I put more effort into my desert attire than other climates. I know that the desert could be cruel with its extreme heat and low humidity. That’s why I’m careful when choosing my desert hiking clothing.
Picking the right clothes to wear is not only for my own safety but also for me to be able to maximize the fun while I’m hiking. The desert is a trail that few hikers dare to tread. If you are up for a challenge, be sure you are ready.
Why do you need your body to stay covered in the desert?
On my first desert hike, I thought wearing shorts, and sleeveless shirts are appropriate. My purpose was to make myself cool from the warm weather. But I was wrong.
The longer I expose my skin to the heat of the sun and air, the more evaporation transpires. As what my fellow hikers once told me, “You cover up, miss! Or You’ll end up roasted.” I found out that the chance is higher to survive in the desert when you are rightfully covered than not.
No wonder, everyone was well-dressed, except me.
Desert Hiking Clothing: My New List
The second time around, I came prepared. Desert hiking was fun after all. After my first lesson, I had to dump my outfits and buy new ones.
Would you like to know about my latest desert fashion? I bet, I would still stand out.
1. Long Pants
Long pants are a good idea when walking in the desert. It protects my legs from the sunburn due to exposure to UV rays. Desert bushes are a bother too; some are thorny that it scratches the skin.
Imagine my discomfort and pain when sweat trickles down the scratched and sunburnt skin. Therefore, it’s practical to wear loose pants. It gives space for the air to flow inside and gives a feeling of coolness. Since it’s loose, don’t forget to wear a belt.
2. Cotton Long Sleeve
I get it that long sleeves cover and protect my arms from sun exposure. But why does it have to be cotton? Well, cotton is an advantage when you’re in a hot climate.
Sweat evaporates at a slower rate when you wear cotton. Because of this, our body has enough time to feel the coolness that evaporation brings. Besides, I recommend to select a collared shirt for your neck’s extra protection and the same as the pants, a bit baggy for your size.
Choosing the right underwear is not just essential when you are in the desert. It’s crucial for all hiking trips. It is best to wear one that has a perfect fit, tight enough to feel comfortable and prevent chafing.
I recommend choosing a nylon material since it dries quick. When you get to hike more often, you will understand how depressing a chafing can make your day.
Do you have a broad-brimmed hat? As much as possible, protect your head at all cost. Wearing a hat can protect not only your head but also your neck and shoulders. Hence, the wider the brim of the hat, the best sun protection it is.
However, since you have a wide brim hat, it could be easily be blown by the wind. Therefore, make sure to choose one with a chin strap so it can hold and prevent you from the trouble of picking it up all the time.
You might be surprised, but it can get awfully freezing in the desert when it’s night time. Desert temperatures are in the extremes. If you end up still in the desert after sunset, it’s time to put on your jacket.
I do keep a jacket in my pack whether we plan to stay late in the desert or not. I feel safe knowing that I have one to protect me from cold. My jacket can be used as a rain jacket too, because yes, it rains cats and dogs even in the desert.
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Don’t underestimate hiking in the desert. The first time I did it, I was wearing my hiking shoes. I ended up taking it off within the walk, just to pour out those sands that made its way inside. I suggest to choosing high-quality boots for hiking.
Hiking boots have features that can support my ankles and are sturdy enough to cover my foot from sharp shrubs. Its sole can also withstand the rocky trail and prevent me from slipping and sliding over. Nevertheless, be sure you find the boots that are strong enough not to break.
I insist that you invest in your hiking boots. Buy one that can support you a long way. Having a leg injury in the desert because you don’t have the right footwear can be a nightmare.
You might find it a bit weird when I wear socks that almost reach my knee. I deliberately use those type to avoid the possibility of chafing. Without my socks, my boots will rub into my legs and ankles.
Like boots, I intend to invest on socks. High-quality socks that will keep my feet dry could be expensive, but worth it. A sock that fits well and doesn’t sag while you’re walking is perfect and it prevents heel slippage too. Bring an extra pair just in case your feet get wet.
8. Other accessories
Above desert hiking clothing is sufficient enough to make your hiking safe and comfortable. However, I have some other accessories that others can do without. But not me.
I consider sunglasses as a necessity when it comes to going outdoors in broad daylight. When we’re talking about the blazing sun in the desert, I never forget to bring my sunglasses with me. It protects my eyes from the glaring light of the sun and can make me walk without squinting.
There are plenty of sunglasses available that you can buy, but it’s better to pick one that blocks UV rays. Besides, it can also be a perfect cover from the dust that comes with the wind that could hurt your eye. A wrap-around style is the safest there is.
When my whole body is covered from the sun, I make sure that my hands are too. Who likes hands with burnt skin? Aside from that, wearing gloves lessens the risk of your hand getting pricked by sharp branches and bushes.
My bandana is multi-purpose for me. I can tie it around my neck, head or even wrap it around me for sun and cold protection. It’s handy and can be used day and night.
It’s not just essential to learn the proper desert hiking clothing. Here is a short video for safety tips when hiking in the desert.
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Choosing your desert hiking clothing Is essential for your safety. Sometimes, I don’t mind investing in expensive gears as long as I know that they are durable to support my trip. High-quality gears can be trusted especially for matters that keep our feet safe. It’s hiking after all.
I hope I helped you with your desert hiking. What are you waiting for? Go on and prepare your desert hiking clothing. If there is anything I’ve missed, drop a message, and I’ll get back to you. Have fun!