How To Dress For Desert Hike

How To Dress For Desert Hike (Clothing for Desert Hiking Checklist)

The desert is a hot and dry place. In order to stay safe, you should dress appropriately for the environment.

In this blog post, I will cover how to dress for desert hikes, desert hike clothing checklist, and much more!

What Kind of Clothes Do You Wear in the Desert? Clothing For Desert Hiking?

To answer it shortly, you want to wear lighter fabric clothing that is light-colored for the daytime and have extra warmer clothing for later during the night.

In the daytime, light colors reflect the sun and will help keep you cooler. It is also important to wear loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe.

In the evening and at night, it becomes much colder in the desert. You will want to have a jacket or sweater to put on when the temperature drops.

Below I will cover the following pieces of gear each in more detail:

  • Hiking Clothes For Desert
  • Hiking Accessories For Desert

Desert Hike Clothing Checklist – Hiking Clothes For Desert

Desert Hike Clothing Checklist

These will be clothing you should wear while hiking in the desert, I will break each one down below!

  1. Long-Sleeve Shirt
  2. Convertible Pants
  3. Hiking Socks
  4. Hiking Shoes
  5. Extra Jacket

Long-Sleeve Shirt

A long-sleeve shirt will offer extra protection from the sun, as well as make you more visible to others if you are going hiking with others.

In the desert, we also don’t want to lose water and one way to prevent this is by wearing a moisture-wicking long sleeve shirt.

Ideally, you want something which has some air vents, is loose fitted and is lightweight.

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Convertible Pants

Desert temperatures fluctuate massively so you have to be ready to adjust quickly.

Convertible pants are a great option for the desert, as they offer the versatility of being able to go from long pants to shorts in a matter of seconds.

Again, we want something which is lightweight and moisture-wicking.

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Hiking Socks

This may seem trivial, but good socks are absolutely vital for desert hikes.

You want to avoid cotton socks as they take way longer to dry and they aren’t moisture wicking.

The best option is to wear wool or moisture-wicking synthetic hiking socks that will provide the maximum amount of comfort and protection.

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Hiking Shoes

The bottom line is, you should wear shoes that are appropriate for the hike.

For desert hikes, I recommend wearing lightweight and comfortable hiking boots or trail running shoes.

Not only will this protect your feet from various dangers on the ground (e.g., sharp rocks), but it can also prevent injury to your ankles if something were to happen.

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Extra Jacket

Even though you may be in the desert, it can still get chilly at night or during dawn and dusk.

One jacket that I recommend is to bring an extra lightweight rain-shell just in case there’s precipitation while hiking in the desert.

This will keep you warm and dry if things take a turn for the worse!

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Desert Hike Accessory Checklist – Hiking Clothes For Desert

Desert Hike Accessory Checklist

These will be accessories you should bring while hiking in the desert, I will break each one down below!

  1. Hat For Sun
  2. Buff
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Gloves
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Lip Balm
  7. Beanie
  8. Insole

Hat For Sun

A hat is an essential piece of clothing for any desert hike.

You’ll want to protect your head and face from the sun, as it can get extremely hot out there.

I recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat that will provide good coverage.

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Buff

A Buff is a great accessory to wear on desert hikes.

It’s lightweight, versatile and will keep you protected from the sun as well as provide warmth if needed!

You can wear it around your neck or head.

What I recommend for men and women:

Sunglasses

A pair of sunglasses is a must if you’re going out into the desert!

You’ll want to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and glare.

Keep in mind this alone won’t protect you from the sun, you will need other equipment.

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Gloves

While you may be wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect from the sun, it’s also important to have gloves on.

In addition to keeping your hands protected from the heat and sun exposure, they will keep them nice and warm if temperatures drop while hiking in the desert!

What I recommend for men:

What I recommend for women:

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must-have while hiking in the desert!

You need to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that be intense.

Even though it may not seem like you’re getting a lot of sun, one bad burn can lead to serious problems down the line. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

What I recommend for men and women

Lip Balm

In the desert, it will be very dry and your lips will get chapped much easily.

You want to keep your hips hydrated, that’s why I recommend bringing a lip balm with you.

It will help keep your lips hydrated and protected from the sun.

What I recommend for men and women:

Beanie

A beanie is a good idea to bring while hiking in the desert, especially if it’s cold out.

It will help keep your head and ears warm during your hike since the temperature drops a lot during the nighttime.

What I recommend for men and women:

Insole

If you’re going to be hiking in the desert, I recommend bringing an insole with you.

Your feet will get tired quickly if you’re not used to walking on sand and it’s important to have good support.

An insole can help make your hike more comfortable and they protect your toes while hiking!

I personally wear SoulInsole for hikes and I also carry an extra pair in my backpack just in case.

What I recommend for men and women:

Proper Backpack

A backpack is a must for any hiking trip.

You have to be able to carry the essentials while you’re out in the desert and that includes water, food, sunscreen and other equipment.

If you don’t have time, I have a guide on how to pack for a hiking trip the night before here.

I recommend bringing a good size daypack with you on your hike so it’s not too heavy but also carries all of what you’ll need!

What I recommend for men and women:

Wrapping Up – Clothing For Desert Hiking

There you have it, a comprehensive guide on what to wear while hiking in the desert!

Remember to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

Bring along some gloves and a beanie if it’s cold, and make sure to bring an insole for good foot support.

Lastly, don’t forget to bring a lip balm and some Buffs to stay protected!

I would recommend wearing these items on your next desert hike.

FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions on clothing for desert hiking:

How should I dress for a desert hike?

When dressing for a desert hike, it is important to consider the climate.

In the daytime, temperatures can be very hot so it is essential to wear light clothing that will allow your skin to breathe.

It is also important to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

At night, temperatures can drop significantly so it is important to have a beanie and gloves with you.

What to pack for hiking in the desert?

It is important to pack a backpack with essentials such as water, food and sunscreen.

In addition, it is helpful to bring an insole for good foot support.

If the hike will be at night or early morning hours when it may be cold, remember to also pack gloves and a beanie along too!

What is the best color to wear in the desert?

In the desert, light colors will reflect heat from the sun and dark colors absorb it.

It is not necessary to wear a full white outfit but lighter clothing, in general, will help keep you cooler.

How do you stay cool while hiking in the desert?

The best way to stay cool while hiking in the desert is to wear lightweight clothing with darker colors.

It is also important to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

If you are wearing light colored clothing, it’s helpful to bring along some type of cooling towel too!

What I recommend for men and women:

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