Hiking can be a great hobby and an even better way to stay in shape, especially in the summer. While a bright sunny day can be the perfect day to get out and do some hiking, extreme heat is often a danger overlooked by novice hikers. Going out hiking unprepared on extremely hot days can lead to dehydration, heat stroke, and other potential health risks. Here are some ways to stay safe when hiking on those extra hot days.
Plan Your Trip
Knowing what to expect before starting your hike is generally a good idea even when not dealing with extreme weather conditions, but it’s even more important when going out in extreme heat. If you know what your pace will be, you can generally plan about how long you’ll be out hiking and be able to plan accordingly. It’s also a good idea to look into if there are any rest stops along the trail, as well as the best way to contact emergency or rescue services if anything goes wrong on the trip.
Pack Ample Supplies
It’s important to keep yourself well-nourished and hydrated on your hiking trip, especially when heat is going to be an issue. You’ll want to pack plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, as well as some sports drinks with electrolytes. Bring a spray bottle to spritz yourself down from time to time to help keep your skin nice and cool, as well as some salty high-energy snacks like nuts or a trail mix. Lastly, bring along some sunscreen and a first aid kit to prevent sunburn, and make sure you have anything you might need just in case you do end up getting hurt.
Hike Early or Late in the Day
When it comes to extreme heat, the temperatures will always be highest in the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead. This is why you should always plan on hiking either in the morning or evening, and not right in the middle of the day. Ideally, you’ll want to conduct your trip before 10 AM or after 4 PM, since those are the hours where you are most likely to find cooler temperatures.
By following these general tips, you can enjoy hiking even on extremely hot days relatively safely. Always make sure you’re well prepared, drink plenty of water throughout the trip, and enjoy.