Hiking during the summer can feel like walking across a hot Korean barbecue grill with a blow torch aimed at your face.
Here are some tips to keep hikers safe from heat exhaustion and dehydration during the hot summer months.
1. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water. Hydration makes it easier to tolerate heat. Carry extra water and drink periodically, even if you don’t feel thirsty. And if you’re bringing your dog, make sure it has water, too. A good rule of thumb is to turn around and head back once you’ve consumed half of your water supply.
2. Research your route
Make sure you know how long the trail is before heading out. Hikers sometimes underestimate how long it will take them to hike a trail, especially when they’re tackling rugged terrain.
3. Choose to be cool
Plan hikes for early in the morning or in the evening, when it’s cooler and the sun isn’t as strong. Take frequent breaks and know your limit. Rest under shade when you can.
4. Wear the right clothes
Wear appropriate clothing – light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothing works best. A hat keeps your face shaded, and a bandana can be dipped in water and worn around the neck to keep you cool.
5. Keep track of the weather
Check the weather before you start your hike so you’re prepared for conditions on the trail.
If you start to experience a heat-related emergency, call 999 for help.