Everyone loves beautiful, sunny days, but unless there is some caution involved, hot weather hiking can be harmful.
As temperatures rise higher and higher, so do the risk of becoming dehydrated, ill and in some cases seriously.
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Hot Weather Hiking
High body temperature can develop rapidly in very hot environments causing what is known as hypothermia.
Heat related illnesses cause high body temperature due to the body not being able to transfer heat effectively or external heat gain is excessive. Heat stroke, heat rash, cramps, etc.
Instead of landing in one of these situations, discover some tricks to keep your body temperature down and find relief from the summer heat.
On really hot days find hikes that take place mostly in the shade or at higher altitudes.
Make sure these hikes lead to many sources of water. Not only is water a natural coolant, but will give you the opportunity to fill your water containers.
Always Stay Hydrated
Always drink plenty of water in order to keep your sweat glands up and running. If your body can’t sweat, your skin cannot cool down. This will help you avoid heat related illnesses.
If you discover water along the trail make sure you filter or purify it first.
Water alone will not be enough to avoid heat issues. You should take in electrolytes that are minerals found in salty snacks or hydration powders and tablets. Electrolytes allow your body to use the water you are drinking.
Keep an Eye on the Time
If you will be hiking where there is little shade, do it during the early hours of the day. You will want to be back before the sun heats the day to its extremes.
Wear loose-fitting clothing, light in color. Loose-fitting clothing allows air to circulate around your skin, allowing you to remain cooler.
Hats should also be large brimmed and loose fitting and will also protect you from sunburn.
Take a Dip
If you are in an area where you can take a quick dip, do it. If not, soak a bandana and place it over your head or around your neck for fast relief.
There are bandanas filled with water-absorbing polymer crystals that soak up water and help you remain cooler for a longer period of time.
Look for Breezes
I don’t believe there is anything as refreshing as finding a really nice breeze in the middle of a blistering hot day.
You can find breezes on ridges or certainly around water or look for trees and their patterns such as twisted leaves caused by constant winds.
Take It Easy
Give enough time to complete the hike at an acceptable pace without a need to walk at a rushed or fast pace constantly. This should help with keeping the body temperature at a more acceptable range.
When hiking in hot weather use common sense and keep your body cool. Hypothermia is a very serious condition and you do not want to be out in the wilderness somewhere and suffer from this illness.
Drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting clothing, hike during the earlier hours of the day and seek shade when you can.
Gear to take on hot weather hiking trip includes a hydration pack or water bottle with polarized sunglasses (protects and prevents glare) a hat or bandana, and sun protection.