Anytime you plan a hike or backpacking trip in the Summer, it’s gonna be hot at some point. Especially if there is no shade. Here are a few tips to help you go from a melty, sweaty pile of mush to ready for more hiking:
Plan and Prepare:
Avoid hiking during the heat of day, go for an early morning or late evening hike. You could try to catch the sunrise or sunset from a summit!
Go for a complete night hike, hike by the light of the full moon or go during the new moon and use headlamps to get to a destination, find a spot to sit and turn off all your lights to enjoy the stars.
Check the forecast and plan hikes around cooler days.
If you can, go to higher elevation or cooler locations.
Pack ice cold water by either totally filling your Nalgenes or Camelbacks to the brim with ice, then add some water or better yet, put your half-filled water bottle in the freezer the day before, then add some water before you head out.
Don’t forget electrolytes, most of the time, plain water just isn’t enough to replenish all that we’re sweating out on a hot hike. We like Nuun tablets or Ultima packets the best.
Hike near water – streams or lakes are your friends! Take long breaks at water sources, go for a dip, put your feet in a cold stream, or dunk your hat/buff/bandana in water and put it back on your head or around your neck.
Don’t forget long breaks in the shade.
Protect yourself from the sun as much as possible – wear a big hat to shade yourself, and loose, lightweight, light colored long sleeved shirts and pants if you can, or at least lather up in sunscreen if you go short sleeved.
Pack and eat salty snacks throughout the day.
Prevent chaffing with Body Glide.
Learn to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Episode: 67 Hiking in Humidity
There are times when Hiking in the heat just isn’t safe. Plan and Prepare so your hike is enjoyable. Happy Hiking!