As the weather turns around and the sun comes out, it’s hard to sit inside. Hiking is one of the most common outdoor activities and can be enjoyed by anyone. If you are going to be hiking in the summer, make sure that you are hydrated and well prepared.
Tips for a Summertime Hike
With some help from Modern Hiker, we have put together a list of things for you to think about while you are hiking this summer.
1) Start Early: Getting an early start can be beneficial in a number of ways. First off, it’s cooler in the morning than the early – late afternoon hours. Another reason for an early start is so you can climb to a higher elevation while it is cool and the temperature is rising (at higher elevations it is cooler than the ground level).
2) Cover Your Skin: No one enjoys sunburn. When you are hiking, we advise that you cover up your skin. Wear a loose fitting long sleeve shirt, pants, sunglasses, and a wide brimmed hat to keep away from the sun. If your skin is going to be exposed, apply suntan lotion regularly, as you are likely to sweat it off quickly. Also, you should avoid cotton and go with a material that releases heat.
3) Hydrate: This tip should begin a day or two before a big hike. Staying hydrated on a hike is very important as the strenuous activity can quickly lead to dehydration. Make sure you have plenty of water packed for the hike and remember to sip, not chug. Consuming a lot of water quickly can lead to other complications.
4) Bring Snacks: At some point on your hike, you are going to need a refuel. Bring snacks that are high in sodium and potassium, they will replenish lost electrolytes. Snacks like trail mix and electrolyte boosters for your water should fill your needs.
5) R-E-L-A-X: Remember, hiking in the sun is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Take your time and don’t be afraid to take a seat and cool off for a bit, have a drink and a snack, dry off, and give your muscles a rest.
6) Bring Extra Clothes: You might be saying, “Extra clothes…. in case we get stuck?” Nope! Extra clothes are important for hiking in the heat because, as gross as it is, you are going to sweat, a lot. It will be so refreshing when you stop for a break and you have a dry t-shirt in your bag or an extra pair of socks so your feet remain dry and blister free. Also, being sweaty can lead to bugs swarming you, a change of clothes will help, but nothing will prevent a swarm around your head like bug spray.
7) Know the Signs of a Heat Stroke: A heatstroke can cause you to faint or sometimes even be fatal. It is important that your partner and you are aware of the warning signs of a heat stroke.
- Muscle crampms
- Disorientation or confusion
- Lack of sweating
If you are feeling any of these symptoms, stop and take a break. Asses where you are on the trail and devise a plan to return to base. If you can’t make it to base, don’t be afraid to call for help.
8) Check the Weather: The weather can change quickly when you reach a high elevation. Make sure to check the weather when you get to the trail to avoid getting trapped in a downpour.
9) Pick the Right Trail: Do some research before picking a trail. On a hot and sunny day, a trail without any tree cover may not be your best bet. Find a trail that has plenty of shade, water, and elevation. All three of which should do their part to cool you off on a hot day.