7 Essential Tips to Hike Safely in Hot-weather

7 Essential Tips to Hike Safely in Hot-weather

by WILLIT Sports on May 21, 2024

Sunny days in summer are perfect for lacing up your boots and exploring the mountains, lakes, sea and dramatic canyons. Along with the sun can come intense heat, and if you don't manage the combination of the two properly, your happy journey may turn into misery and potentially danger. Read about some tips and accessories that can help make your summer hiking a safe and fun experience for you and your family!

1.Time your hike

Thinking about when you'll be hiking are important steps in planning a successful hike in hot weather.  The hottest time of day is usually around noon to 3 p.m. On scorching days, it can be best to avoid this time altogether by getting an early start and ending your hike by early afternoon, or heading out sometime after 3 p.m. Early in the morning or early in the evening can offer shade and more pleasant temperatures, which aligns with avoiding the strongest UV rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you live in, or are visiting, a hot locale, scorching temperatures can be uncomfortable during the day and hiking at night can bring relief.

2.Wear appropriate clothing

Your clothing choices are important for both comfort and function. It is more appropriate to choose light colored clothes, which will reflect the suns rays away from your body. Many hikers tend to avoid cotton year round. Cotton does not wick sweat away from your body like many tech shirts and pants do. In the summer, cotton clothes that retain moisture might feel a little cooler, but it can also lead to issues like painful chafing. If you plan on hiking into the evening or night, avoid cotton. When the temperatures dip as the sun disappears, you will feel very cold very quickly which can be dangerous to your core temperature.

3.Hydrate adequately

The hotter the temperature, the more you’re sweating and thus, the more you need to hydrate. Not drinking enough in the days before and the day of your hike can quickly lead to dehydration, causing dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and irritability. Thirst and either infrequent bathroom breaks or dark, smelly urine are a few indicators that you need more fluids. While it may be tempting to drink a bunch of water before you set out, too much fluid can also be dangerous. Over hydration dilutes your blood sodium and can cause your cells to swell, leading to bloating, headache, and fatigue. Prevention is the best antidote.

4.Protect your skin

The best way to limit your exposure to UV rays is by staying in the shade and avoiding the peak hours of 10 am to 4 p.m. But if staying in the shade isn’t an option along your hiking route, avoid getting a sunburn by wearing clothing made from UPF fabric, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Apply at least SPF 30 sunscreen to all exposed skin, and set a timer to remind you to reapply at least every two hours. 

5.Monitor the weather and air quality

Summer weather often brings more than high temperatures. During the season of sunshine, the West is also prone to lightning and thunderstorms, monsoons, and flash flooding. Shifts in the weather can happen quickly, so it’s smart to research the area ahead of time to be aware of these hazards. Then, monitor weather advisories to pack and plan accordingly. Air quality is another consideration to keep an eye on, especially as wildfires become more prevalent across the West. Whether a fire is burning close by or in another state, the fine particles of wildfire smoke can damage your lungs.

6.Prevent heat stroke

Heat exhaustion will include headache, dizziness, profuse sweating, clammy skin, shallow breathing, and muscle cramps. Resting in the shade and drinking water can help you cool down. If you experience these symptoms, rest in the shade or somewhere with ice or air conditioning immediately. You need to bring your body temperature down. If untreated, heat stroke may occur. When the body becomes this hot, internal organs begin to shut down and the person should get to the hospital as soon as possible.

7.Have an emergency plan

The outdoors can be unpredictable, so you want to have a plan in case something goes awry. Willit recommends hiking with a buddy if possible and says to always tell someone reliable where you’re going and when you’ll be back. That way, they can call for help if you can’t. Other details to mention include your general route, how long you’ll be out, and when they should expect you to check back in. When you’re leaving directions for someone, tell them who to call if you don’t show up, whether that’s 911 or a number for local search and rescue.

Now that you have some guidance for tackling a summer hike, choose proper gear with Willit to pick out a summer hike for you and your family! Be sure to let us know if you have other tips for summer hiking.

Perfect for a summer hike:

1. Women's UPF 50+ Sun Protection Jacket


Style Details:
Thumb holes design
Zippered hand pockets
Two inner deep pockets
Full zipper closure at center front
High density mesh fabric
Light gray, Light blue, Pink, White, Mint green, Fog blue, Purple

2.Women's UPF 50+ Sun Protection Shirt Half-Zip

Style Details:
Flat lock seams and no tag collar
Half-zip design venting and easy on-off
Thumb holes keep the sleeves in place
Raglan sleeves construction allows a greater range of motion
Mint green, White, Blue, Pink, Orange, Purple, Light gray

3.Women's Sun Protection Hoodie Long Sleeve with Face Mask

Style Details:
Flat lock seams and no tag collar
Hoodie design with a built-in neck gaiter
Neck gaiter features mesh holes
Thumb holes keep the sleeves in place
Secure zip pockets
No pilling or fading after washing
Light gray, Pink, Purple, Blue, White

4.Women's Outdoor Hiking Cargo Capris

Style Details:
Flat knit waistband, Drawstring closure
Adjustable leg open to adjust the length
Soft fabric without making a 'swishing' noise
2 side pockets, 2 thigh cargo pockets and 2 rear pockets
UPF 50+ fabric block 98% of harmful UVA/UVB rays
Black, Claret, Khaki, Army green, Navy Blue, Steel gray

5.Women's Hiking Athletic Shorts

Style Details:
Woven vertical pinstripes fabric
Wide waistband with an adjustable drawstring
2 convenient hand pockets and 1 cargo pocket on right thigh
UPF50 fabric blocks 98% harmful UV rays
Black, Army green, Gray blue, Light gray