Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => General Outdoor Stuff & Camping Equipment => Topic started by: vgeh on February 05, 2018, 10:37:12 PM

Title: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: vgeh on February 05, 2018, 10:37:12 PM
I am looking into buying a hiking shirt, hat or/and umbrella and maybe a pant for super hot summer hiking. Potentially to use in places like Grand Canyon, Death Valley and similar west open desert and high elevation places.

Shirt: This will be my first hiking shirt. I am used to wearing tshirt(long or short) but shirt seem to work better for hot weather hiking. Sun protection is a need(maybe 25+ UPF ratings?). I am thinking a nylon and polyester comb shirt and with some ventilations port/vents.

Hat/Umbrella: I am leaning towards hat only setup so that my hands can go hands free and use my poles. I also think umbrella are not flexible to use in variety of situations. Used hat for first time at GUMO but it was a free hat from a vendor at work( :icon_biggrin:). Need some suggestions for wide brim hat with vents and flaps to cover neck. Do I need a neck flap if I have shirt? Would the shirt collar sufficient?

Pants: My problem with most outdoor pants is size. Any skinny hikers? lol

Thanks.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: mule ears on February 06, 2018, 08:33:55 AM
Everyone has an opinion.  Here is a good thread at Backpacking Light on sun shirts (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/103934/) many say just get a long sleeved cotton or cotton/polyester shirt from the thrift store.  I am a fan of Rail Riders shirts with vents and long sleeve with flip up collars, currently I use a Bone Flats shirt (https://www.railriders.com/men-bone-flats-shirt-p-993.html?cPath=104_111).

I like convertible pants because I like shorts when it's hot, again many will disagree with that.  I have a newish pair of REI Sahara's that are much slimmer fitting than the old style.

I use a wide brimmed hat from Alf but have been seriously looking at a Tilley Airflow mesh hat (https://www.tilley.com/us_en/ltm8-airflo-mesh-hat.html).  If I was really going to be crazy and walk super hot desert I would use an umbrella like the Chrome Dome.

This a a good thread on MAXIMIZING COOL CLOTHING STRATEGY FOR HOT, DRY, SUNNY DESERT (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/maximizing-cool-clothing-strategy-for-hot-dry-sunny-desert/) from Backpacking Light.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Jalco on February 06, 2018, 10:31:22 AM
+1 on the Tilley hat.  My wife found one at a garage sale ($3!!!!) and it has become my favorite.  The fact that it floats is a plus when I'm kayaking.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Homer Wilson on February 06, 2018, 11:34:00 AM
If I'm on a trail, I like to wear longsleeve under armor heat gear.  Somewhat close fitting - you want the fabric in contact with your skin as the sweat evaporates for maximum cooling.  These shirts tear easily though, so if I'm hiking in areas where I expect brush or thorns, I like to bring two cotton shirts (I bought two used dress shirts from goodwill and cut the collar off).  Cotton typically isn't good for desert heat, but I bring two - when one gets soaked with sweat, I take it off and clip it to my pack and put on the other one.  When that one gets soaked, I switch them again.  The shirt on my pack is usually damp and borderline cold from all the evaporative cooling it's been getting.  These shirts look like they'll last forever, and together, cost less than a tenth of what a good desert hiking shirt will.

Also, the color of the clothes can make a huge difference!  A white, heavy fabric shirt can feel cooler than a black, thin sweatwicking one.

For pants, I have two pairs where I cut strips out of the inseam and sewed mesh in there.  Testing them before and after, it felt like I extended their comfort level by 10+ degrees.  Both these pants are rapidly approaching their usable life.  I may pay someone to sew the mesh in my next pair...that was a lot of work.

I usually hike with a bandana and a light, floppy wide brim hat.  For very exposed, summer desert hikes, I like to wear a burnouse (like  these http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/burnouse.html). Lots of protection, vent well, and you can pull the fabric over your face to fully protect yourself from sun or dust.  There's a reason they wear these in the deserts of the middle east. I first saw someone wearing one at the bottom of the grand canyon in 100F weather.  He dunked it in a stream and put it back on for a great cool-down - I was sold.

