In the hot Phoenix temperatures summer and hiking do not mix well together. While you might look out your window and see the perfect looking day, once you step outside the heat will blast you in the face leaving you desperately looking to get back into air conditioning.
As the hot summer continues, it’s likely that the hiking bug will be itching you to get out there. Have no fear, you still can totally hike in the summer. But in doing so, there are some rules that you will want to follow to ensure your safety.
- Water, water and then some more water.
You need to ensure that you are fully hydrated throughout the hike and therefore it’s a smart idea to bring water and then extra water. In fact, it’s best to drink extra water the day before the hike as well. During the summer, I would recommend a hydration pack with a 3-liter water size and then extra water bottles.
- Hike early in the morning or in the evening when the sun has gone down.
The coolest time of day is early in the morning. Around 5am, would be the ideal hiking time, just before the sun comes up. Plan a hike that will only take a few hours or less to complete. This way you can be back inside by 9am or so before the day really begins to heat up. Not an early riser? Then you might consider night hiking. While the air may still be thicker with the heat, at least it will be cooling down since the sun is no longer out. Just be sure to bring a head lamp and extra batteries with you.
- Know your limit.
This is not the time to push yourself. Upon that first inkling that something may be a little off you should play it safe and head back. Especially if you get a headache. That’s one of the main alerts that your body may be dehydrated. So instead of pushing it, just turn around and plan to push yourself in the cooler later months that are approaching.
- Know the trail and let someone know where you are
You definitely don’t want to risk any chances of being lost on a hiking trail, especially during the summer. Therefore, I would suggest hiking a trail you are familiar with. Or at least being very familiar with the map and the terrain of the trail. It’s also smart to always make sure you have told someone what trail you are on.
If you follow these tips and listen to your body, you will be able to safely scratch that summer hiking itch. Happy Hiking!