For most people, the summer season means being able to get out and enjoy quality time in the sun. Hiking is one of the best ways and perhaps the most versatile way to get outside and have fun. Most mountain destinations have a myriad of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to multi-day trips. Hiking is good for mental health; several studies have demonstrated how spending time out in nature can potentially lessen negative thinking and reduce stress levels. This activity will also give you an aerobic workout.
How do you get the most out of your summer hiking? No matter how friendly the weather is out there, you will still need to prepare for hiking to enjoy the activity in the highest level of comfort- you just never know what could happen when you’re out on the trails. To ensure you don’t fall victim to the summer heat, you need to carry plenty of water. Summer hiking increases your vulnerability to dehydration; the season is hot and sweating is inevitable. Water is essential to your body, and any drop lost should be replaced almost instantly to ensure that body process (metabolism, circulation, respiration etc.) continue normally. Typically, you will know that you’re dehydrated if you experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Reduced urination (your urine will be concentrated)
- Dry mouth or lips
To avoid these symptoms and other serious dehydration-related complications, take regular sips of water during your hike. Water bottles and hydration packs will really be helpful here.
Wearing the right clothing is another important tip to leverage your summer hiking. Since you will be perspiring a lot, your cloths are likely to get wet. To keep yourself comfortable, you will need to wear light clothing. Fabrics with a “quick dry” feature will not disappoint you. Such fabrics can wick away sweat fast, leaving your attire fresh and dry. Some materials come with UV protection feature, which proves more than ideal when out in hot weather. Accessories such as sunglasses and a hat are also a must-have. Remember, you will want to protect yourself from the intense sun as much as possible.
Since hiking is basically a long walk, it is an exercise, and exercising means using more energy than you often do during your normal activities. It is advisable to give your body time to rejuvenate as hiking can be a tough activity. Throw heat into the mix and the result is an energy-sapping walk that can potentially leave you completely drained. So, if you’re out in the heat, regular rest breaks will come in handy. Health experts suggest that you carry a salty snack (e.g. Trail Mix) with you to help replace any lost electrolytes in your body.