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sun hat travel

The first time I went shopping for hiking gear, I bought a sun hat, a raincoat and a travel water bottle from Kings Collection, and it was a wise decision. I started my hiking journey with Kijabe Hills and Sleeping Warrior Hills which are pretty sunny and require lots of sunscreen and reinforcement; sun hats.


10 Reasons Why You Need a Sun Hat for Hiking

1. What kind of hat should you wear hiking?

If you’re hiking in hot areas or during hot weather, you need a wide-brimmed hat. However, I have had severe sunburn around my forehead while hiking Aberdare Ranges so it’s always best to carry your hiking hat and sunglasses.


2. Are hats good for hiking?



Not only does it protect you from sunburn, but it also protects your hair from dry leaves and twigs, especially if hiking through forest trails. Kijabe Hills had a lot of overgrown twigs, branches, flowers and seeds and having a sun hat just made it easier.



3. What type of hat is best for sun protection?

Sun hats or bucket hats


Trekbaron has a list of hiking hats one can opt for while shopping for hiking hats.


4. Can I wear a straw hat while hiking?

Yes and no.


Historically, straw hats were used by farmers in Asia and Europe to avoid heatstroke, so they obviously offer some sort of heat relief. However, I’d not trust them to protect me against the sun because based on the material, there will always be some UV rays penetrating the spaces between the straws.


In addition, in hiking trails where you have to layer up and layer down, the storage logistics of a straw hat are pretty slim as too much folding might ruin it.


5. Are sun hats effective?



However, I’d advise you to use a sunhat and sunblock. Although sun hats protect you against the sun, they’re not enough, in and of themselves. I noticed my forehead peeling after hiking Elephant Hill, and I can only attribute it to sunburn as I did not wear sunblock while hiking Elephant hill.


6. Is a bucket hat good for hiking?



Since bucket hats are wide-brimmed they protect the sun and the neck against sunburn.  You can use sun hats and bucket hats interchangeably to support your sunscreen or sunblock.



7. Why should you wear a sun hat?

Wearing a sun hat while hiking provides lots of benefits such as:


  • Protect your hair from foreign objects. Black hair is fairly susceptible.
  • Protect your face from sunburn.
  • Help with vision, especially at high altitudes. At high altitudes, the light changes. Anyone with eye problems can notice the difference and the harshness. Having a sun hat while hiking reinforces the protection sunglasses provide.


8. Does a hat prevent sunburn?



According to the Cancer Council, a sun hat can reduce UV penetration by 50%. The right sun hat should:


  • Be broad-brimmed to protect the whole face.
  • Have a close weaved fabric so no light penetrates through. This is why a straw hat is not advisable.
  • Have a dark lining to prevent UV Penetration to the eyes.


9. Where do you wear a sun hat?

Where the sun shines between 10 am and 4 pm. 


Apart from hiking, activities such as festivals, barbecuing outside, trekking, mountaineering, gardening and yard work might necessitate you to wear a sunhat.


10. Can you tan with a hat on?



Since I’m black, I can’t speak much about tan but I can tell you that I have suffered from sunburns even after wearing wide-brimmed sun hats and bucket hats. So it’s really important to apply sunblock every two hours.


If you come across a waterfall and decide to swim and play in the water, don’t forget to apply sunblock later!


To purchase a sun hat or bucket hat, explore these options on Amazon.