How do you hike in excessive heat? – Useful Backpacker Tips
As far as hiking in excessive heat is concerned, most people think hiking at night is the most dangerous thing you can do. In most cases, hiking in the evening or early morning hours isn’t a big deal. But hiking during the day is far more critical. Even if it only makes sense to hike from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., many people try hiking right smack in the middle of the hottest part of the day.
When hiking in the heat, most people wait until it gets hotter than they can stand before quitting for the day. Here’s a better approach: Don’t hike when it’s hot! Hike during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning and evening hours, and rest during the hot part of the day.
What hiking in excessive heat does to you?
You will dehydrate quickly hiking in the heat. The hot weather tends to affect your judgment and common sense, so hiking in such conditions is dangerous.
How can hiking in the heat be dangerous?
Hiking when it’s over 90 degrees isn’t smart. Most people wait until the temperatures are high to go hiking. Because of this, tempers flare, and the possibility of an accident occurring increases. Don’t be overconfident hiking in the heat.
Here are 10 useful tips on hiking in excessive heat:
1. Don’t Overdress
Dressing for hiking in hot weather is tricky. You can get sunburned through your clothes, so wear a hat and sunscreen. But if you dress too light while hiking, even in the early morning hours you will overheat quickly hiking in excessive heat.
2. Wear Lighter-colored Clothes
Those hiking during the day should wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing made of cotton or other natural materials (not nylon). The fabric should let air circulate and keep skin dry by wicking away sweat.
3. Pace Yourself
Hiking at a slower pace helps prevent overheating while hiking in intense temperatures. Hike uphill slowly and jog down them to help control your heart rate hiking in the heat. Moreover, hiking downhill also helps keep you cooler hiking in the heat because you don’t work as hard.
4. Shade your hiking vehicle
This is one of the greatest ideas to consider when hiking in excessive heat. If hiking during the day, park your hiking vehicle in the shade and open the windows to let air circulate inside while hiking.
5. Take breaks in the shade
Find a shady spot, sit down, and pour some water over yourself to cool off hiking in the heat. A few minutes away from the direct sunlight hiking in hot weather can actually re-energize you hiking in heavy temperatures.
6. Hike with a partner or group of people hiking in high temperatures
It’s safer when members of your party are hiking together where they can assist each other if an emergency arises out hiking during the day.
Taking it slow is especially important on steep uphill hikes while dehydrated, so don’t push yourself too hard hiking in high temperatures hiking out during the day.
7. Eating Carbs
Eating carbs hiking in hot weather is the best way to stay energized hiking during the day. Carbohydrates provide your muscles and brain with glucose, which provides your body and brain with energy hiking in extreme temperatures hiking during the day. Don’t be afraid to eat a candy bar hiking in high heat hiking during the day.
8. Hydrating Well
Always, hydrate before hiking and drink more than usual while hiking. You need to stay hydrated at all times hiking in the heat. Dehydration can hit you quickly hiking in excessive temperatures, so be sure to drink plenty of water or sports drinks.
9. Protecting Your Skin
When hiking in the hot weather, sunscreen is critical hiking during the day. Apply it before beginning hiking and reapply every two hours hiking in high temperatures hiking during the day. Wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face hiking in extreme temps hiking out during the day. Finally, use lip balm with sunblock hiking in hot weather hiking out during the day.
10. Getting Wet
Cool off by hiking with wet hiking clothing hiking in the heat hiking during the day. Lightly spray your hiking shirt hiking out during the day with water, especially around your neck, forehead, and hairline hiking in hot weather hiking out during the day. Putting a damp bandana on your neck while hiking in heavy temperatures hiking during the day will also cool you down fast while preventing sunburn hiking in high heat hiking out during the day. Another way to stay cool is to soak your entire shirt if it’s very hot hiking out during the day or just wear an ice vest/neck wrap along with sunscreen hiking in extreme temps hiking during the day.
How to Be Aware of Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a serious condition that occurs when you get dehydrated from hiking in hot weather hiking in excessive heat. Signs include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue. Heatstroke may follow if body temperature rises high enough hiking in extreme temperatures. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated promptly hiking at night. Symptoms include mental confusion, fainting, red skin that does not sweat, a strong rapid pulse, and a temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit hiking during the day. Seek medical help immediately this will help prevent intense sun exposure hiking in extreme temperatures.
Although hiking in excessive heat may seem challenging, doing the proper hiking preparations hiking in hot weather during the day can prevent serious injury or illness hiking during the day. Always drink plenty of water when hiking in extreme heat during the day, dress appropriately when in hot weather, take breaks in shady spots when in high temps, and pace yourself hiking out during the day so hikes aren’t too strenuous.