Hiking Shorts – An Essential Part of Your Outdoor Gear

hiking shorts

Hiking shorts become essential when temperatures heat up – they provide more airflow than running or gym shorts while still offering durability and wear resistance for rugged treks.

Some hikers prefer hiking shorts with plenty of useful pockets while others opt for minimal, lightweight styles with excellent breathability. Ultimately, choosing a suitable pair depends on personal preferences and the types of hikes undertaken.


hiking shorts

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Hiking shorts provide an ideal option when temperatures and trails are hot or dry. Nylon designs quickly dry when saturated by sweat or hiking-side swims; cotton tends to absorb more water, thus slowing the drying process down significantly.

Hiking shorts are often preferred by thru-hikers as they offer greater range of motion, flexibility and comfort during long hikes. Stretch waistbands also accommodate for inevitable weight loss as well as temporarily expanded stomachs due to food purchases in towns along the trail.

Some hikers prefer shorts with multiple pockets and vibrant colors, while others seek minimalist pieces that look good on and off the trail. 


hiking shorts

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Hiking shorts come in various styles and most hikers find one or two they like best to keep in their kit. When selecting your hiking shorts, be mindful of whether or not zips or snaps will fit better for you. There are options to suit many different styles and functions.

Hiking shorts come in both casual and formal styles, from nylon blends that resemble cargo pants to more tailored fabrics that resemble chinos and sleek styles that resemble paddling shorts – there are even hiking shorts specifically made to withstand water environments! 

When selecting the best hiking shorts, ensure they look good both on the trail and afterwards while remaining easy to wash when back home.


hiking shorts

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Hiking requires clothing that can do several important things: it must protect you from sun exposure, breathe easily and remain comfortable when carrying a pack; provide warmth when stopped for breaks or camping trips, keep you dry in rainy environments; provide warmth at camp sites when camping out overnight; as well as being windproof when hiking on wet trails.

Hiking and backpacking are physically demanding activities. If your clothing doesn’t allow sweat to escape freely, perspiration won’t help to cool you down – instead it will remain trapped inside, making the clothing cold and damp and increasing the chance of hypothermia.

For optimal hiking shorts, breathability is of utmost importance, along with having stretch components to allow them to move with you on the trail. Stretch comes from natural and synthetic materials like nylon or polyester blends which offer durable lightweight affordable fabrics capable of wicking moisture away from your skin while drying quickly.

Cotton and silk fabrics lack breathability, limiting how easily moisture wicks off, taking longer to dry than it should and potentially leading to discomfort during hiking excursions. Silk, in particular, is not recommended due to slow drying time, as well as being susceptible to odors and having poor insulation properties.

Hiking shorts provide ample airflow so that you won’t overheat on hot or humid days compared to hiking pants, helping ensure your legs remain protected from the elements.

Sun Protection

hiking shorts

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Hiking shorts designed with UPF-rated fabrics are helpful in protecting against sunburn on legs; however, other sun protection such as sunscreen and a hat may still be needed to provide sufficient sun protection. 

Sunburn can ruin a hiking trip and cause more serious issues if ignored, but with proper protection and preparation it doesn’t need to. At higher elevations where the atmosphere does not filter UV rays as effectively and radiation increases by about 4% for every 300m increase, bringing sunscreen or other forms of protection is a must.

An effective sunscreen should be an essential item in any hiker’s backpack. To provide maximum protection from UVA and UVB rays, it’s advisable to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. You can learn more about UVA and UVB rays by clicking the link.

Apply thoroughly over exposed areas, especially after swimming or sweating and reapply as necessary after swimming or sweating – and choose waterproof and long-term products without leaving an unpleasant greasy feeling behind on the skin.

Additional sun protection may include UV protective clothing and a wide brimmed hat. Hiking shorts designed to block UV rays and provide moisture-wicking capabilities should also be kept in mind when shopping, while an umbrella or wide-brimmed hat may keep the sun off your face and head. Sun gloves also offer excellent UV protection!

Make sure to consume an ample supply of water before and during your hike, since dehydration is one of the primary risk factors for heat exhaustion and may cause your skin to be more vulnerable to UV rays. If any signs of dehydration arise, stop and rest as much in the shade as possible.

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