Whether it’s summertime when the sun is shining bright or during the spring or fall when the temperatures are a little lower, your body naturally gets heated when doing physical activity like hiking or backpacking. However, when it’s already hot outside, you’ve got to take some additional precautions to keep yourself cool since you can’t just rest inside your air conditioned home or car when you get tired.
So to help ensure that you’re able to be safe and smart while outside in the heat, here are three tips for staying cool while hiking or backpacking.
Carry A Squirt Bottle
Part of what can help you stay cool while working out on a hike or backpacking is using water to your advantage.
While you likely don’t want to carry a lot of extra weight by packing around a ton of water with you, REI.com recommends that you pack a small squirt bottle that you can use to spray your face, hair, or head while you’re hiking. You can use water that you’ve brought in with you or use water that you find along the trail to do the job. But as long as you’re getting some water on your skin and misting yourself every so often, you’ll help yourself to feel a lot cooler.
Plan To Take More Breaks
Once your body starts heating up, it’s going to be really hard for you to cool yourself back down while you’re still moving. Because of this, you’ll need to take a break from your hike in order to let your body relax and cool off.
According to Stasia Callaghan, a contributor to Backpacker.com, if the weather is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside, you’ll want to take at least a ten to fifteen minute break every hour or so. Ideally, you should try to take your break in an area that’s naturally shaded, as this will give you a cooler area to rest. While it’s better to sit in shade that you’ve created with a tarp or other piece of equipment than to just rest in the sun, sitting in a naturally shady place will be cooler for your body.
Wear The Right Clothes
The clothes you wear on your hike can have a big impact on how hot you get or how cool you can be while hiking in hot weather.
For the most ideal conditions, Steve of NatureOutside.com advises that you try to cover up with light-colored and light-weight materials. Look for materials that wick moisture away from your body and that don’t cling to you, as this can hold the heat in.
If you’re going to go hiking or backpacking in a hot climate, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how you can stay cool on the trail.