The heat wave continues to flow across the south and even the earliest morning hike resembles a sauna. As I head along Central Ave to the West Mountain Trail access House Sparrow chicks are peering at me from between the metal spears of an iron fence. They are so cheeky looking with the splashes of yellow on the sides of their still forming beaks. I am sure they think I should head back home instead of hiking in the heat… so I decided to devote this blog text to some important hiking tips during the heat wave that is crossing the USA.
- First thing to remember if you are thirsty you have waited to long to take a drink, drink before you think/feel the need for fluids. Take a drink every 10 or 15 minutes, more often as the temperature climbs. You can loose up to a liter of water every hour from sweating.
- Mix electrolyte powered into your water or bring Gatorade. Alternate with your plain water.
- Hike in the cooler shaded mountains rather than in the valleys where heat is trapped and there is often no shade.
- Wear clothing that will wick the sweat away from your body and keep you cooler.
- Powder your body to avoid chaffing and tend to blisters immediately.
- Bring something to help repel insects (heat means deer ticks and Lyme disease), heat can accelerate the venom in stings and bites.
- Bring more water than you think you will need, especially if you are venturing out on trails that are new to you.
- Make sure you have a first aid kit.
- Bring a dried fruit nut mix for protein and energy
Extreme heat it never a good time to test your hiking limits, plan to take more time than you would on a mild day. Please drink, drink, drink and then drink some more water. Sweat is your cooling system, more water equals more sweat. One more thing avoid hiking when both heat and humidity are high, knowing when not to go hiking is just as important.
Love to ALL!