In the city, you see all kinds of headgear. From hats to caps to bandanas and hijabs, everything is included. Here they usually only fulfil fashionable or religious purposes.
But even if you are outdoors, you should definitely think about headgear.
Not out of fashion here, but mainly for your own protection.
As you can already guess, the sun is one of the main factors that a hat protects you from. However, there are other influences.
You can find out what these are and which headgear is suitable for you in this guide.
Which headgear is suitable for the wilderness?
In summer, hats, caps and headscarves/bandanas are popular.
- hats are highly recommended as they protect you from the sun all around. There are different types. I’ll explain which ones I think are best later.
- caps on the other hand, only protect your face, but in my experience, they often sit better. This makes them less susceptible to wind.
- bandanas or scarves made of cotton, on the other hand, can be used flexibly. You can also wrap a cloth over your face and thus protect yourself reliably from the sun. Another benefit is absorbency. There’s nothing more pleasant than having a wet towel on your head when it’s over 30 degrees.
In the other seasons, depending on the temperature, a hat or bandana/buff will do the trick. Buffs and scarves can be used in a variety of ways as scarves or headgear, making them extremely practical.
In this guide, however, I focus more on the summer outfit.
Why you should cover your head in summer
1. Protect your head and face from UV rays
First the obvious: A hat, cap or scarf will protect your skin from the sun’s potentially dangerous UV rays. From sunburn to skin cancer, a hat can protect you from misery. At least in the face.
With three million cases a year in the world, skin cancer should not be underestimated. With adequate protection, you can at least reduce the risk.
Be aware that a cap will not protect your neck. Ideally, you can tie a scarf in such a way that all open skin areas on and around your head are protected.
However, there are also hats that do not provide enough shade due to a small umbrella. So be careful here.
2. Keep a cool head
Direct sunlight heats the surface it hits. A hat protects you from direct sunlight and can keep your head cool. Dark-haired or hairless people can tell you a thing or two about this, as they are particularly susceptible to the heat.
3. Prevent sunstroke or heat stroke
Sunstroke and heat stroke are both conditions caused by extreme heat, but they also have key differences.
Sunstroke affects only the head and neck of the sufferer. Here, the meninges are so irritated that typical symptoms such as headache and nausea occur.
Heat stroke, on the other hand, affects the whole body. Because at temperatures above 40 degrees, the temperature regulation systems stop and sweat production is stopped. Other symptoms are impaired consciousness, fever, headache, nausea, cramps or even organ failure.
While a hat won’t save you from extreme heat, it can protect one of the most important parts of your body from direct heat. To avoid heat stroke, make sure you drink enough and don’t overwork. Especially in a survival situation, you don’t want to be exposed to such symptoms. So start the day calmly when the temperatures are high.
The right hat can also limit your water loss. A cloth hat stays damp and cools your head. Without fabric next to your skin, you would just keep sweating.
4. Protect your eyes
Direct UV light can also affect your vision. I personally hate wearing sunglasses and am grateful that my hat does the job for me.
There is evidence that sunlight is responsible for diseases such as cataracts. In the worst case, this disease can even lead to blindness.
Less tragic is the pterygium, which deforms the conjunctiva and also suggests UV radiation as the cause.
Scarves, bandanas and buffs are of course not as effective here because the eyes are spared.
5. Protection from insects
Climate change favours the spread of the more unpleasant consorts from the insect kingdom and is already leading to veritable plagues in Europe. It is all the more important to protect yourself and not turn your stay in the wilderness into a mosquito feast.
In my opinion, cloths are clearly ahead in this respect. Here you can protect your head from the small attackers and still retain optimal mobility.
Alternatively, there is a mosquito net for hats and caps, which covers your entire head and neck. I don’t want to do without such a net in the tropics, but in colder climates, a cloth in front of my mouth and especially on the back of my neck is often enough for me.
When do I use which headgear?
Different conditions require different actions.
As last mentioned, a cloth is ideal for places with a high incidence of mosquitoes. If you are facing extreme heat and sunlight, a hat or cap is your choice. If it is hot and you are looking for something that is breathable, a straw hat is sometimes useful.
As always, the right preparation is the key to success when you are outdoors. I always have a towel with me because it’s so versatile. In addition, I often wear a hat. Here it is important to choose the right hat. A straw hat that will be blown off your head in the next strong wind is not very practical.
For me, the boonie hat and the sun hat with neck protection, which is made of fabric and mostly equipped with a chin strap.
The chin strap keeps the hat on your head even in windy conditions and the absorbent fabric cools your head. If you want to prepare yourself optimally, you can also put an insect net to.
Another great thing about fabric hats is that they are thin and foldable so they can be stored away easily.
Questions and answers
What sunscreen should I use when hiking?
If you go hiking, you should choose sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). A sunscreen with SPF 50+ provides excellent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. You should also wear a long t-shirt and a hat.
What should I consider when buying a hat for the first time?
When buying a hat, you should definitely make sure that the hat fits well (i.e. fits the circumference of your head), that you feel comfortable and that it is comfortable to wear. It is also important that the hat is the right size and covers all important parts of your body.
How do I protect my face from the sun when hiking?
Some precautions you can take when hiking in the sun are: Wear a hat or hood to protect your face from the sun. Use a cloth or towel to wipe away the sweat. Avoid hiking in the blazing midday sun. Seek out shadows when possible. And always wear sunscreen on your skin.
How do you prevent sunburn while hiking?
The best remedy for sunburn is sunscreen with a high sun protection factor.
Which fabric best protects against sunlight?
Sunscreen fabrics are available in a variety of fabrics including wool, silk, cotton, linen and polyester. Wool and silk offer the best sun protection, while cotton and linen are slightly weaker. Polyester is the weakest.
What are the two types of sun protection?
There are chemical and physical types to protect themselves from the sun. Sunscreens: These products contain active ingredients that protect the skin from the penetration of UV rays. In most cases, these remedies come in the form of a spray or cream and must be applied to the skin. Sun Protection Garments: These garments are designed to protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays. They are available in different fabrics and designs.
What is the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50?
The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is that SPF 50 offers protection against 98% of UV rays, while SPF 30 only protects 96%.
Which colour is best for sun protection?
The best colour for sun protection is white. White reflects most of the sun’s energy, creating a cool feeling against the skin.
Bottom Line: Wearing a hat in hot weather is a great way to keep cool.
It is important to protect your skin from the sun. Hats protect your face and head from the sun’s harmful rays.
This reduces your risk of developing skin cancer, especially if you have fair skin.
Hats continue to protect your eyes and ears from insects, keep you cool in hot weather, and keep your head warm when it’s cold outside.