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Considering a scenario that one is hiking a lot in the indian sub-continent, what is better in order to mitigate the issues one may face due to bright sunny day? A hat or a simple cap?

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What do you mean by hiking in sub-continental? – gerrit Oct 22 '13 at 9:54
@gerrit He is referring to the Indian subcontinent I guess. The tropical sun is pretty bad in the Indian subcontinent. – Unsung Oct 22 '13 at 10:15
@gerrit: Apologies for assuming that people would get what I am referring to. Please see the edit – WedaPashi Oct 22 '13 at 12:31
Are you really asking for an opinion on whether to wear a hat or a cap?! I don't see how this is a good question. – Liam Jan 10 '14 at 17:27
@Liam Cant see why you want to close this. It's not an opinion based question. There are obvious advantages of a hat over a simple cap and anyone venturing into trekking might find this useful. I'm voting to keep this open. If the question was whether to wear a red hat or a blue hat, then yes, I would have agreed. – Unsung Jan 10 '14 at 19:15
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I assume by hat you mean mean a full-brim hat, while by cap you are referring to a baseball cap (brim in front only)?

Regardeless, in all instances of hiking anywhere with intense sun, your best bet will be: a hat

The wider the brim the better, to keep the sun off your neck, ears, nose and shoulders.

For sunny, arid regions: consider a thin airy straw-type hat that allows good circulation around your head while providing sun protection.

The straw will often hold water fairly well, and that along with a sweat band tied around it is great for evaporative cooling: Soak and repeat for a personal air conditioner.

Tighter weave, treated, or gore-tex full brim hats are great for rainy regions, keeping the water out of your eyes and off your neck.

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A hat. Or a cap with a sun shield.

It covers the back part of your neck and ears from harmful sun rays. Also, make sure that the cap is UV protective. A simple hat might not do the trick of blocking out the UV (It might protect you from direct sun though).

One disadvantage of a hat is that it blocks your peripheral view (i.e if the hat droops on the sides). But for me, the advantage of protecting your neck and ears from severe sun burns outweighs the vision aspect.

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Another issue to think about is whether you will have a backpack or not (and how high it rides up). Anyone who's tried backpacking with a sombrero knows what I mean - the hat is constantly whacking the pack and it drives you nuts.

Also consider (as mentioned above) the wind - a string through the hat that can be tightened around the chin works, as does a "leash" tied from the hat and clipped to your collar. A lost hat means sunburn even more than the wrong hat...

Happy hiking!

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Another option is a cap/visor with a bandanna. I like doing this when I expect windy conditions. Wide brimmed hats (superior in most other circumstances) will have more wind resistance and can become quite the nuisance. When you can wear neither a hat nor a cap (because you are wearing a helmet, for example,) the bandanna alone is quite effective!

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