We all love being out and about in the sun, and there’s nothing quite like a stroll or hike in nature when the warm light is beaming down. Whether a casual walk by a loch is your thing or you’re one for hitting the trails, it’s important to be comfortable and prepare accordingly for the heat.
Brighter weather makes for clearer paths, however, hiking in warm weather also introduces different kinds of obstacles to be aware of. To help you make the most of the sun, we have compiled some of our top tips for hiking in the summer so you can get right out there without leaving anything behind.
Hydration is Key
Starting off with the most basic of essentials: water.
You must have plenty of H2O when out in the heat, especially when you’re doing physical activity like hiking. Working your muscles and being exposed to the sun for hours will both take a lot out of you so it’s important to have a few litres of water packed-up to keep you going.
Be sure to not drink it all at once and opt for small regular sips to keep your body hydrated along the way, preventing any headaches, chapped lips or tiredness.
Classic water bottles will do the trick but hydration packs are a great and easy choice for hikers, as you can fill up to 2 litres and keep it in your bag without being bulky, taking sips whenever you’re in need.
What to Wear When Hiking In Hot Weather
You don’t want to overheat and dehydrate yourself even more by layering up, so summer hiking clothing might look a little different from winter.
As you will probably sweat more than usual, choose clothes with quick-drying properties like our Quick Dry or Duoskin fabrics to avoid dampness and discomfort. These fabrics wick away sweat quickly in order to keep you fresh as a daisy all day long.
Some fabrics also offer UV protection and mosquito repellent finishes, which both come in handy when out in the summertime.
Other must-pack essentials include:
- A change of socks, just in case
- Men’s or Women’s Walking Trousers – choose a pair with a zip-off feature for extra breathability
- Ladies or men’s t-shirts – quick-dry materials are great for summer
- Mosquito proof clothing
- Lightweight walking shoes
- Our ladies’ and men’s gilets are great for adding an extra layer when it cools down.
The Back-Up Plan
British weather changes like the days of the week, so even if the forecast promises clear blue skies with a lovely round sun and hot temperature all day long, it’s best to be prepared for it to change.
Now, we’re not advising you to pack a pair of snow boots or a ski jacket as that is unlikely, although a warm fleece or jumper is always a good shout as things become cooler the higher up you go, and the longer you stay out for. If you really want to be careful, then a pac a mac jacket will never let you down if the rain suddenly starts falling.
Don’t forget those extra socks, either.
Head Out Early
To avoid doing too much physical activity at the hottest point of the day then you should start your hike early in the morning, letting you get a head start of the trail in cooler temperatures. This also means you’ll have more time to relax in the sun when it does get warmer, as you won’t be in any rush.
Mornings are also usually quieter on the trails so you can enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the trail in peace.
Another reason to start early is that regular rest breaks are recommended for summer hikes. To avoid overheating and exhaustion, it is crucial that you give your body time to recover following tougher portions of the hike and/or hours of sun exposure. You can top up your sunscreen at these points, rehydrate, have a quick bite or just soak up the view, and it’s worthwhile doing this whenever you find some shaded spots as they might not come by often.
Of course, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy it! There are few things better in life than a walk or hike on a free day in the sunshine with your family or best mates, so soak up the fun as well as the sun.