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Hat Options
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Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Another Option on 04/20/2013 18:15:37 MDT Print View

KP, you must not hike much in the desert or at altitude. While I agree the hat looks good for sun protection, it also looks like that color would be an inferno in direct sun. Here in the desert black becomes a taboo color by around late march to mid-novemember. But I also live right in the peak state for solar radiation in the US so YMMV. Suffice it I can tell who's from AZ and NM just by how they walk on the sidewalk (we walk hopping from one shady region to the next...often times speeding up in the sun and slowing down in the shade ;).

For those interested in seeing how "sunny" your region is, here's a very simplified map:

(Schado6) - MLife
Re: Another Option on 04/20/2013 18:26:39 MDT Print View

In SE, may get another (lighter) color for NM trek next year depending on how I like it after multiple uses. I also have a natural solar panel on the top of my head so figure that will reflect what the black/red bandana draws in ;)


Great link btw!

Edited by Schado6 on 04/20/2013 18:27:37 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Hat Options on 04/20/2013 21:40:42 MDT Print View

I use a mesh trucker hat with a bandana to protect my neck. I tie two corners together and put it over my forehead, then the hat goes on top. I like the mesh trucker hats much better than a regular baseball cap for use with a bandana. With the mesh in the back, I only have one layer (the bandana) shielding me from the sun instead of two. It's less warm that way.

For whatever reason, snap-back hats are the only hats that fit my head.

I don't care about the SPF of my clothing because I can hike with bare skin and not get sunburned easily. I tan very easily. High SPF clothing sounds like it would be very hot. The only reason I wear clothing in hot weather is to shade my skin from the sun and keep me cooler. If I am hiking in a forest or canyon and I won't be getting that much, I wear very little clothing because it's cooler that way.
For those of you who burn easily, is it really possible to get sunburned through clothing?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Hat Options on 04/20/2013 21:52:33 MDT Print View

Here is a picture of what I wear. Bandana under snap-back mesh trucker hat,

Richard Fischel
Hat, Sun, Hot Weather on 04/21/2013 08:23:36 MDT Print View

aka boonie hat.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Hat Options on 04/21/2013 12:22:39 MDT Print View

Justin, I know of egyptians who turn lobster pink the first summer they spend here in AZ. The solar radiation is intense for about 6 months and this is the time of year that people go into the mountains to cool down (frequently above 7k feet which further increases solar radiation). So it's not just a matter of how well you "tan" unfortunately in my region.

That said I do burn easily but I've never gotten a burn through clothing of any time. And when I say burn easily I mean it only takes 15 minutes for my highly reflective skin to feel like it's sunburnt in the middle of summer here. I lost out in the skin tone lottery between my Irish and Mexican parent ;) Not that that would help much because all the construction and garden workers, regardless of skin tone, wear white long sleeves shirts, pants, wide brimmed hats with bandanas, and often cotton gloves as soon as summer comes around. The sun out here is just brutal. On par with the Sahara (and all the nomads there wear full coverage clothing year round, despite often having much more melanin in their skin than most europeans or americans).

I've spent many summers in the forests of Southern Illinois and I never would get burnt unless I spent a day at the lake. Northern Cal has roughly the same type of solar radiation as Southern Illinois. While the numbers seem small, there's a huge difference in the sun's intensity by each region. By the simplified map I linked above AZ gets roughly 60% more sun/day than NorCal or most of the Midwest. And we don't have dense tree cover to provide much respite. I'm still convinced that burning is first determined by location and exposure level and then only mitigated by tanning ability/skin tone.

To answer your question though, no I've never been burned through clothing. I have had burns under clothing because they provided a false sense of protection. Namely when tubing down a river I missed putting sunscreen on my thighs because I thought my trunks would protect, but sitting in a tube allowed a lot of sun direct access. I had thick peeling twice it was so bad of a burn. Hence I long sleeve and pants it when hiking just so I don't have to worry about missing a spot with sunscreen.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Reflections on 04/21/2013 12:32:23 MDT Print View

I should probably add that people shouldn't discount reflections. Snow in alpine and light rock or sand reflects a lot solar radiation up and under your hat brim. That's why bandanas or buffs are useful. I usually wear a buff over my neck and lower face when hiking in the summer. It protects against reflected sun, keeps dust and sound out my lungs, and even creates a humid microclimate that cools and moisturizes the air I inhale. I haven't run any scientific studies but this seems to help me mitigate dehydration a little better.

Richard Fischel
Re: Reflections on 04/21/2013 13:00:48 MDT Print View

yep - reflections are an issue. first time on a glacier is was prompted to put sun screen on the underside of my nose and didn't listen. that first time was the last time i made that mistake.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: My opinion on the Buff on 04/21/2013 14:11:38 MDT Print View

Thanks, Everett.

I'm also in the market for a new hat solution. Does anyone else have experience using the Buff UV with a hat?

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Re: My opinion on the Buff on 04/21/2013 19:34:21 MDT Print View

I don't understand why people are knocking a buff, it can easily cover your nose, ears, face and head under a ball cap. When it's real sunny I wear it almost like a ninja mask, put a hat over it and sunglasses. It's more effective than a wide brimmed hat. Even if I had a wide brimmed hat I'd still use this buff method. I did this in Ecuador for day hikes. Got weird looks but I felt pretty good at the end of the day.

I don't understand why some people still seem to think tanning "easily" is a good thing. A tan does nothing to protect you from harmful UV that's simply a myth, if anything a tan is a symptom of skin damage.

Edited by human on 04/21/2013 19:35:14 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Hat Options" on 04/21/2013 21:24:38 MDT Print View

Sun Precautions has a drape style hat that works like a hat/buff, or hat/bandana, but with some advantages, imo. It's 100 spf (solumbra fabric). The drape hangs loose and so is probably cooler than a buff. It's great for mosquitoes, again partly because of the loose fit but also because of the fabric. It's highly adjustable with velcro attachments. You can leave it entirely loose or 'zip' it up to your chin or more, just above your nose, depending on your needs. I easily adjust it on the fly, even while using hiking poles, depending on mosquitoes or sun/shade/snow situations. In any case your ears and neck are always covered. Finally, it has a big forward brim.

Yeah it's dorky but no more so than a buff, perhaps.

This is my go-to hat in mosquito season, or while snowshoeing in sun. Otherwise, I wear a Sunday Afternoons wide brimmed hat.

I tried wearing a buff while nordic skiing but my glasses would always fog!

Edited by book on 04/22/2013 22:14:31 MDT.