Also, I may have sensitive eyes, but if I'm going to be hiking a lot in exposed areas, especially with light colored rocks/sand, I wear eyeblack under my eyes.  Even with glasses, my eyes can get sore from the light reflecting off the ground.  Eyeblack goes a long way to eliminating that (it even has a noticeable effect without glasses).  Plus if you smear it on, you can look pretty hardcore!
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: GaryF on February 06, 2018, 11:51:49 AM
For hot weather shirts I like the cheapie Hanes X-temp tees.  They are a very thin 60/40 fabric that doesnít seem to wet out like 100% cotton, and it breathes well and dries quickly.  UPF 40, long sleeve and short sleeve options, and it weighs about 30% less than a regular cotton tee. 

You can usually find them at Walmart, Amazon, etc, Hanes has a pretty wide distribution.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: DesertRatShorty on February 06, 2018, 02:13:29 PM
If you hike with trekking poles, thin hiking gloves can prevent your hands from becoming burned and leathery. Aim for total coverage.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: dprather on February 06, 2018, 04:27:40 PM
Aside: you can really tell the veterans from the rookies in regard to clothing.  The veterans are covered head to toe; the rookies are hardly covered.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: congahead on February 06, 2018, 04:28:34 PM
Like Mule Ears, I prefer the Rail Riders Bone Flats shirt. Their Cool Khakis are also great for the desert.

For head protection, check out the Pro Tech by HeadSweats.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Jalco on February 06, 2018, 07:50:34 PM
If you hike with trekking poles, thin hiking gloves can prevent your hands from becoming burned and leathery. Aim for total coverage.

I like using Gorilla Grip gloves.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: DesertRatShorty on February 06, 2018, 08:39:49 PM
For a hat I recommend the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat. Great neck coverage.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: vgeh on February 07, 2018, 11:04:58 PM
Everyone has an opinion.  Here is a good thread at Backpacking Light on sun shirts (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/103934/) many say just get a long sleeved cotton or cotton/polyester shirt from the thrift store.  I am a fan of Rail Riders shirts with vents and long sleeve with flip up collars, currently I use a Bone Flats shirt (https://www.railriders.com/men-bone-flats-shirt-p-993.html?cPath=104_111).

I like convertible pants because I like shorts when it's hot, again many will disagree with that.  I have a newish pair of REI Sahara's that are much slimmer fitting than the old style.

I use a wide brimmed hat from Alf but have been seriously looking at a Tilley Airflow mesh hat (https://www.tilley.com/us_en/ltm8-airflo-mesh-hat.html).  If I was really going to be crazy and walk super hot desert I would use an umbrella like the Chrome Dome.

This a a good thread on MAXIMIZING COOL CLOTHING STRATEGY FOR HOT, DRY, SUNNY DESERT (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/maximizing-cool-clothing-strategy-for-hot-dry-sunny-desert/) from Backpacking Light.


Thanks Mule Ears for the references. I read one of the BPL articles you linked but the other article you linked is even more informative. I still have mixed thoughts about using cotton. I know cotton has been the main clothing material for desert conditions for long long time. But most of these high elevation hot deserts in US gets cold immediately after sunset. So I am holding on from getting  cotton hiking clothes. Rail Rider and Tilley are very expensive. I want to retire asap to spend more time outdoor. So need to be frugal on gears, haha. Yes, Chrome dome type umbrella is my choice. Do you carry umbrella in hand or have some type of setup to carry in your backpack?
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: vgeh on February 07, 2018, 11:16:43 PM
If I'm on a trail, I like to wear longsleeve under armor heat gear.  Somewhat close fitting - you want the fabric in contact with your skin as the sweat evaporates for maximum cooling.  These shirts tear easily though, so if I'm hiking in areas where I expect brush or thorns, I like to bring two cotton shirts (I bought two used dress shirts from goodwill and cut the collar off).  Cotton typically isn't good for desert heat, but I bring two - when one gets soaked with sweat, I take it off and clip it to my pack and put on the other one.  When that one gets soaked, I switch them again.  The shirt on my pack is usually damp and borderline cold from all the evaporative cooling it's been getting.  These shirts look like they'll last forever, and together, cost less than a tenth of what a good desert hiking shirt will.

