Summer is the season for fun and adventure! The forests are alive with greenery, the weather is great, and the views await you. While the outdoors is undoubtedly enticing during this lovely season, planning and taking certain precautions when you venture out is essential. To make the most of your summer hiking adventures, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind.
1. Stay Hydrated
Summer is certainly beautiful, but it's also hot and humid. Getting dehydrated is easy, even on a short or shaded hike. Bringing lots of water with you when you set out on your adventure is very important. If you think you have enough, bring more! The easiest method for carrying large amounts of water while on a hike is in a water bladder. These bladders can hold liters of water and evenly disperse the weight of the liquid across your back when slipped into certain compatible backpacks. Of course, standard water bottles also do the job just fine!
2. Protect Yourself from the Sun
The sun is invigorating and refreshing, but it can also turn into a threat to your health. It's very important to be proactive and wear sun protection. Sunscreen is an obvious necessity, and you can combine that product with hats, breathable long-sleeved shirts and pants, and sunglasses to achieve full coverage. Protecting your skin from the sun can prevent severe sunburns and sun poisoning in the short term and skin cancers in the long term. It's a simple enough process that it's very easy to add to your pre-hike routine!
3. Pace yourself
Hiking during the summer is a marathon, not a sprint! The higher temperatures can make any hike more difficult. Your body will have to adapt to the different weather conditions, and everybody responds to the summer heat and humidity differently. It's a good idea to move at a steady and sustainable pace, take frequent breaks in the shade, take continuous sips of water to avoid dehydration and take your time on the journey to your destination
4. Consider Your Dog's Needs
If you plan to take your furry friend on your next hiking adventure, be sure to get out on the trails early or late in the day to avoid the worst of the heat. Dogs overheat faster than humans, so being aware of their limits and taking the steps to act in their best interests is a must. Schedule your adventures to align with the coolest times of the day so your trip runs smoothly!
5. Opt for Cooling Destinations
Summer is for waterfall hikes! If you're going to get sweaty and tired on a hike, choose a destination where you can take a refreshing dip and cool off. There are endless swimming spots nestled away in the wilderness of Virginia, from waterfalls to rivers to lakes.
As you venture on your summer adventures, always prioritize safety and well-being to make the most of this joyful season. By taking the time to plan and equip yourself properly, you can ensure that your hike is not only enjoyable but also a memorable and enriching experience amidst the splendor of nature.