July 8, 2009
Heat Precautions Hiking in Houston
With one of the hottest summers we’ve had in a long time in Houston it is imperative that you try and stay cooler when hiking. The following tips apply regardless of if you are hiking in the city, in a state park, or just taking a stroll in your neighborhood.
- Take more time than you would during cooler weather and take your time.
- Use sun screen with an SPF 30 or higher. It doesn’t take long to burn when the sun is only a few miles above you (at least that’s how it feels)
- Wear a hat to keep the sun of your head and, just an importantly, off your face. It is amazing how much cooler you can feel without the sun beating down on your face.
- Wear clothing that wicks moisture away from your humidity-affected, sweat drenched body. This goes for underwear as well. Heat rash is a real possibility with the combination of extreme heat and high humidity.
- Walk in the shade if at all possible. Move to the other side of the trail or street if that is where the shade is.
- Drink, drink, drink. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and in some cases sports drinks with electrolytes.
- Soak a cloth or bandana in cold water and wrap it around your neck or wrists to drop your core body temperature. If you fell light headed, rest and get out of the heat as soon as possible.