While most of the northern hemisphere is experiencing cooler weather, those of us trekking in the south are still battling 100 degree days. Despite what the calendar says, it still feels like summer. Therefore, it's a great time to review some strategies for hiking in the heat.
When it comes to hiking in heat and humidity, avoid wearing cotton clothing. Unlike the dry and arid climate of some of your favorite peaks, you'll sweat down here in the south. Cotton will become saturated with sweat, making you feel hotter and possibly causing chafing. Instead, look for clothes that are lightweight and wick moisture. Most workout type clothing will fit the bill.
Sure, they're technically clothing, but most people forget about their socks when it comes to choosing their kit. Keeping your feet dry and happy will make the difference between an amazing hike and a miserable one. Look for socks made of wool or a wicking synthetic material. Again remember, cotton is enemy #1 for healthy hiker feet.
Make sure you always have water with you on a hike, no matter how far you think you might go. The hotter temps can creep up on you, especially if you decide to take the more scenic but longer route back to the trailhead. Hydrate the day before a hike as well and consider adding liquids high in electrolytes but low in sugar to your water bottle.
Let's face it, when you're hiking in the swamp, the bugs are going to find you. Be sure to use bug spray before you embark on your trek and check yourself in the shower after your hike for any tics who might have hopped on for a ride.
Appropriate no matter the season, don't forget your sunscreen. Sunscreen prevents skin cancer and helps avoid the signs of aging. Plus, a bad burn can ruin your day!