Also, the color of the clothes can make a huge difference!  A white, heavy fabric shirt can feel cooler than a black, thin sweatwicking one.

For pants, I have two pairs where I cut strips out of the inseam and sewed mesh in there.  Testing them before and after, it felt like I extended their comfort level by 10+ degrees.  Both these pants are rapidly approaching their usable life.  I may pay someone to sew the mesh in my next pair...that was a lot of work.

I usually hike with a bandana and a light, floppy wide brim hat.  For very exposed, summer desert hikes, I like to wear a burnouse (like  these http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/burnouse.html). Lots of protection, vent well, and you can pull the fabric over your face to fully protect yourself from sun or dust.  There's a reason they wear these in the deserts of the middle east. I first saw someone wearing one at the bottom of the grand canyon in 100F weather.  He dunked it in a stream and put it back on for a great cool-down - I was sold.

Also, I may have sensitive eyes, but if I'm going to be hiking a lot in exposed areas, especially with light colored rocks/sand, I wear eyeblack under my eyes.  Even with glasses, my eyes can get sore from the light reflecting off the ground.  Eyeblack goes a long way to eliminating that (it even has a noticeable effect without glasses).  Plus if you smear it on, you can look pretty hardcore!


Great suggestions and references. I have similar thoughts about headwear and pants. For headwear I was thinking a wide brim hat with flaps to replace the burnouse. For pants, I was looking at vesti which is traditional dress in South India. Vesti(dhoti) is a simple rectangular cloth made of cotton wrapped around. Plenty of ventilation, very simple and cheap. 
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: vgeh on February 07, 2018, 11:18:26 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions!
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: presidio on February 11, 2018, 08:20:58 AM
Aside: you can really tell the veterans from the rookies in regard to clothing.  The veterans are covered head to toe; the rookies are hardly covered.

Yep. The desert veterans know that fully covered skin is smart.

The crowd in shorts, tank tops, no hat and sandals/flipflops = TOURIST
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Buck on February 13, 2018, 09:17:20 AM
(https://www.platinum-heritage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Bedouin_Resting.jpg)
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: badknees on February 13, 2018, 09:57:14 AM
Get one of these....makes the walking much easier

Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: House Made of Dawn on February 13, 2018, 02:04:13 PM
Get one of these....makes the walking much easier

I believe that's been tried already.  :icon_wink:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Camel_Corps

But, wait, you can still try it! 

http://www.texashighways.com/history/item/7475-the-great-camel-experiment-texas-camel-corps
Title: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: House Made of Dawn on February 13, 2018, 02:05:28 PM
(https://www.platinum-heritage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Bedouin_Resting.jpg)

I'll admit it looks good, but have you ever tried to hike in one of those in the rain?  :eusa_naughty:
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: presidio on February 13, 2018, 05:45:54 PM
(https://www.platinum-heritage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Bedouin_Resting.jpg)

I'll admit it looks good, but have you ever tried to hike in one of those in the rain?  :eusa_naughty:

Not a problem with a hydrophobic nano coating. Water, mud, blood, etc., just slides right off.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: fartymarty on February 13, 2018, 11:11:57 PM
Considerably heavier (almost double) than a Chrome Dome, but perhaps a more durable Umbrella.

https://www.coolibar.com/catalog/product/view/id/591/s/42-inch-titanium-travel-umbrella/

I love mine, I've had it for 9 years and it still works great. However, I don't backpack, just a day hiker now so I can afford the extra 6oz. It's one button to open it, then press the same button to close it and then press the tip down against a rock or tree to re-arm the umbrella for more one button action. Completely one hand operation so you can have your trekking pole(s) in the other hand. I find hats too hot for my liking. But then..I'm a little weird (https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-PzKqBzv/0/e39ab071/O/i-PzKqBzv.jpg).



Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Imre on February 14, 2018, 09:56:09 AM
How well does the Coolibar hold up if it starts to hail?
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: fartymarty on February 15, 2018, 01:03:40 AM
How well does the Coolibar hold up if it starts to hail?

Much better than most hats, but not as well as a motorcycle helmet.

