Canoe hats

Several years ago, I started hiking with a long trail hiker.
He refers to the hats I like to wear as canoe hats.
I do a lot of my canoeing in hot dessert environments, so good sun protection is important.
This is my most recent purchase:
If I’m paddling the Boundary Waters I might opt for something more waterproof.
Let’s see what you paddle in.

This is my go to for paddling, hiking and other stuff with strong sun exposure

Sometimes nothing, occasionally a ball cap, more often an inexpensive broad brim straw hat from someplace like Walmart.

Ball cap or maybe a knit or Stormy Kromer style if its cold.

Straw Panama (cool, cheap, expendable, decent sun protection) unless windy. I keep a boony (found half buried on a sandbar) that works better in wind. Stocking cap when cool.

A Tilly , nylon with a ventilated crown.


Sun protection is important especially at higher elevations and in the desert. If you wear a ball cap get in the habit of wearing a cotton bandana around your neck. You can get it wet, but you can also put in under your ball cap to protect your neck and ears.

A hat with a brim is best. Add a stampede strap to secure it in the wind.

I just had 3 skin cancer surgeries on my face. Now I like long sleeves with a hood. A buff or neck gatier is really good when you are on the water. You get overhead sun plus reflected rays off the water. I like light gloves to protect the back of my hands.

On a 5 day trip or a week or longer, you can really get burned to a crisp. Take precautions. Last year was probably the first summer I can remember with no sunburn.

Fedora style, wide brim, lanyard, soakable for cooling, washable, floats - first one lasted about 10 years:

Riverz by San Francisco Hat Company Delta TechStraw Fedora Hat Straw Hats (

pine, you are ahead of me. For a few years my dermatologist has frozen the sun spots off .
The last couple have left bloody grooves on my face and one each on my back and chest.
I suspect they were mostly a result of growing up in the South. Our summer outfit was shorts.
T-shirt and shoes optional.

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I have one of the original tarp hats and the floppy travel hat. Both are great for keeping the sun off your face, ears and neck.

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I have only a couple of regrets in life.
I would have protected myself from the sun more.
I would have used hearing protection more.

We grew up on Chesapeake Bay. There was no AC. We were on the boat every weekend 6 months a year. I was on a swim team. I got into surfing. We moved West and skied at 10,000 feet. I had an outdoor career. Too much sun for too many years. Now I hide from it mostly.

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Skin cancer?
A good hat is important. Especially in Colorado. Sun is intense at 13,000 ft.
I haven’t always been as careful as I should have been. I have a spot or two that are worrisome, but so far I haven’t had skin cancer. Before I go out for a hike or ride, I put 50 spf sunscreen on exposed skin.
Hearing is till good. I’m not a big concert goer.

I wear either a large straw hat or my cooling sunhat. I have a very large head so finding a hat that fits is a challenge.

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It depends where I am paddling. Open water lakes and rivers I generally just use a ball cap. If I’m in on a small body of water or lazy river I use a Tilley Hat. That way if I have to pop a bug net on it keeps it away from my skin.

I had a Bora Bora Booney and hated it. The brim is uncontrollable and flopped in my face and otherwise did what it wanted, and the chinstrap irritated my ears. I chucked it in a donation bin and got an Aussie Breezer from LL Bean. Worlds of difference; the brim keeps its shape, chinstrap is properly located, and the mesh crown does a truly amazing job of keeping my head cool.

Among outdoor people by age 70:
You can tell the ones that don’t wear hats. They tend to have scars on their scalps and noses and other places.
You can tell the ones that wore ball caps. They tend to have scars on their temples and tops of the ears.

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Tilley hat for the past 25 years

I have the same complaint about the Bora Bora hat. It’s nice for near-calm winds or maybe as a general outdoor/hiking hat.

It all depends on the situation; I wear lots of hats, in more ways than one…


P.S.Always “wear” your bike hat (sitting on pavement). Loosely strap it down on top of gear and you can loose it in the middle of a desert in New Mexico…which is exactly what I did!