Beat the heat on hiking trails with proper planning

Even as temperatures start to skirt toward triple digits, Arizona’s outdoors call avid athletes and nature lovers in the cool mornings. But too often lately, we’ve heard stories of hikers lost or caught unequipped.

A “quick” walk through the mountains that surround the Valley without proper hydration and shoes can turn ugly without planning. So it’s important to know what the experts recommend.

Don’t just take our word for it – we are not medical or health advisors – so make sure you know your body is ready for your journey or check with your doctor.

Here are some tips we found online.

The National Park Service recommends you carry one-half to one-full quart of water for every hour you plan to walk in the heat. Not sure how long you’ll be out? Bring more. The park service recommends drinking

The Mayo Clinic suggests a sports drink, rather than water, during “intense” exercising to replace sodium lost through sweat and to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Heat and altitude can contribute to a need for more hydration.

And don’t forget to continue drinking fluids after the hike is done.

Not sure when to go? Check out the weather app on your smart phone and see how quickly temperatures change. On one recent Saturday (in April), the high was 93 degrees. But at 7 a.m. – when there was plenty of sun – it was only 66 degrees. Two hours later it was 77 degrees. By 10 a.m., it reached 82 degrees. Plan accordingly, depending on how long you think your trek will take you.

Are you bringing kids with you? Make sure you’re carrying enough water for them, as well as snacks. We loved the ideas REI provided here for hiking with kids.

Don’t want to go alone? Check out the Meetups here.

Want to know the basics? Check out the “10 must have” items for a hike by the American Hiker Society (proper shoes, water and a first aid kit are on the list).

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