Your essential kit for Summer hillwalking
If you plan to go on some Summer hikes the next couple of months, you need to make sure you’re properly kitted out.
When you live in the UK, it’s easy to fill your wardrobe with outfits suited for the cold - and when Summer comes around, you find that you haven’t properly prepared for the heat!
It’s especially important to have the right equipment as we enter what could be one of our hottest Summers ever.
That’s why we’re sharing our essential Summer kit list, to better inform you about what you should bring with you on a sunny day in the hills.
Short sleeved t-shirt
It probably sounds obvious, but you don’t want something long and heavy impeding your movement and trapping in heat whilst you’re active in a warm environment.
Some people make the mistake of just bringing a regular t-shirt from their wardrobe along with them on a hillwalk; the problem is, your everyday clothes are typically made of materials such as cotton which aren’t very breathable and tend to trap sweat and heat.
That’s why you should bring something light and breathable with you, preferably made from polyester which is capable of stretching and managing moisture.
Sprayway’s recommendation: Mens' Slice Tee and Women's Dot Tee
There’s a middle ground with the shorts you want to bring on a warm day on the trail.
Regular shorts won’t do the trick because they’re typically made from heavy materials which don’t allow your skin to breathe, and might require a belt for proper fitting which is never ideal when you’re being physically active.
But many people make the mistake of just wearing their regular gym or exercise shorts instead. Although they’re lightweight, there’s a couple of issues with that; first of all, gym shorts often don’t have pockets which can be a hindrance when you’re hiking for an extended period of time.
But they’re also very thin and not particularly suited for gruelling activities where they could be damaged and torn, like hillwalking in the wild.
That’s why we recommend something a little bit in between those two types of shorts. You need something with storage, and made from a sturdy and water resistant material. But you also need it to be lightweight and breathable, perhaps with mesh lining and a stretchy fabric.
Sprayway’s recommendation: Men's Compass Pro Shorts and Women's Escape Trail Short
A sturdy pair of sandals
You’d be surprised at how much protection a good pair of sandals can offer. On a particularly hot day, wearing trainers can just be uncomfortable, and if you’re going on a regular hike you’ll want something breathable and durable.
The right pair of sandals should have good traction on their soles, allowing you to climb up inclines and slowly make your way down hills.
It’s up to you if you want to wear socks with them. But we recommend going without if it’s a particularly hot day! You absorb a lot of heat through your feet, so it’s important to let them breathe.
Sprayway’s recommendation: Men's Bryher Leather Sandals and Women's Tresco Leather Sandals
A protective hat
You might think that going out into the wilderness, under the sun, requires a bare head. After all, it makes sense that the more accessories you have on yourself, physical activity gets harder and your body gets hotter.
However, wearing something to protect you from the sun is always more of a help than a hindrance. Not only does it protect your head from sunburn, the right hat can also shield your eyes from the sun so you can see better - something that’s extremely important when you’re out in the wild on uneven terrain.
We suggest a cap or any other hat with a brim. It should also be made from a lightweight material, ideally with some mesh lining for extra breathability.
Sprayway’s recommendation: The Sprayway Cap
Going on a particularly intensive hike? You might be in need of a bit more protection than what’s offered by just a t-shirt.
But you need to make sure you’re balancing your different needs; how can you protect your body, whilst staying cool at the same time? Your usual jacket will be too much in the Summer.
That’s why a shell vest is great for a long Summer hike in rough terrain. By leaving the arms free, you’ll enjoy breathability whilst also being equipped to tackle tough climbs.
This is a particularly important item if you’re going up high altitudes. Things might be hot at the bottom, but you’ll quickly regret not bringing something a bit more substantial to keep you warm as you rise.
Sprayway’s recommendation: Anax Vest
Know what you’re looking for?
If you’re ready to kit yourself out for your Summer hillwalk, take a look at our collection for quality and dependable clothing.
And, if you send us your best pictures of your next walk to us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #SpraywaySummer, we’ll choose our favourites and repost them on our channels.