As you go for long hikes in the summer weather, you probably will think about the obvious safety rules. Consider hiking earlier or later in the day when it isn’t as hot. Make sure you bring water. Protect your skin from sunburn. And wear the right clothes.
But as you make your plans, here are four things you might not know, thanks to an excellent blog post on the REI website:
- All clothes block the sun’s effects to some extent, but more and more manufacturers are offering clothing that’s rated to protect you. Common ratings are UPF 15, UPF 30 and UPF 50+, much like the way sunscreens use SPF ratings. But there is one major difference between the two ratings. SPF only rates effectiveness against UVB rays, which is considered to be the more damaging type of light. UPF, however, measures how a piece of clothing works in blocking both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light.
- Most people talk about the need to avoid dehydration on long hikes, but many hikers don’t realize there is also risk in overhydration. To avoid that risk, drink water every 15-20 minutes, but be careful not to drink more than you sweat. Also, work in a sports drink or other ways to add electrolytes and/or eating salty snacks to make sure your salt levels stay on track.
- How far you go on your first hike in the summer matters. It may take at least several weeks to acclimate to the hot weather, so be sure to take it easy on your first few summer hikes.
- Heat exhaustion happens, so make sure you keep an eye on your hiking partners to check for telltale signs, like nausea, rapid pulse, heavy sweating, and headaches. If you think someone is showing those signs, have them rest in the shade, rehydrate, and if conditions persist, abandon the hike and seek medical help.
It’s important for everyone to be safe this summer in the outdoors, and PotlatchDeltic works to make its properties both appealing and safe for everyone who uses them. Happy hiking, everyone!