Summer has the brightest scenery of the four seasons and relatively long daylight hours which can all mean it's the best time to have a great, full day spent on hiking... Whether hiking in the forest or climbing mountains, you all can enjoy a funny outdoor day with family and friends.
But yes, summer is hot, which blocks most people's enthusiasm to go out, not to mention outdoor activities... However, it is possible to still enjoy the outdoors in hot summer weather by taking a few extra precautions beyond the basics. And that’s why we’ve developed these 10 rules for hiking in hot weather.
1. CHOOSE A SUITABLE TRAIL
No matter how optimistic you are, you cannot be a happy hiker while hiking along a bare, no-shade trail. You need to choose a suitable trail according to three elements: shade, water, and altitude.
- While hiking in the lush forest, the leaves will help you shield most of the sunlight, so shade is very important;
- A hiking route that involves water, one that follows a stream, skirts a lake, visits a swimming hole, which means you will have a cool hiking trip;
- Basically, for every 300 meters increase in altitude, the temperature will drop by 3.5 degrees. That is to say, if you choose a hiking route, the higher you go, the cooler you will be. So, go higher.
2. SELECT THE TIME PERIOD
No one likes to get up early, especially on weekends, but you have to do this if you want a cool summer hiking! So you can start hiking with the sunrise to miss the hottest time in summer (11:00-14:00).
3. ABOUT CLOTHING
Wear light & comfortable clothes, long shirt and trousers are better, which can block more sunlight, prevent our body from being scratched by branches, and also prevent mosquito bites;
Quick-drying fabric is best; avoid wearing cotton clothing, because it gets wet, it stays wet, sticks to your skin and, drops your body temperature in cool/cold weather.
Convertible clothing (those with legs/arms that zip off) is an especially good choice: it protects the skin when hiking in wood, and zips them off when the trail opens up to let your legs/arms breathe.
4. DO SUN PROTECTION
Hat: a hat can provide good sun protection while hiking in exposed terrain, so it's must-pack hiking gear. However, keep in mind that the head is an important outlet for heat dissipation from the body, so you should choose a hat that has sunscreen and good heat dissipation.
Sunglasses & sunscreen: wear UV-protective sunglasses to protect your skin, the same as sunscreen. Long-time hiking will cause more sweating, so remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially when hiking at high altitudes.
Bandanas: The headscarf has multi-functions, such as protect the neck and the head... Of course, it can also be used to cool down. You can dip it in the stream and wring it well, and tie it on the neck loosely to help keep you cool.
5. DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!
During most hiking trips, your body will lose about one liter of water per hour, even more than double while violent hiking in hot weather. When hiking, make sure you bring more water than you need, and remember to drink water often. Remember – if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
6. ENERGY SUPPLEMENT
Only drink water is not enough, you also need to balance those electrolytes, supplement sodium, and potassium, so you can carry some sports drinks while hiking, which can provide Energy supplement to you.
7. REMEMBER REST
You can take a short rest in the shade after a half-hour or an hour of hiking, which can help you restore tight muscles, evaporates sweat, and lowers body temperature.
8. BEWARE OF HEATSTROKE
There is a risk of heatstroke when the core temperature of the human body is too high. Beware of most common early signs of Heat Stroke
- Hot temperatures
- Dry skin No sweat or less sweat
- Chest tightness and shortness of breath
- Throbbing headache
- Muscle cramps
- Disorientation or confusion
If you or your hiking partner occurs these signs– stop hiking, find shade, and cool down ASAP. Immediately start planning on getting off the trail and to medical attention and don’t hesitate to call 911.
9. KEEP CHECK THE WEATHER
The weather in summer is very variable, so you should always pay attention to the weather change while hiking. pay attention to the local weather forecast, and use some basic observation weather forecast skills to perceive the weather change and adjust the route in time, keep you and your hiking partners away from the storm.
There are many mosquitoes in lush bushes, especially in canyons, so be sure to bring anti-mosquito sprays with you.
Let's go hiking together this summer!