Hiking Clothes for the Desert

When you’re hiking in the Desert Southwest, you need to dress differently than if you were hiking in other cooler, wetter climates in the United States.

When you are hiking in milder, wetter climates, you want you’re sweat to evaporate off of your body as quickly as possible, especially if temperatures are below freezing.

By allowing the sweat to stay on your body, you can get hypothermic very quickly.  You need to stay as dry as possible.


When hiking in the hot part of the year in a dry desert climate, your sweat can evaporate so quickly that it negates the natural cooling effect that sweat has on your body.  You’ll want to wear cotton desert hiking clothes because cotton acts almost as a sponge, soaking up and holding your sweat.

By holding your sweat and not letting it immediately evaporate, you’re giving it enough time to stay on your body and perform it’s natural function of cooling your body through evaporation.