Hats….. well…. what to say about hats on the AZT? Weather… I have to start this section reminding everyone that even in Arizona we actually have weather here. Most of it is hot, sunny and dry but in the northern and even southern sections of our beautiful state, they have clouds, rain, wind, snow and hail. Oddly enough on my travels on the AZT I have been attacked by all of the above. Weather changes too, a 20 mile hike might take you about 7 to 8 hours maybe more if you want to break for lunch. In that time, sunny sky’s can become dark and grey…. and guess what… you’re a 3 hour hike from the protection of your car. So…. hats. Today people seem to wear hats mostly for looks. In the past people wore hats for a good reason… protection. Keeps the weather off you and shades you from the heat and sun. On the AZT, I have worn many types of hats. Ball caps, visors, sun hats, cowboy hats and other hats. Which do I prefer? A cowboy hat. Yep… I am not a cowboy and actually have never ridden a horse but dam… those cowboys did something right with hats. They just plane work. I bought a white coated hard straw cowboy at a New Mexico truck stop a while back and have many AZT trail miles on it. Keeps me cool and shaded in the heat. Hail bounces right off it. Rain never can wet it out and god knows it’s saved my head from a number of low branches. Be careful in the wind though. I had to engineer a chin strap for it. Would take flight at a good wind gust and got tired of chancing it down hills. Either way bring a wide brimmed hat on your trail journeys. Even if you just leave it in your pack. They can become a life saver.
Update 08-05-2017. Lately I have been wearing a Dorfman-Pacific Weathered Cotton Outback Hat With Chin Cord that I purchased on Amazon for $25.00. Man it’s a homely ugly hat but it seems to be working out actually quite well. The hard cowboy hat was starting to annoy me when I wanted to sling it around my neck or on my pack when it was not in use on my head. The Dorfman’s brim has a wire cord in it which give you a lot of shaping options and since it’s a soft hat you can cram and trash it around without the worry of breaking it. Still ugly though… I affectionately call it Hobo Hat…..
Update : 07-31-2018. I got caught cheating on Hobo hat and I regretted it, big time!!!!!!!!!! I tried a wicker sun hat like the landscapers wear thinking it would be cooler and breath better…. well… this type of hat is not meant for the AZT at all. We got rained on and sun baked all in the same day. Rain came right through, did not do good with the sun and then it started to fall apart. Big mistake…. Hobo hat, forgave me and took me back thank god. 🙂