How to Prepare for Warm Weather Walks

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For those of us who live in chillier areas of the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is (finally) starting to change.  And as spring approaches, I am so ready to get back outside for my daily walks.

I absolutely love walking outside in the spring.  There’s just something about the sunshine, the warmer breezes, and the budding trees and flowers that make me want to spend as much time outside as possible (even if it means dealing with the sniffling and sneezing that comes with it).  At this time of year, you can find me sweating on the trail in the morning and (if I can talk my husband or a friend into it) strolling through the neighborhood in the evening.  Because, this time of year, I don’t even want to be inside.  I want to be outside as much as possible.

Still, as the weather starts to change from winter into spring, it means that summer isn’t far behind.  When the temperatures rise and the sun beats down, it can start to feel not just warm and comfortable but hot on the trails.

Of course, there are ways to avoid overheating on your daily walks.  You can head out during the cooler times of the day—walking a little earlier in the morning or later in the evening.  Fortunately, the days are getting longer, and it’s staying light a little later in the evening, so there’s more time for outdoor walks.  Or, if it gets really hot, you can always go with my winter backup plan and head inside to the mall or the gym. 

Just the other day, though, after a surprisingly sweaty morning walk, I realized that it’s time to start thinking about packing away my winter gear and bringing out the summer necessities.  So let’s take a look at some of the extra preparations to make—and extra gear to pack—before you head out on those warm-weather walks.


Before you head out on your summer walk, be sure that you’re wearing the right clothes.  Sure, you want some comfy shoes, but the other stuff is important, too. 

Skip the cotton—because, even though you’ve been told that cotton is “soft and breathable,” your favorite cotton shirts will keep you hot and sweaty.  Go with breathable polyester/spandex performance gear instead. 

Also…be sure to find clothes that are comfortable for heat and movement.  During the hot summer months, chafing can be more of an issue—so stick with shorts/skirts that don’t ride up or rub on your thighs. 


Warm weather = sweaty walks = loss of fluids.  While it’s always good to keep some water handy while you’re walking, it’s absolutely crucial when the temperatures start to rise.  Before you leave the house, consider the temperature, where you’ll be walking, and how long/far you’ll be walking: 

For a shorter walk, I’ll just fill up my handheld bottle from Nathan

But once it gets hotter—or my walks get longer—I might switch over to a waist pack (mine is similar to this one), so I can pack a little more water while keeping my hands free. 

Or, if I’m planning a long walk, I carry my lightweight hydration vest (like this one).  It’s light and breathable, and it comes with a ton of pockets.  So not only can I bring more than a liter of water, but I can also pack some snacks.  If you need a little extra hydration boost, add some hydration powder to your water before you fill your pack (or your bottles…whatever you choose).

I also recommend filling an insulated tumbler (a fake Stanley will do) with water and ice and leaving it in the car (if you’re driving to your favorite trail), so you’ll have more water waiting for you when you finish your walk.


When the sun comes out of hibernation, you might be so excited to enjoy the extra vitamin D that you’ll skip the sun protection—but remember that the sun actually burns your poor, pasty skin.  You’ll want to protect it in some/all of the following ways—so I recommend packing a wide variety of options in your gear bag.

Sunscreen is an absolute gear bag necessity.  Everyone has their preferred brand, but whatever it is, have plenty handy.  I’ll often put some on before I leave the house, and then I’ll give myself a good spray before I start (don’t forget to get the back of your neck!).  I also keep a sunscreen stick in my bag because it’s great for last-minute face applications or retouches.

Lip Balm
We’ve been told to protect our skin from the sun, but we often forget that our lips need protection, too.  I keep SPF 15 lip balm everywhere.  I keep some in my gear bag, and I keep some in whatever hydration pack I’m carrying, too.  Because you just never know when you’ll need more—and, also, it’s small, so why not?

A nice, breathable hat will protect your head while keeping the sun out of your eyes.  My hat-loving friends swear by their Sprints, but I love my high-pony-friendly Under Armour hat—and I keep a cheap Temu hat in my bag at all times, just in case.

If you’re not a hat person, a nice, wide headband can help protect your head from the sun while keeping your hair out of your face.  Junk’s Big Bang Lite headbands offer some great coverage, and they stay put, too.  (Here’s my take.)  Or you can find them on Amazon.

Light Layers
A number of activewear companies make sun-protective clothing.  If you need a little extra protection, stock up on light, breathable long-sleeve shirts and long pants.  A lot of my favorites come from Baleaf.  (Use code KRISTINKRAMER to get 10% off yours here on the Baleaf site.)

You know how much I love my sunnies!  A comfy pair of colorful goodrs just brings a little extra fun to any day.  I’ve reviewed several styles lately (like OGs and Mach Gs)   But you can find more in the goodr Amazon store.


When it’s hot outside, you need to pull out all of the stops to keep yourself from overheating.  I mean, a little sweat is totally healthy—but no one wants you to pass out on the trail.  So it’s good to take some extra precautions before you take those first sweaty steps.

Cooling Towels
A couple of summers ago, my daughter and I discovered the joys of cooling towels.  Before we’d set out on our morning walks together, we’d grab our towels, get them wet, and wrap them around our necks to help us stay cool as we got our miles out on the trail.  I have this four-pack, but I’ve seen them on Temu for a great price, too.

Cooling Wristbands
Cooling wristbands work just like the towels.  Just get them wet and put them on.  I’ve found that they’re surprisingly effective in cooling me down just by cooling my wrists.  Like cooling towels, they’re pretty common finds.  You can pick up a multipack on Amazon or pick them up one at a time on Temu.

High-Tech Options
I’ve seen plenty of other options for personal cooling—everything from wearable ice packs to personal fans that fit around your neck.  You can even spend a whole lot of money to get an app-controlled wristband to control your body temperature (I’m not kidding! Check it out!)  I try to keep it as simple as possible—with things that are easy to pack in my bag and that won’t get in my way while I’m walking.  But if you’ve found something else that really works, I’d love to hear about it! 


As I may have mentioned before in my post on my walking bag necessities, I like to be prepared for everything—which means that there are other extras that I keep in my summer gear bag. 

Hair Accessories
You never know when something will snap.  So it’s good to have extra headbands and hair ties handy to help keep your hair out of your face.

Bug Spray
Warm summer weather means bugs.  And if you’re taking your walks on scenic trails, you’re pretty much guaranteed to encounter some on your walk.  So to keep them from being a nuisance and ruining your morning stroll, you’ll want to keep some insect repellant handy—right there with your sunscreen. 

On those hot, sweaty days, it’s nice to have a towel handy to wipe down your sweaty face…and neck…and wherever once you finish.  It’s also extra-nice to have something to sit on when you drive home—because, depending on whether your car has cloth seats or leather ones, you’ll either be soaking your seats with sweat or sticking to them.  So I always keep a towel in the car for extra comfort on sweaty days.

Chafing Stick
I’ve mentioned before that chafing can become more of an issue during hot, sticky, sweaty months.  I recommend picking up some Body Glide and keeping it handy.  Before you head out, apply it to those chafe-sensitive spots.

As the temperatures get warmer, those daily walks can definitely get sweatier!  But as long as you take a few precautions—and keep the right gear handy—you can keep enjoying your outdoor walks all spring and summer long.

Do you have any special gear that you pack with you for warm weather walks?  Or anything special that you do to prepare?  Tell us about it!


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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