A hat is an essential item that can protect you from sunlight, rain, heat, and cold. Select the proper hat for the environment. A hat can also provide protection and make a fashion statement. Hat types include:
- Wide Brimmed Hats can protect you from direct sunlight, heat, and rain. These hats are good for general outdoor use and can help prevent overheating, sun stroke, and eye-strain. A breathable hat in the heat can be soaked with water to create a cooling effect as the water evaporates. Hats should also include a chin strap so that you will not lose your hat to wind gusts.
- Beanies are small, lightweight, and warm but they do not provide much protection against sun or rain. Some beanies are very thin but also very warm and can be worn under another hat. Layered hats can add versatility and allow you to take advantage of the best of both types of hats.
- Wool Hats can provide warmth and sun/rain protection. Wool is often naturally water-repellent especially if it contains natural lanoline. Some wool hats can be crushed and compressed to more easily fit into a pack.
- Russian-style Fur Hats with flaps are excellent for extremely cold weather but not useful in warmer conditions. These hats are only useful for very cold temperatures.
Choose the proper hat for your environment. Hats are constructed from a variety of materials including:
- Oilskin is a dense cotton material treated with a blend of oils and waxes. These hats are best for rain protection and moderate weather. These hats will not provide much warmth in cold weather.
- Felt hats are made from wool and some can be crushed for easy packing. These are fade and water resistant and can provide some warmth.
- Leather hats provide excellent wind and rain protection. These extremely durable hats often require some time to get broken in.
- Cotton hats are very nice in warm weather. Cotton fabric absorbs moisture when you sweat. For very hot environments you can soak the hat in water and as the water evaporates it cools your head.
- Fur hats provide warmth in very cold environments.
Hats are an essential item in your kit. Choose the proper hat for your situation and be sure to wear it.
- Lethmik Hats are not hiking hat but they look really cool