Pack the Right Items For Your Summer Hike
School’s out, the official first day of summer has passed, and now it’s time to do get some good hiking in. Whether you’re in a cooler part of the U.S. or you’re one of the states getting hit with unusually warm weather, there are things every hiker can do to stay safe.
Bring enough water.
Most people could live almost a month with no food but only about a week with no water. You should already be hydrated when you start your hike and you should plan on steady water consumption throughout your trip. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink – thirst is a sign of dehydration. Remember that not all water sources are safe to drink from. If you are hiking for an extended period of time bring along water purification tablets or a water filtration system. Also remember to replenish your electrolytes.
The right clothes.
Not all hiking clothing works the same for every climate. A lot of hiking clothing is designed to be sweat-wicking – helping to move moisture away from the skin and increase the evaporation rate. This is great for places like the Pacific Northwest where you want evaporation to occur quickly, but not as great for other places. Loose, light-colored cotton is the best choice for those hot summer days in the desert. Cotton helps to hold your sweat longer, allowing evaporation to function properly to help cool your body down.
If you’re able to, the trails are always more enjoyable in the early hours of the morning. Anyone trying to hike in hot climates will have a nicer time going up switchbacks and climbing elevation in cooler weather. The additional perk is that there will most likely be less people on the trail in the early hours of the morning.
Of course there are many more tips for being safe out on the trails. Other items you may want to bring along include: navigation, sun protection, extra layers, LED headlamp or flashlight, first aid supplies, fire, pocket knife, food, and emergency shelter.
If you’ve got a tip you want to share go ahead and comment with it. Happy Trails!