How to Beat the Heat- 7 Tips on Summer Hiking
Hiking during the summer is the highlight of the year for many outdoor enthusiasts — and with good reason. Often you can travel to spots unreachable during any other time of the year, especially since your pack tends to be particularly light in that period.
The perks of summer hiking are many, as are the potential dangers. Camping and wilderness survival in notably hot regions is different than other types of hiking, requiring specific preparation and camping and survival equipment. Consider these seven tips before taking off on your first adventure into the summer heat:
Depending on the sort of cover you will have from direct sunlight, you’ll probably want to avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day, between 10AM and 4PM. If you are experienced, you may want to consider night hiking.
Know the trail.
Surprises during a long, hot hike can be disastrous. Make sure you are aware of where to find shade (or follow a shady route) and where to find water sources. Remember that if hiking at an elevated location, the temperature will be cooler but the sun will be stronger. Mountain hiking is popular during hot seasons for this reason.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, you are better off covering up to protect yourself from the sunlight and insects than giving into temptation and hiking in shorts and a tank top. Use sunscreen and reapply often (you are sweating more than you think). Don’t wear cotton- look for a wicking fabric that allows for air circulation. Bring a pair of extra socks to be able to keep your feet dry and blister-free. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Don’t be afraid to get wet at every opportunity — it goes a long way in cooling you down!
Remember that you typically lose a liter of water with every hour of hiking, and that this number can double in hot weather. Bring more water than you think you will need- your camping and wilderness survival depends on it. Your body can absorb about ½ liter of water per hour, so sip often. Bring salty snacks and electrolyte packs (most importantly with sodium and potassium) to maintain your energy. Make sure all food and water is in hot weather-ready containers.
Bring insect repellent.
Insects reproduce during the summer, multiplying their numbers by the thousands. Mosquitos, ticks, spiders, and a number of other insects could stop you in your tracks if they get a hold of you, so make sure to bring a DEET-level insect repellent with you for camping and wilderness survival.
Staying attentive to your body during a summer hike is imperative to avoiding hot weather ills like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and serious dehydration. Familiarize yourself with the warning signs associated with these serious maladies before setting off. Stay attentive.
Bring a survival kit.
A survival kit military grade or personalized to your specific needs can be of particular use during a summer hike. Although the Nalgene survival kit used to be considered ideal hydration camping and survival equipment, it is more popular now to have a stainless steel container as seen in survival kit military grade. Make sure your wilderness survival kit contents include everything you would need to survive at least a few nights in the outdoors if needed and that it is comfortable and light enough to carry easily.
Originally published at www.arcwayindustries.com.