Hiking in Hot Weather: Tips for Summer Day Hikers
It’s summer which means 90+ degree weather. I far too often hike in hot weather. My first trip this year in Beacon, NY probably wasn’t the smartest. 90 degrees with little shade. I didn’t wear a hat. I threw my hoodie over me to get some relief from the heat. But that obviously meant I got hotter. I couldn’t only find my heavy hoodie. Got some good photos, though. It was perfect conditions for infrared photography.
The obvious solution would be to avoid hiking in hot weather. Start my trip early in the day or later to avoid that high midday sun. But, that’s not really an option right now, at least not all the time. It takes me about 2 and a half hours to just reach the trailhead. It seems a waste to travel that far to only be on the trail for half a day. Also, infrared photography works best when shooting midday.
If you’re like me and find you’re hiking in hot weather, here are some tips to keep you safe.
Wear a Hat
Or cover your head in some way. I don’t have one of those hats with the 360 brim but I might invest in one.
Bring Lots of Water
Ideally, you’d have a hydration bladder. You can carry more water and the hose makes it easier for you to drink. I don’t have one yet. I generally bring water and a Gatorade. I’ll add lemon juice to the water. To me, that makes the water refreshing even when warm.
On that note, I’ve added Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System to my hiking wish list. This way, I’d be able to grab water from lakes, rivers and streams in an emergency.
Hike in the Shade
That trail I took in Beacon, NY had no shade. None. It was a nightmare. If you’re going to hike midday on a hot day, pick a trail with a lot of shade. Fortunately, that hike was fairly short and it ended by the waterfront, under the shade with a nice wind blowing.
Listen to Your Body
Hiking often means pushing yourself past your limit. But be careful with that, especially if you’re solo hiking in hot weather. If you get sick on the trail, help is often pretty far away. Get to know your body, your limits, and judge when you need to keep going and when you need to rest. Stay safe out there and enjoy your trip.