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Cool Rules for Hiking in the Heat

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Dear Friends,
Hiking on hot days requires some preparation and planning. Here are the Stetser Suggestions!
1. Good hydration! Make sure that you bring plenty of water. Monadnock State Park Manager Patrick Hummell recently wrote about this topic.

2. Wear a hat! Keep the sun off your head. More on how to dress for a hot hike

3. Take it slow! Heat exhaustion can happen to the best of us. Read more!

4. Rain gear. Pop-up showers are always a threat in the afternoon.
Snacks that donít melt. No fuel, no food, no fun!

5. Sandwiches without meat or mayo. Backpacks get very hot! We donít want you getting sick from your sandwich. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a great option.

6. Bring your cell phone in case of an emergency.

7. Hike early in the day!

8. Know when to turn back. People both young and old die from heat exhaustion.

9. Listen to your body, and stop when youíve had enough.

Have you hiked much in heat? How did you stay cool?
Jackie Stetser

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
WILSONWR 7/12/2013 8:43AM

    In Texas it gets really hot (over 100 degrees), and I find that having a wet bandana around my neck and tucked into my shirt helps a lot. If I'm hiking near a place with water, I also dip my hat (a wide brimmed, well ventilated one) into a stream and wear it wet. This helps greatly. Like you said, I also try to limit the hikes to early mornings as much as possible.

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ANDYLIN90 7/10/2013 2:23AM

    When it's 117 degrees here on the surface of the sun (aka Scottsdale, AZ) nothing could keep me cool enough to hike. I'm in the pool or at the air conditioned gym.

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MOTIVATED@LAST 7/10/2013 12:55AM

    Last summer I hiked up a 3000 ft climb (avg gradient 15%) with a 30 lb pack in 105F temps in direct sun. (That was cool, previous 2 days had been 115)

Damn near killed me. The sweat was running off me in sheets, getting sweat and sunscreen in my eyes. I was having to stop every 200 yards in whatever shade I could find to let my body cool off a bit.

Two suggestions I would add to your list are:

* In those kind of temperatures, if you find a water source, soak your shirt, hat, etc. It might be wet and clammy for 15 minutes, but it will stop you having to sweat for that time, and thus preserve your drinking water for a bit longer.
* If you are having to drink more than 2-3 liters a day just to stay hydrated, don't forget to replace your electrolytes as well.

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KAYOTIC 7/9/2013 11:12PM

    I've had many a melted bar, and have resorted to licking the wrapper....yes I did! Especially if it was chocolate.

Good tips though, I've also heard dipping your hat in water, or a handkerchief that you can wrap around your head/neck can help cool you down as well.

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FLAMENM 7/9/2013 10:17PM

    I forgo the cell phone. It gives too many a false sense of security. We run into many a hiker in our mountains who thought their cell phone would be a great safety device. And they didn't realize they have no coverage.

Also, know the weather where you are hiking. heat can turn into chill at high altitude pretty fast.

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MJ7DM33 7/9/2013 9:00PM


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LOOKINGUP2012 7/9/2013 8:04PM


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CELIAMINER 7/9/2013 11:36AM

    Needed these reminders, thanks!

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LINDAKAY228 7/9/2013 10:01AM

    I don't hike a lot in the heat because my body just can't handle it. But I do follow all those rules. Another thing I do is bring a very light weight jacket or a long sleeve t-shirt. I wet it before I leave home and put it in a plastic bag in my backpack. Then if I start getting too hot I put it on and the wet material helps cool me down for a while.

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MICKEYH 7/9/2013 9:57AM

    Great advice!! emoticon

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DEBBYFROMMT 7/9/2013 9:48AM

    Very good advice. Hiking in the heat can be enjoyable if you're prepared.
Thanks for this blog!

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NORASPAT 7/9/2013 9:32AM

    In England in my youth I hiked the North Yorkshire moors. We were always told to carry a compass and always watch the sky often, probably GPS now.
When ever I walk I always carry my trusty Glucose tablets too. I do not use them as candy but once in a while if I feel hypo I will test and use them. I always carry test kit and Glucose pills with me. I am type 2 diabetic. My real hiking and rock climbing days are well behind me. Pat in Maine.

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NUTRON3 7/9/2013 8:38AM

    Thanks for the info

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_LINDA 7/9/2013 8:14AM

    All very sensible! I am lucky as it rarely gets very hot here, but I always wear a hat, have water and do most of these things, but as I am sun sensitive so I try to pick heavily wooded areas. I live in a flat area so to get interesting places, I always go up and down the steep river bank trails.
Happy Trails!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/9/2013 8:08AM

    Love your suggestions. Thanks! HUGS and smiles.

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RD03875 7/9/2013 7:56AM

    I personally would never hike in the heat

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SANDRALEET 7/9/2013 7:02AM

    Stay out of bad storms I walk and follow the same rules.

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NASFKAB 7/9/2013 6:19AM


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MSLZZY 7/9/2013 6:16AM

    I would love to go hiking but we flat-landers are kind of challenged to find good hiking trails that are close buy. If I go to the river bluffs, I try to be prepared for anything.

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EDLEAR 7/9/2013 6:11AM

    We hike in the heat occasionally. I'm ok with the heat if we have enough water, but enough water is HEAVY. So far as hats go, I always wear one when we hike - keeps me warm when it's cold out and keeps bugs and vegetation out of my hair. I hate bugs in my hair emoticon

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GRAMMYEAC 7/9/2013 5:54AM

    When hiking in the heat, we try to find trails that parallel or cross streams frequently, so we can wade, take a dip, and just lower the body temps.

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IOLANTHE51 7/9/2013 5:47AM

    thanks for the great advice
sensible and succinct
happy hiking (tried geocaching???)

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