If that was a serious question, then a serious answer is I don't really know. I've only been caught outside in hail storms twice. The motorcycle helmet was great protection but I still thought I was going to crash. The time with an umbrella (it wasn't a Coolibar) I squatted down next to a 55 gallon trash can barrel and angled the umbrella over my head so that the hail would hit most of it at a glancing angle. Seemed to work with marble sized hail even on a cheap free umbrella. I think the Coolibar umbrella could handle it easily under the same conditions. If the hail had gotten up to quarter or half dollar size...I don't know. That might be a good time to turn the trash barrel over and climb in.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Imre on February 15, 2018, 05:39:59 AM
FM, thank you for the reply. I've never been caught in quarter-size hail, but several times when I have been hiking in the Big Bend, I was in a storm with hail about the size of a dime. Once I was at the picnic table at the cabin near boot spring when it started to hail ... in about 20 minutes it looked like it had snowed in August! I had a solid umbrella with me, which is why I asked. Definitely a serious question.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: House Made of Dawn on February 15, 2018, 02:02:29 PM
How well does the Coolibar hold up if it starts to hail?

If the hail had gotten up to quarter or half dollar size...I don't know. That might be a good time to turn the trash barrel over and climb in.


 :icon_lol: :icon_lol: :icon_lol: Any port in a storm.  :great:
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: fartymarty on February 16, 2018, 12:29:09 AM
Once I was at the picnic table at the cabin near boot spring when it started to hail ... in about 20 minutes it looked like it had snowed in August! I had a solid umbrella with me, which is why I asked. Definitely a serious question.
Cool (no pun intended) ...by solid umbrella I guess you mean it held up and protected you long enough for you to get under the picnic table?
Regardless I like umbrellas much better than hats for heat avoidance. It can shade much more of you than a hat can, and it allows any breeze that comes along to cool the sweat of your brow and scalp. One does have to get used to holding it and keeping it pointed at the sun as the trail twists and turns. It gets almost automatic as you get used to it. I actually took a cheap one that was well used and covered it with a silver Mylar space blanket (what a weirdo) (https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-qTtRqGK/0/004451ba/O/i-qTtRqGK-O.jpg)  and used it on a hike to Randell's Overlook as a test run. Except for the crinkling noise I liked it a lot and ordered my Coolibar umbrella as soon as I returned home. So is it for everybody?.. probably  not, but try it in July in your back yard with an umbrella you already have. Stand in full sun for 5 minutes in your hat and then remove your hat and open the umbrella and stand under it for 5 minutes. If you don't notice a tremendous difference then get back on here and say so.

Other advantages, it seems to scare away annoying flies and bugs and the ones that come anyway seem to give up and fly away if you tip it back and forth a few times; You can use it to make yourself appear larger if confronted by an aggressive animal; and of course rain and maybe some limited hail protection.  :icon_wink:
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Slimkitty on February 16, 2018, 06:38:42 AM
 Iím growing more and more interested in this umbrella idea.  Plus, Iíd love to see the look on some exhausted hikerís face as I come skipping up along the trail, walking pole in one hand, umbrella in the other. (At this point though, I would be that exhausted hiker.)


Sent from the future.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: RichardM on February 16, 2018, 08:39:59 AM
I actually took a cheap one that was well used and covered it with a silver Mylar space blanket (https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-qTtRqGK/0/004451ba/O/i-qTtRqGK-O.jpg)
(what a weirdo)  and used it on a hike to Randell's Overlook as a test run. Except for the crinkling noise I liked it a lot and ordered my Coolibar umbrella as soon as I returned home.
Calendar nomination!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoSEZQFNpbs
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: fartymarty on February 16, 2018, 03:41:13 PM
 :icon_lol:

Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Imre on February 16, 2018, 05:38:42 PM
I never hike without an umbrella. Mine have a 100 per cent fiberglass or polycarbonate mechanism, i.e., non conductive. I always wear a long sleeved shirt and a wide brimmed hat; the umbrella is strictly for the storms.
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: Jalco on February 16, 2018, 06:42:40 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoSEZQFNpbs

How did I my kids miss seeing that episode of VT?  LOL!
Title: Re: Clothing suggestions for hot summers
Post by: RichardM on February 16, 2018, 07:00:33 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoSEZQFNpbs

How did I my kids miss seeing that episode of VT?  LOL!
Not an episode, it's a full movie!