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Hiking Sun Protection

Hikers should protect themselves from the sun in all climates, not just the desert
Hikers should protect themselves from the sun in all climates, not just the desert

How do you protect yourself from the sun when you hike?

  • Describe your complete sun protection system including clothing and creams.
  • Where do you use this system when you hike?

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217 comments

  1. Always wear a bill hat and apply sunscreen. If it’s bright and not too humid I’ll add a long sleeve wicking shirt. Option 2: there are plenty of places to explore where there is shade.

  2. My approach depends on where I’m hiking and the weather.
    -Above treeline in Northeast: Sunglasses and sunblock on all exposed skin
    -Below treeline in Northeast (Sunny or winter): Sunglasses, sunblock on all exposed skim except possibly legs
    -Below treeline in Northeast (Cloudy, not winter): Probably nothing, except maybe sunglasses; if it’s a particularly open forest (like the Blue Hills), then I’m more likely to wear sunglasses and sunblock on face/ears/neck.
    -Cascades (or Sierra Nevada, Rockies): Sunhat that covers neck and ears, sunglasses, sunblock on all exposed skin

    If it’s above 55 or 60, I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt; I never wear long sleeves just for sun/bug protection.

  3. I dress ALWAYS like I am Muslim – cover up with fabric! Hat for face. I still get a small amount of sun, but never burn even at high altitudes!

  4. I usually opt for long sleeves and a hat over sunscreens, especially on long trips. I have occasionally busted out the trekking umbrella. Most of my hiking is in Maine.

    – Logan

  5. I wear a cap and use banana boat spf 50 sports sunscreen. I wear Cabela’s camo light long sleeved shirt and 5 pocket hiking shorts. I hike in the Guadalupe National mountains when it isn’t too hot.

  6. Sunscreen and baseball cap usually. Loose fitting clothing (like a windshirt) when appropriate/cool enough. I use this everywhere I hike.

  7. I tend to carry or wear sunscreen only if I plan to be above tree-line or otherwise exposed. I mostly hike in New England and a short sleeve shirt and a baseball cap and/or a bandana along with sunscreen when needed works for me. Sunglasses are always nice too.

  8. Low elevation: long hiking pants, UPF shirt, wide-brimmed boonie hat, SPF 30 sunblock

    High elevation: UV Buff for head, SPF50 sunblock, SPF50 sunblock chapstick (essential for snow!), glacier glasses
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O7MZXVI/

  9. I wear a long-sleeve shirt – either a light base layer top (Patagonia Capilene 1 crew being my favorite) or a Columbia sun shirt. Generally long pants (Patagonia Rock Guides or Railriders Adventure Khakis, in khaki of course). If it’s too warm, then Rock Guide shorts. I’ve tried a light Buff for neck protection, or a bandana knotted around my neck. Ball cap generally, either a Patagonia Bone Flats hat or some nondescript Outdoor Research model. For sunscreen I’ve been using some Mary Kay stuff my wife started getting some years ago. Not too greasy, and works surprisingly well. Oh, and Julbo sunglasses.

  10. easy, I only hike at night…

  11. I use an SPF 45 sun scrren (‘No-Ad’ available in FL) and a ball cap or, if the sun is REALLY strong, a large sun hat (Outdoor Research).

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