. Hats are beneficial in summer as they are worn to reduce sun exposure around your head and neck and keep the sun out of your eyes. Choose one that is lightweight and breathable so that it does not trap the heat being released from your head.
Generally, the summer clothing tips above are transferable to most outdoor activities. Though, there are some activities that have specific clothing needs beyond these general tips. Let’s specifically discuss two popular summer outdoor activities and the types of outdoor apparel best suited for them.
Summer Hiking Clothing Tips
Hiking, even moderate hiking in the summer, is a strenuous activity that is going to work up a sweat. For that reason, you want hiking clothing that is loose fitting, lightweight, dries quickly and is light in color. These attributes will keep you cool as you perspire and protect you from the elements at the same time. Additionally, here are a few summer hiking clothing recommendations to keep you on the trail.
- Wear not just any old hat but choose a wide brim hat to help reduce insects from around your head and protect you completely from the sun. One made from mesh or other lightweight fabric works best to keep your head cool.
- Choose loose fitting and lightweight outdoor clothing to allow proper air circulation and freedom to move on the trail. The lighter the better as it breathes more and dries quickly either from sweat or the unfortunate stream accident or stray thunderstorm.
- Lightweight boots and quality socks will make all the difference. Sore feet quickly ruin a hike and can be avoided with lightweight boots that breathe and are comfortable. Your boots do not matter if you have a bad pair of socks underneath them. Look for pairs with cooling properties and made with a majority of wool blends which will be durable, and have natural moisture wicking and antibacterial properties.
- Pack outerwear just in case. Summer heat can pop up thunderstorms fast in the wilds and being wet, or soaked, could chill you fast especially near nightfall. Having a packable rain jacket as a standard part of your hiking equipment is a necessity no matter how hot or how confident you are you will not need it.
Fishing Clothing Tips for Summer
Not much is better than being on a lake or stream in the summer fishing. For summertime fishing, you should be wearing clothing that is comfortable and protects you from the sun. Unlike hiking, fishing is less strenuous and sun exposure rather than overheating usually becomes your biggest challenge.
- Layer up with your summer clothing for fishing. Start with a light t-shirt then add a long sleeve UPF rated shirt to block the sun yet keep you cool. For pants, shorts work fine but pants work better. Again you want as little skin exposed to the sun as possible.
- Stay concealed with good fishing camo patterns. Especially in shallow water when fishing or bowfishing, you want to blend in so fish do not see you. Forego the bright yellows and oranges but instead choose dull grays and blues and specifically designed fishing camo clothing.
- Complete sun protection means gloves and a facemask. Anglers in the summer are typically already wearing a hat but few are wearing gloves and a facemask. These summer outdoor apparel accessories protect against reflective sunlight rays coming off the water.
To summarize, summer outdoor clothing is clearly much more than shorts and a t-shirt. Having the right summer clothing to go with the activity will ultimately make it more enjoyable and safer in the hot summer sun.