How To: Hike In The Heat

// by: MWO

Sunshine. The word that brightens the day of any Chilliwackian, and enhances your hiking experience by approximately 87%. The views become clearer, swimming is more pleasant, and the long sleeves stay in the dresser where they belong.  Beware, however, all of this sunshine does pose its risks. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to soak in the rays comfortably and safely:

  1. Socks – It’s worth it to invest in a pair of breathable and lightweight socks. They will keep your feet from swelling and allow more of your excess body heat from escaping.
  2. Shoes – For the same reasons as socks, having a pair of lightweight and breathable boots will make your hike much more pleasant. Anything that says ‘ventilated’ or ‘breathable’ will provide extra heat relief.
  3. Pants or Shorts? – With the technology made in pants these days, both pants and shorts are viable options to stay cool in the heat. Pants as well will provide protection from the bugs and undesirable vegetation. Look for pants that are breathable, and that have moisture-wicking technology for the best results.
  4. T-shirts or Long sleeve? – The same logic applies as the pants vs shorts conundrum: breathability is key because it allows heated air to escape and be replaced by the colder and more pleasing air. Modern long sleeve shirts have come a long way, and can keep you cool and protected on the hot days out there.
  5. Hats – hats can be an excellent way to keep your head and face protected from the excess UV rays hurling towards your vulnerable skin. It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of your body heat escapes from your cranium, so if your hat is too thick, the heat will accumulate and the moral will drop.
  6. Water – The most important step to staying comfortable is to stay hydrated! Your performance, mood, and enthusiasm will decline quickly without enough water. Using water bladders is an extremely effective way to accomplish this.  You’ll be amazed by how much more water you will consume by having it so accessible.
  7. Mist – a creative way to stay cool is to bring along a small spray bottle and give your face and neck a rejuvenating mist during the especially hot stints of your trek. Splashing cold water from a natural water source is also an effective way to accomplish this.
  8. Shade – The best way to avoid the heat is to stay out of the sun. Choose hikes with plenty of trees and plan your adventures in the morning or late afternoon.
  9. Sweat – Let your sweat flow! We produce sweat because it is extremely effective at absorbing heat, and increases the cooling sensations brought on by the breeze. Without sweat your body temperature will continue to rise to the detriment of your enjoyment of the great outdoors.
  10. Colors – darker clothing, especially the color black, will absorb a significantly higher amount of heat than lighter colored clothing. Just remember, the lighter, the better.