Summer Survival: How To Prepare For Hiking In The Heat

Hiking in the summertime can be a great experience as the weather is usually better, dryer and those spectacular blue-sky views are almost always guaranteed. However, despite the advantages of summer hiking, you also have to deal with more extreme temperatures, potential issues such as dehydration, sunburn and more insects to combat. Just because there are downsides to hiking in the summer should not stop you from hitting the trails and having a great time. The key to getting the most out of your summer hiking adventures is to ensure that you are properly prepared for what may lay ahead. 

Before you set off on your adventure, it’s crucial that you have a plan in place and that you tell someone who is not going what your plan is and when you are due to return. You should also take the time to look at the weather to ensure there are no summer storms or heavy rains forecast as the last thing you want is to be caught out on the trails in bad weather. Finally, be sure that you choose a trail that is suitable for everyone in the group and that you can complete and drive home within a reasonable timeframe. If you want to get the most out of your time on the trails, you need to ensure that you have the right precautions and planning in place to keep you safe. 

Let’s take a look at a few tips to help you survive those warmer summer days on the trails. 

The Right Footwear

As any experienced hiker will tell you, the most important piece of equipment that you have is your footwear. When the temperatures start to rise, you want to make sure that you are in a comfortable, lightweight, breathable boot that is suitable for the conditions. It’s important that your boot also provides you with the support you need and an ankle-high boot is advisable to protect you from potential snakebites. There are plenty of affordable summer hiking boots available so be sure you take the time to find a solution that works well for you. 

Sun Protection

If you’re going to be spending hours out on the trails in the summertime, you need to ensure that you are adequately protected from the sun. Sunblocks with SPF 30 are higher is recommended but you might need a higher number if you have paler skin. Look for products that are anti-sweat so that you have to reapply less often throughout the day. It’s also important that you invest in a decent pair of sunglasses with the right amount of UV protection. Finally, a hat is always worth having and provides you with your own personal shade, which can be vital when you are moving over exposed terrain. 

Enough Water

Researching your route to identify places where you can refill your water along the route is crucial in the summer months. Depending on where you will be walking, there may be public water refill stations, local shops where you can buy water, or streams where you can fill up safely. Once you have figured out where you can fill up your water, you should be able to calculate how much water you will need per person to keep everyone hydrated. It’s always useful to have a few spare litres amongst the group in case you are stuck in an emergency situation. 

Clothing Considerations

When you’re hiking in the summertime and carrying a backpack, you can be sure that you will work up a sweat. If you have the wrong clothing, this sweat can quickly become cold and cause you to get chilly. To avoid this, you need to ensure that you avoid cotton clothing and instead wear sweat-wicking material. You don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of hiking apparel as you may already have these types of garments from going to the gym or playing sports. It’s also wise to bring a small towel with you to wipe away the sweat throughout the day. Lastly, you might consider bringing extra socks as if the temperatures are particularly warm it’s easier for socks to become damp and for blisters to develop. With a fresh pair to change into, you can ensure you stay comfortable despite the heat. 

Ensure You Are Fully-Prepared Before Embarking On Your Summer Next Hike

While a warm, clear summer day might seem particularly unthreatening, the truth is that if you get caught in a bad situation in the heat and you are not properly prepared, things can go from bad to worse quickly. Be sure to follow the tips outlined above to ensure you stay safe and always carry a first aid kit, some emergency food, and a fully charged phone with you when you’re out on the trails. With the right preparation, you can be sure that you and your crew will say safe and have a great time on your next summer hiking adventure.

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