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How To Hike Safely In The Heat

Hiking during this heat wave is not recommended. The temperatures will be too high and you are more likely to get heat exhaustion or worse. But if you must go, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your hike. Don’t forget to bring extra water along with you, just in case there aren’t any streams or lakes near where you’re hiking. Carry water and electrolyte drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, in a durable container that can be easily accessed while hiking.
  • Take breaks every hour or two. Even short rests can help reduce your body’s need for water and other fluids and keep your energy up.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that allows for easy movement (no cotton). This will help prevent overheating by keeping moisture away from skin. Wear light-colored clothing, preferably white or light blue.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, preferably white or light blue.Wear light-colored clothing, preferably white or light blue.
  • Plan your route before setting out, so you don’t get lost or stuck in the sun. A GPS device is helpful, but if it’s too hot to use one, map out the safest route with elevation changes and dips in elevation so you don’t have to trudge up or down steep hillsides unnecessarily.
  • Bring plenty of sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Try to avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm when it is at its most intense. You can use a hat as well but remember that it won’t protect your face from the sun’s rays.
  • Practice smart hiking techniques. Look for shade, water sources and rocks for resting if possible so that you don’t overheat as quickly. Wear boots with good traction when necessary; wearing tennis shoes or sneakers won’t do you any good if there is loose dirt on the trail or steep hills to climb up (and then down).
Mary J. Payne
Mary has over 10 years of experience as a journalist. She loves to travel and write about her experiences, but she also covers topics such as education, career advice and finances.