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Natives from regions which are really hot and have a high sun intensity are wearing sometimes white/bright and sometimes black/dark colors.

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I mean there has to be a better strategy in terms of heat budget and radiation protection (which seem to be the two main enemies).

Black absorbs the heat most so the clothing gets hotter. I've read that the difference is low when you wear your stuff very loosely like the Bedouin and other desert dwellers do. That being said black clothing is said to protect better against sunburn. I don't know why though.

No major advantages for any color?

I could think of ethnic/cultural/religious reasons but in my opinion comfortable living should be the main reason for a choice.

E.g. here is said bright clothing wins. If you have a look at the nature the bright=cool, black=hot works also. E.g. the Namaqua chameleon regulates the temperature with its color:

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I have always been advised to be in bright/light colours during the trekking expeds in regions which are known for bad sun.

Everybody knows that Black clothing absorbs more heat(radiation). The lighter you wear, the lesser heat you attract(radiation). Now there is a point rightly said above that the darker colours will emit it faster as well, but the media for emission is very important. We, human, emit the body heat in the form of sweat (usually, the most of the times). After a certain amount/threshold, Sweating is trouble-making. The more you sweat, the more body-necessary fluid you loose rapidly.

The physics, or I should say, the physiology of that is something like this: Perspiration is our major Thermoregulation mechanism. The more you exert (Specifically, out in the sun, not resting), the more your muscles heat up due to exertion, more sweat is produced, the more fluid you loose. How the sweat is produced? When the gain of the hypothalamic feedback system increases in response to the increased body temperature, the more Perspiration is needed. And, sweat contains majorly Water, then Minerals, may be Urea (hence Salt??) In that case, the darker your clothes are, Higher is your skin temperature, and so higher is the Perspiration rate.

Now, addressing to the example you have posted above, it says that, the Namaqua chameleon regulates the temperature with its color, yeah agreed, but there a lot complicated points about its hydrating and body-temperature maintaining phenomena of Cold Blooded animals, typically the Reptiles. You can't simply co-relate their phenomena with our body temperature maintaining mechanism, Because reptiles are Ectotherms, they get their body heat from outside (external environment), and they lack the ability to generate heat in the body, unlike Humans for that matter..

Go for Brighter colours when you plan to trek at any place where there you are expecting the temperature to be above you body temperature by 4-5 Degree Celsius.

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Lots of true points and it's also valid that the example with the chameleon may be not the best. But nonetheless, what's about the sunburn question? Do you think it's negligible? And why are there dessert dwellers wearing black capes? I just can't believe they never tried bright stuff and didn't notice a difference over the decades of experience... –  EverythingRightPlace Jan 29 at 21:16
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@bashophil: You surely dont want to confuse between a Sunburn ( to exposed skin) & a rash that mostly happens to a covered part of the body, shoulders in case of bad cushion of Haversack belts.About Sunburn part of it, I would say, As long as you wear full sleeves and a proper long pant and have a Hat on your temple, you are unlikely to sustain major sunburns. At the most, you will have tanning. Now, say, if you already have had a sunburn on the previous day, and you put on darker cloths, black for that matter, you will struggle. Because in most of the cases, sunburns cover the sweat glands. –  WedaPashi Jan 31 at 4:18
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@bashophil: And, I honestly don't have much wisdom about dressing sense of the desert dwellers. But, I can ask you to observe a thing about it: Those (beautiful, if you can say so) women wearing a Burqa (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burqa), their skin tends to get reddish as they spend time in sun, but under the Burqa. Can you think of the Reason??? Heat may be? (Be careful when you observe them, Now do not just go and observe by staring them :D, their men will feed you to vultures if you do so) –  WedaPashi Jan 31 at 4:26
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@WedaPashi If you wear white light clothing and no sunscreen, you will burn through the clothing, but if you wear black with no sunscreen you won't (assuming they are of a similar weave). Dark clothing is supposed to have a higher UPF rating than light. Rashes caused by heat are not always due to sunburn, Prickly Heat (also called Heat Rash) is actually rather rare and due to small sweat glands - you can get this in a room out of the sun if it is too hot. Or a condition like mine, Polymorphic Light Eruption (aka, sun allergy) which brings up a reddness. –  Aravona Jul 17 at 6:56
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Aravona - actually, the difference in sun protection between light and dark clothing is negligible compared to the difference caused by the type of fabric. –  Rory Alsop Jul 18 at 10:38

Although black clothing absorbs radiation from the sun more than white clothing, this is somewhat offset by the fact that it also emits it more efficiently. Good absorbers are also good emitters. If you're standing in dark shade and the objects in your environment are cooler than the temperature of your clothing, then black clothing will theoretically cause the net effect of radiation and absorption to cool you faster than in the case of white clothing.

In reality, I suspect that physics isn't the reason that people in various cultures and environments choose to wear white or black clothing.

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Thanks for clearing up a bit the radiation part. I am interested in the physics behind but besides all that the dwellers living there for hundreds and thousands of years may not be thinking of it, that's sure. But they notice the consequences and that makes me believe they have the best strategy to handle this climate. –  EverythingRightPlace Jan 27 at 5:48
    
I recall reading a while back (print article, Nat'l Geographic) that moisture retention in the clothing is part of the Bedouin's cooling strategy. –  orangejewelweed Jul 16 at 21:26

Black robes are worn predominantely by Bedouin tribesmen.

A scientific paper has been written on this Why do Bedouins wear black robes in hot deserts? article in journal Nature. This is summarised quite neatly here.

To cut a long story short:

"It seems likely," the scientists wrote, "that the present inhabitants of the Sinai, the Bedouins, would have optimised their solutions for desert survival during their long tenure in this desert. Yet one may have doubts on first encountering Bedouins wearing black robes and herding black goats. We have therefore investigated whether black robes help the Bedouins to minimise solar heat loads in a hot desert."

They then conducted an experiment getting a volunteer to stand in the desert wearing various colours and types of clothing.

The results were:

...As the report puts it: "The amount of heat gained by a Bedouin exposed to the hot desert is the same whether he wears a black or a white robe. The additional heat absorbed by the black robe was lost before it reached the skin."

So though the black clothes adsorbed the heat faster it also looses the heat faster. The style of the clothes (worn loose) increases this convection processes.

These people have spent millennia in the desert and know what they're doing. Their lifestyle, animals and clothing are all highly optimised for desert travel (there's also religious reasons for what they wear, covering heads, etc.).

That said for modern western people, you're unlikely to go into the desert wearing full Bedouin dress. So if you're wearing western clothing, without the loose fit, etc. You're more likely to find that light colours are best.

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