Dressing for Haleakala

Climate: A general rule-of-thumb is a loss of 3 degrees F for every 1,000 feet elevation gain. Haleakala crater floor is at 7,000 feet elevation. That makes Haleakala approximately 21 degrees F colder than Maui at sea level.

Maui at sea level in June averages 70-to 84 degrees F; Haleakala in June averages 47 to 65 degrees F.

While hiking with a backpack the body generates considerable amount of heat. You can dress lightly. However when you stop to rest your body will cool down quickly and you need to dress for the prevailing temperatures.

As a general rule do NOT wear cotton for any activity such as hiking. Cotton, when wet with rain or perspiration is slow to dry and in contact with your body will evaporate and draw your body heat sway leading to hypothermia. Wear only synthetic or wool fabrics.

Dressing from toe to head:

Boots should be ankle high to keep sand and pebbles from entering. The boot tread should be lugged and not smooth to provide friction and grip to prevent slips and falls.

Boots should fit with 1/2 to 1 inch space between your toes and the inside front of the boot. To test this, lace up the boot tightly and kick the toe against a solid wall. Your toe should not contact the inside front of the boot. This prevents blisters and pain when hiking downhill.

Socks should be made of synthetic or wool fiber. Do NOT wear cotton socks as it will blister your feet if it gets wet with water or sweat. Socks should be crew-sock or hiking-sock thickness to cushion the feet.

Leg covering can be either long pants or shorts and tights.

Pants should be loose enough for you to do a deep knee bend with no tight spots. Synthetic fabric pants are preferred. Do NOT wear jeans or denim or anything tight. Jeans when wet is heavy and does not dry easily.Cotton is not recommended.

Tights of synthetic fabric can be worn if you can do a deep knee bend easily with no tightness. Shorts should be worn over tights to provide wear resistance when sitting down. Shorts with pockets are preferred. Cotton is not recommended.

Shorts alone can be worn with the caveat that it provide no protection against abrasion and sun burn. The sun at 7,000 feet is much more likely to burn compared to sea-level. Make sure you use sunscreen.

Athletic shirt of synthetic perspiration-evaporative synthetic material will keep you comfortable. Cotton tee shirts will absorb sweat and feel cold when it is breezy. Cotton is not recommended. A long sleeve light over-shirt can be worn as sun protection for your arms. Otherwise be sure to use sunscreen on your arms.

⦁ A broad brim hat will protect your head and neck from sunburn.It will also provide shade for your eyes. A baseball cap does not provide protection for your ears and neck. Be sure to use sunscreen for those areas.

⦁ On bright sunny days, wear sun glasses to reduce glare and protect your eyes from irritation.

⦁ A rain jacket with a hood with optional rain pants provides good protection for rain. Wear a hat with a brim under the hood to ensure your vision is not restricted. A poncho provides less protection as the wind can whip it around exposing you to rain. If you must wear a poncho, use a cord or belt to tie around the waist to keep it from flapping around.

⦁ When resting or taking a break take off your backpack and put on a light jacket or fleece to keep from cooling down and getting hypothermic.

⦁ A watch cap, knit beanie, or similar is an excellent item to wear when resting or cold as it keeps your head from radiating your body heat.

Jim Yuen 2017

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