If boots, pants, or a backpack are indispensable accessories in every hiking trip, many people often forget one equally important thing – a hat.
In hot conditions with harsh sun like the desert, you will need a hat that can bring a large shade. At this time, people think of cowboy hats.
Cowboy hats can be very functional for people working in bright sunlight because they have a wide brim that can protect you from UV. It’s the most important thing.
But, as a part-time hiker, I know function sometimes is not enough, it’s also about convenience and something else.
Today’s article will let you know if you should wear a cowboy hat for hiking or not. What are the benefits and drawbacks you should know?
Let’s check it out!
- A cowboy hat is good for a short hike in light terrain in a sunny and dry environment, but not for a long hike.
- Even though I’m a fan of a cowboy hat, I admit that this type of hat is quite heavy, bulky, and inconvenient for long trips. You need to leave room for more important items such as boots, an aid kit, etc. in your backpack.
- Stay away from the hike in wet or nasty conditions (snow, rain) because it will make the cowboy hat become fragile quicker.
Cowboy boots can be a choice for hikers in a sunny environment, but not in most cases
The best thing about cowboy hats is the very wide brim compared to other hats such as caps. Therefore, it can provide a large shade to protect the front or back of your body and the neck from the harsh sun with many UV rays on the trip.
When the sun no longer just shines above the crown, the width of the cowboy hat’s brim comes into play even more! To my knowledge, the brim of the cowboy hat is even wider than the hiking one.
Besides, some cowboy hats are made from felt, straw or leather combine with vents on the crown’s side not only protecting the sun great but also making you feel good because of their breathability.
However, something you should note is that cowboy hats are bigger than caps (maybe hiking hats too). You cannot fold it in half or you will ruin its shape, this is troublesome when storing a cowboy hat on a long trip.
One of the most important things in the hiking trip is that you need to carry as few items as possible. Compact, light and flexible is the key point for a safe and comfortable hike.
A hiking hat can be easily folded in half or fourth and stored in the backpack, but you can’t do that to a cowboy hat. Or else, it can be broken in half!
It’s also tricky every time you take off your cowboy hat as you have to hold them in your hand. And you don’t want to do it while out of your breath! The cowboy hat box is also not a good choice since it is also big and bulky, too!
Cowboy hats are also heavier than other types of hiking hats. It may be okay for a short hike or if you have good endurance. However, in most cases, it will make you uncomfortable and angry with every tired step (I guess).
My advice is you should not wear a cowboy hat for the long hike with a bunch of support things, just use it for the short hike with light and simple accessories.
Moreover, with the bigger weight and area, this type of hat is less stable on your head, especially in difficult terrains such as rocky or uneven hills. So, try to choose the one that fits really well, or avoid using it in tough conditions.
Most cowboy hats (made from felt, straw, or leather) are not waterproof or easy to damage if get wet for too long, so make sure you don’t wear them in the rainy season! It’s not as durable as other hat types for wet or nasty environments.
In wet conditions, it just makes the felt hats or the leather hats lose shape quickly and even get mold or water stains! Also, it will make straw hats become fragile.
So, only use cowboy hats for the sunny hike!
Before you leave
As you can see from the above breakdown, cowboy boots can be a choice for light hiking, not for heavy-duty ones because of some lack of convenience.
Many people still wear cowboy boots for hiking nowadays, and I’m one of them. I used a cowboy hat for all the short hikes, long hikes, and light or tough terrain/environments.
That’s my conclusion, hope it helps!