hiking, summer hiking, trails, hiking safety

Summer Hiking Safety Tips

Summer is perfect time to get outside and explore. While hiking in summer might seem like a walk in the park, it’s always better to be prepared in case of danger or injury. Be sure to plan ahead and tell someone where you are going in case of emergency. Here are some of the best tips to stay safe in hot summer weather:

Start Early

The best time to hike in summer is early in the morning before it starts to get super hot outside. Otherwise you risk getting heat stroke or dehydration while you are miles away from safety.  Avoid hiking especially in direct sunlight between 11AM and 2PM.

Hydrate

Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hike. On an average hike your body loses about one liter of water per hours and this number can double during hot weather. Take small sips all along your hike to make sure your body stay properly hydrated.

Sunscreen and Bug Spray

Even if you are hiking deep in the woods, you should protect your skin from the sun breaking through the trees. Use bug spray to protect yourself from bug bites. Be sure to find a bug spray that protects against ticks if you are hiking in the woods.

Summer Hiking Gear

Don’t forget to wear hiking boots or trail running shoes to help away slips and falls. Even though it’s hot outside, it’s best to wear light breathable long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from bug bits and scraps from tree branches or falls.  Look for fabric made with wicking material to keep your dry and cool on your hike. Consider getting a hiking stick or trekking pole to help balance yourself on rough terrain. Plus it comes in handy to clear away tree limbs or spiderwebs on the trail ahead.

Before each hiking be sure to check to weather and plan ahead. Look out for any special instructions at the trail head to watch out for any detours or weather related issues. Some trails might close during the hottest time of the day to prevent hikers from being exposed to extreme heat for too long. If you plan ahead, you can still enjoy your summer hiking and stay safe along the way.

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