Nothing is better than enjoying a lovely hiking trip. The fresh air, the sunshine, and the birds chirping all around you is simply something you can’t manufacture. As wonderful as it may be to spend time in nature, things can get pretty hot in the summer and fall. If you’re looking to enjoy your next hiking trip as much as possible, keep these stay-cool tips in mind.
Simple Rules for Hot Weather Hiking
The summer sun makes any hiking trip better, but it does come with a lot of heat. So, when the temperatures rise and you’re ready to hit the trail, what do you do? Here are some simple tips for staying cook with hot weather hiking:
- Plan ahead for when and where to hike. When you’re planning your next summer hiking trip, try to find an area close to water or in a location where you’ll have a natural shelter like trees or steep canyon walls. You should also think about when you’ll be hiking – start early and take a break during the hottest part of the day or try a night hike.
- Dress in light layers. If you want to beat the heat, you’ll want to hit the trail early when it is still cool. Dress in light layers so you’re comfortable at the start of your hike and then remove layers as needed to keep cool as temperatures rise.
- Wear protective gear. You don’t have to dress in long sleeves and pants if it will make you too uncomfortable, but at least wear a hat to shade your face and neck. If you don’t want to lather on sunscreen every hour or two, consider wearing a light long-sleeve shirt.
- Bring plenty of water. Staying hydrated is extremely important for hot-weather hiking, so bring enough water to last all day. To keep it cool, fill the bottle halfway and freeze it overnight then fill it the rest of the way with water in the morning.
- Don’t forget to snack. When you’re hiking in the heat, the last thing you want to do is stop for a big meal in the middle of the day. You still need to keep your energy up, however, so try snacking throughout the day with smaller meals.
- Take it easy on the trail. It can take two weeks to acclimate to high temperatures so, unless you’re used to the heat, you should take it easy on your hike. Slow things down during the hottest part of the day and make up for it later when things cool down.
- Bring a buddy with you. Even if you’re hiking in a relatively safe area, accidents do happen, and the risks increase in extreme heat. Use the buddy system when hiking in excessive heat not only so you can rely on someone if things go wrong, but so you can both keep an eye on each other.
- Bring salty snacks. In addition to staying hydrated, you also want to replenish your electrolyte stores throughout the day. Bring plenty of salty snacks with you, especially carb-heavy snacks like trail mix or energy bars.
Following the simple rules above will help you to enjoy your hiking trip to the fullest without suffering in the heat. Just make sure you take your time and listen to your body – if you get tired, take a break instead of forcing yourself to continue.