Beat the heat: Make an early start

Beat the Heat

Summer might not scream “hiking season,” but with a little planning and some strategic adjustments, you can still conquer those trails without succumbing to the brutal heat. Forget battling the afternoon sun and embrace the cool, crisp mornings with these tips:

Embrace the Early Bird Lifestyle (Even if it Hurts)

Yes, it’s tough. We all love sleeping in, especially on weekends. But here’s the harsh reality: midday sun zaps your energy and turns hikes into sweaty struggles.

Find your balance. You don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn if that’s not your style. Aim for an hour or two earlier than your usual start time. Adjust gradually throughout the week for a smoother transition.

Prep smarter, not harder. Streamline your morning routine. Pack your bag the night before, have breakfast prepped (think overnight oats or granola bars), and lay out your hiking clothes. Every minute saved adds up!

Make an early start: Your new hiking mantra

Pack in the kilometres while it’s cool. Tackle the most challenging parts of your hike before the sun reaches its peak. This way, you’ll avoid peak heat and have more energy for those tough climbs.

Seek shade, embrace the breeze. Plan your route to maximize shady areas. Look for trails with tree cover, or hike near bodies of water where cool breezes might offer relief.

Listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard, especially in the heat. Take frequent breaks, adjust your pace, and prioritize staying hydrated and cool.

Hydration: Your Body’s Best Friend:

Water, water, water. Even before you set foot on the trail, chug down water. Aim for at least 300ml before you start and carry plenty more with you. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty – sip consistently throughout the hike.

Electrolytes: your secret weapon. Don’t just replace fluids, replenish lost electrolytes too. Sports drinks, electrolyte tablets, or even salty snacks can help prevent dehydration and muscle cramps.

Cool it down. Soak a bandana in water and wear it around your neck. Dip your hat in a stream or carry a mister to cool your face and head. These small tricks can make a big difference in the heat.

Hike Twilight to Sunrise:

Feeling adventurous? Opt for a predawn hike and witness the magical transition from darkness to light. Pack headlamps, wear reflective gear, and be aware of wildlife activity. The reward? Breathtaking sunrises and cooler temperatures – a win-win!

Remember, even with these tips, heat exhaustion is still a possibility. Be aware of the symptoms (headache, nausea, dizziness, excessive sweating) and seek help immediately if needed. With proper planning, hydration, and smart scheduling, you can turn summer hikes into invigorating adventures, not sun-scorched struggles. So lace up your boots, grab your water bottle, and embrace the cool embrace of the early morning!

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