Clothing for a Hot Climate
Ok, you have decided to travel to a hot tropical climate on a mission trip or relief work. I just returned from the Dominican Republic and it was hot. I tried out a few things to try and stay cool while I was down there. Some worked well, others didn’t.
Clothing to avoid in a hot climate
One of the items I purchased was a sports shirt and pants that are designed to help keep you cool during a workout. For me, these shirts only worked well when there was a breeze. If you were stationary and didn’t have a fan or wind blowing on you they did work well. They felt like they stuck to you. One reason is that they are only part cotton and part polyester. Polyester is a very hot material when you are in a steamy tropical place. The pants were even worse at keeping the heat in. Jeans can also be a bit warm depending on the type and thickness.
What works well in a hot climate?
There were a few things that worked well for me. I was still hot, but much more comfortable. First off, Cotton is king in hot climates. Cotton tends to breathe better and absorb sweat. Be sure it is a thin cotton shirt, not the winter grade you get up here in Minnesota. I purchased a number of inexpensive cotton shirts from my local retailer. Make sure the clothing is loose fitting. The more air space you have between you and the clothing the more comfortable you will feel. Make sure you select lighter colors as well. I tended to go with gray, off white and other lighter colors.
I was working and needed to wear long pants so I went to a uniform store and thrift store to purchase some medical scrub pants. I liked the scrub pants because they were lightweight and wore well in the heat. I also brought a few khaki pants to go with a number of scrub pants. They both seemed to work well.
Accessories that help
You will want to keep a hat on hand that is lightweight and high quality sandals are a good option if you are not doing manual labor. Gym shoes work ok if they are the breathable kind and you wear lightweight short socks. If you are working as a laborer, you can wear a cloth hat and periodically get it wet.
If you can keep your head and feet cooler that will go a long way to helping you stay more comfortable.