The sun’s out and there’s not a cloud in the sky. If you’re an adventure-seeker, it’s the perfect time to hit the hiking trails. But with sun comes rising temperatures. Before you head out on a hike, be sure you’re prepared for the heat. If proper precautions aren’t taken, your adventure could quickly take a dangerous turn. We share some summer hiking tips to help keep you safe out on the trails.

Tips for Warm Weather and Summer Hiking

Check the Forecast

A little preparation and planning can go a long way when it comes to staying safe on the trails. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you leave home. Storms can roll in quickly. Check the radar before you begin your hike can help you plan for the best time to hit the trails. An hourly forecast can also help you decide when the best time of the day for your hike is. Try to avoid the hottest time of the day and get an early start to help you avoid the heat. 

Dress Appropriately

What you wear matters. Warm weather and summer hiking call for picking light colors instead of dark colors. Light colored clothing can help you stay cool, whereas dark colors absorb more of the sun’s rays. Loose, lightweight clothing that can be layered may also help your body stay cool. Try to choose clothing that breathes well. Look for shirts and pants that are breathable. There are even some clothing options that have vents built in. To protect your face and neck from the sun, a hat with a wide brim can provide crucial protection.

Pack Wisely

Remember, what you pack you’ll have to carry. You won’t want to over pack and weigh yourself down with unnecessary items. How you pack your backpack also affects how it sits on your body. Things you’ll want to be sure to bring in addition to water and snacks include a first aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, a trail map, etc.

Drink Fluids and Eat Snacks

The last thing you want to happen while you’re out hiking is to become dehydrated. As the sun beats down on you, your body will naturally expel more sweat to help regulate. Be sure you’re sipping water regularly. Depending on where you’re hiking, you may not have access to water, so it’s important you pack more water than you may think you’ll need. Ensuring your body has enough fuel to get you through your hike, be sure to pack plenty of snacks with complex carbs. Tip: snacks such as trail mix, energy bars and fruit can provide the carbs your body needs. 

Take Breaks Often

Even if you don’t think you’re tired, taking regular breaks can help your body get some much-needed rest. Find a shaded area where you can catch a breather and take in the scenic views.

As you plan your next hike, we hope you keep these summer hiking tips in mind. Enjoy your adventure and stay safe out there!

Don’t have a destination in mind? Check out: Your National Parks Checklist: 10 Parks You Have to See.