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5 Summer Hiking Tips 2022

The weather is getting hotter by the day, which means summer is right at our doorstep. If you're making plans for some summer adventure, a hiking trip can be easily added to your schedule. But a hiking trip could be painful and sometimes even dangerous without preparation. The intense summer heat is one of the worst adversaries to face while hiking, beating down on your skin and the ground you walk on. 

Here are five tips to follow to help you beat the heat and enjoy a great summer hiking adventure:

  1. Plan when and where to hike
  2. Choose the right clothes and gear
  3. Stay hydrated 
  4. Remember to rest
  5. Have a plan B

Let's take a close look at these options:

  • Plan when and where to hike

The hottest time of the day is said to be around 3-4 p.m. Heat builds up in the afternoon when the sun is at the highest in the sky, and by 3 p.m., the sun is low enough for the outgoing heat, which is hotter than the incoming. So the best time to start hiking would be before noon, when the sun is still rising in the sky. 

Choosing the right path to hike is also important. Hike on trails that keep you under the shade or within the walls of canyons instead of being exposed directly to the sun. If there is not much shade around your path, find one near rivers or go where you can enjoy the cool breeze of the sea or lake. The air above a body of water is cooler than the air above the ground. Sea or lake breezes are also denser because the air over the water is not heated from below, unlike surface air. The temperature of the water remains constant throughout the day, making you enjoy your hike better in breezy surroundings. 

  • Choose the right clothes and gear

Covering up your body is important so you can shield yourself from the sun. Wear light colors as they reflect wavelengths of light, thus absorbing lesser heat. Lightweight and loose-fitting clothes that help you breathe easily will regulate your body temperature. Make sure they are UPF rated clothes of 15, 30 and 50+; these ratings are guaranteed to provide protection from UV rays. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is the standard to measure the effectiveness of sun protection, similar to the sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreens.

Being ethical and environmentally conscious is also important while adventuring– ditch the synthetic and non-biodegradable materials. Materials like polyester and nylon may feel comfortable for hiking, but they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and sometimes nitrous oxide, which is significantly more harmful than CO2. Go for organic cotton– it may absorb moisture and dry slower, but the moisture can feel good against your skin in hot weather. Plus, organic cotton items are soft and free of harmful chemicals. 

Another important tip is to wear pants that have more storage, like zippered or cargo pants. But if you'd rather not pack your pockets, reusable small mini backpack is very convenient for storing essentials securely and for easy access. Terra Thread's sustainable backpacks and mini backpacks are made using heavy-duty 14 oz organic cotton canvas and would be the best choice for an eco-friendly adventure. 

Lastly, wearing the right hiking boots or shoes and socks is essential if you don't want blisters on your feet after a long day of hiking. Woolen hiking socks are the best choice because they are cushiony around the ball of the foot and heel area. Wool is also readily recyclable and can be worn longer, making your hike more comfortable. 

  • Staying hydrated

You will most likely lose about a liter of water every hour from your body during hiking. It is essential to drink adequate water to prevent dehydration. Be sure to bring more water than you think you would need. Chugging a bunch of water at once can actually do more harm than good, so remember to take sips every 15-20 minutes. Your body can only efficiently absorb about a half-liter of water every hour. (Terra Thread's sustainable backpacks have two side pockets for your water bottles— you're welcome!)

sustainable backpacks

You also have to rebalance those electrolytes while you're replacing the water that your body's losing. Salt and sugar solutions are important sources of energy that can help in rehydrating your body, as recommended by WHO. You can also carry sports drinks filled with electrolytes or a salty snack with your regular drinking water. Our eco-friendly makeup bag are also perfect to carry your snacks. 

  • Remember to rest

Rest is essential while going on a hike. Relax your muscles and give them a chance to recover while you take a sip of water and eat some snacks to hydrate and energize your body. Find a shady spot to rest, this will also help you prevent heat exhaustion. You must not overexert your body and hike at a pace that suits your level of stamina in order to enjoy a good hike. 

  • Have a plan B

The weather may be sunny with clear skies where you live, but it could change drastically if you're planning to hike in the mountains. The mountains could trigger a surprise downpour during a hot or humid day, and this may affect your hiking plans. Mountains can create their own weather systems because of their physical structures, the air flow gets diverted by their heights, causing them to rise, cool and fall and rain or snow. Therefore, it is always good to carry a rain proof-jacket and extra socks. Stay prepared and never let the weather bring you down on a hiking trip!

Related blog: 5 Green Activities to do this Weekend

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