Successfully negotiating the heat on your hiking holiday can be the difference between making the most of it and staying poolside for the duration. While the latter is an attractive option, it means you’re not seeking out adventures or creating memories while out and about in foreign climes.
This post, courtesy of hot weather experts and Lanzarote specialists Optima Villas, will provide you with some essential tips to combat the heat this summer – so you can make the most of your trip, no matter where you are.
Choose your destination
A summer walking holiday is a great way to combine exercise with relaxation, and there’s quite literally a world of destinations out there. If you fancy an easily conquerable island hike with plenty of opportunities for relaxation, then a trip to Lanzarote has everything you need.
However, if you’ve got the appetite for a summertime odyssey, then doing part (or all) of a world famous route like the Appalachian Trail or the Camino De Santiago are both challenging options for seasoned hikers looking for the ultimate test.
Pack with a purpose
Packing useful items for a sunny hike is vital if you’re to get the most out of your excursion. Whether you’re trekking up a mountain or pounding the pavements while sightseeing a city, you’ll need a water bottle to hand.
Water is the best beverage for cooling you down and keeping you hydrated, and an absolutely essential item when temperatures start to climb. While they may be the more tempting options, caffeinated soft drinks and alcohol are less effective at rehydration and should be avoided. Sunscreen is another obvious thing to pack – just make sure you know which SPF works best with your skin and stick with it. A consideration that often goes under the radar is the need to reapply sunscreen regularly. Dermatologists suggest doing so every two hours to bolster your skin’s defense against harmful rays – so keep this in mind when out in the sun
Make sure your clothes are sun-smart
Loose-fitting, breathable fabrics are the way to go to smoothly glide through hot summer hikes. Avoid jeans and clothes made out of any kind of polymer, as these are non-breathable heat traps. Instead, opt for flowing linens and cottons.
Fashion can only take you so far, however. It’s much better to stay cool while out on a hike by wearing a large, unfashionable sun hat with a neckflap, than trying to adhere to the latest fashion trends and ending up with heatstroke, which could ruin your holiday. Plus, horrendous sunburn is a serious fashion faux pas!
Know what to do if heat stroke strikes
Heat stroke can be really serious if treated improperly, and a disaster if it occurs while you and your party are miles from any available medical help. The precursor to heat stroke is heat exhaustion when the body starts to overheat. The key here is to recognize when you might be susceptible to this, and get to shade quickly, cooling down with plenty of water. If nausea strikes, then the afflicted person may be suffering from salt depletion, which can be remedied with sports drinks.
Heat stroke is much more serious, and if you even suspect somebody is suffering from it, inform the emergency services immediately. Apply cold water or ice packs to their body, and move them into the shade until help arrives, all while rehydrating them with sports drinks and water.
If you’re aware of the dangers of prolonged exposure to warm weather and know what to wear and pack, your hiking holiday should be a breeze – and by the time you get back home you’ll have conquered some picturesque routes like a pro.
Guest post by Optima Villas