Hot Weather Hiking Tips

It is rather fitting I write this article/post on one of the hottest days of the year – 28 degrees with high humidity (muggy) and a little wind. Here are a few tips for hot weather hiking –

1) Water – take two bottles of water and put them in the freezer the night before. Allow some room at the top of the bottle 1/2 inch or so. Do not fill to the top.
2) Sunscreen – with global warming around us, the need to put sunscreen on is a necessity and requirement. Go with at least 30 spf/fps for UVA/UVB protection.
3) sunglasses – great to protect the eyes not only for sun but branches & leaves on the trail.
4) Wear a Hat – Many hikers will wear a baseball cap which is fine in the front but does not protect your ears or back of the neck. Make sure you have sunscreen on your neck and ears. There is the tilley hat, a flap hat which protects the neck & ears – I use this alot when sea kayaking, and a wide brim hat.
5) Food – you use alot of energy hiking when it is hot so bring extra food.
6) Take lots of breaks – relax have a sip of water or some food. Do not hike fast when it is hot.
7) wind breaker – great to have on top of the mountain when hiking as it is usually windy and colder on top. If you have been sweating, you can feel cold on top of the mountain.
8) Hiking boots & socks – generally you feet will perspire more when it is hot. I wear a light pair of blue polypropylene socks that wicks moisture away from your feet and a pair of hiking socks on top. This saves you from blisters.  Take an extra pair of dry socks in case your feet get wet.
9) Insect repellent – you still need this in case flies bother you. On Cape Breton Island – you have to worry about deer flies in the hot weather more so than mosquitoes and black flies.
10) Weather forecast – if you know that the day is planning to be hot – hike early in the morning to beat the heat or in the evening if the temperature is planning to drop and be cooler. For example one of my favorite hikes is Franey Mountain but don’t hike this in the hot part of the day. I go early in the morning.
11) Always good to hike with a partner or friend in hot weather in case you need help or your friend.

Hope these tips were helpful and enjoy hiking during the months of July and August. Remember if you are close to the ocean or lake go for a swim to cool off after a hike in hot weather. Do you have any tips you want to share ?

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