Heat related problems while hiking

Summer time is almost here, and so is the summer heat.  It wont be long and the 90s and 100 degrees will be the norm, so lets take some time to review.

Pace yourself – You should know your own physical conditioning, your not superman, so dont act like it.  If you rush up a hill, get overheated, wear yourself out and still have 6 more miles to go, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Carry plenty of water – stay hydrated at all times.  If your thirsty, then get something to drink.

Wear a hat – to keep the sun off the top of your head.

Wear clothing that wicks away moisture and promotes evaporation – this will help keep your body cool.

While on a hiking trip with my son and nephew in 2009 I got overheated, and I felt like I was on the verge of heat exhaustion, if not heat stroke.  It was a very dangerous situation in which we arrived at our destination just in time – a nice cool stream.

Video from my July 2009 hiking trip.

One of the mistakes that was made on the 2009 trip – we did not carry enough water bottles. Instead of having 32 ounce water bottles, 2 of us carried 1 quart water bottles and canteens. For the heat, the 1 quart canteens just were not big enough. When its 100 degrees outside, and you just hiked a hike uphill, 1 quart could be sucked down in a matter of minutes.

For this years trip, the 1 quart US Army canteens are going to be replaced with 32 ounce water bottles. The clear bottles also allow the water level to be viewed, so there is no guessing “the canteen feels like its 1/2 full”. Even though a 1 quart canteen holds the same amount of fluid as a 32 ounce water bottle, I think being able to see the water level helps the hiker keep things into perspective.

Even though my hiking team had some heat related problem during the 2009 trip, I’am hoping to avoid some of those same problems this year.

Post your comments in this forum thread about heat related problems while hiking.