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Kay-Hikes

Hi everyone!

I'm Kay and I'm new to hiking. I've done several, short day hikes in the past few weeks spanning anywhere from 1 mile to 5 miles. I'm looking into doing longer day hikes (somewhere around 10-20 miles) and possibly overnight hikes. the 66 mile Florida Scenic Trail is on my bucket list! Any advice on hot weather hiking/backpacking would be very much appreciated! Thanks! 

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10 hours ago, Kay-Hikes said:

Hi everyone!

I'm Kay and I'm new to hiking. I've done several, short day hikes in the past few weeks spanning anywhere from 1 mile to 5 miles. I'm looking into doing longer day hikes (somewhere around 10-20 miles) and possibly overnight hikes. the 66 mile Florida Scenic Trail is on my bucket list! Any advice on hot weather hiking/backpacking would be very much appreciated! Thanks! 

Kay-Hikes;

1st suggestion..............

Start hydrating several days before your planned hot weather hiking/backpacking event.  Drink plenty of liquids (plain water is fine) with little or no caffeine drinks such as pop.  When on the trail, pack and drink lots of water.  If you wait till you're thirsty on a hot day, it's too late and you are already dehydrated.  It's a very common mistake that new hikers/backpackers make; underestimating the amount of water needed in hot weather to avoid some very unpleasant problems.

Gary M

On 7/4/2016 at 9:37 AM, Kay-Hikes said:

Hi everyone!

I'm Kay and I'm new to hiking. I've done several, short day hikes in the past few weeks spanning anywhere from 1 mile to 5 miles. I'm looking into doing longer day hikes (somewhere around 10-20 miles) and possibly overnight hikes. the 66 mile Florida Scenic Trail is on my bucket list! Any advice on hot weather hiking/backpacking would be very much appreciated! Thanks! 

2nd suggestion.............

Wear a wide brim hat for sun protection.  If you search the TrailGroove archives, you may see I'm a Tilley fan.  Don't let looks fool you or allow vanity convince you otherwise.  A quality wide brimmed hat could save you from heat stroke or skin cancer.  Neither is anything you want to mess around with.

Gary M

(from the vast plains of Kansas)

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Kay-Hikes

@Gary M Great suggestions! I had heard on a hiking guide somewhere online that pre-hydrating can do a lot for staying hydrated on a hike, and that one should aim for 16 oz. of water every hour during the hike. I'm guessing that may be more in hot weather, but either way that seems like a lot of water to carry! Also, I hadn't considered that feeling thirsty would be an initial sign of dehydration, but you're absolutely right. It'll probably be best to keep on a water schedule of sorts instead of depending on my body to tell me when I'm thirsty. 

The hat is a great suggestion too! I usually opt to not wear a hat for fear of trapping heat on the top of my head, but it would be something worth looking into. 

@Aaron Thanks for the link! I'll definitely check that out! :) 

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Kay-Hikes;

One of the most refreshing things for me on a hot weather trip is to dip my hat or bandana in a cool stream. Fantastically refreshing!  Also nice to take off your hiking shoes/boots and cool off your feet.  Sometimes the best things on the trail are absolutely free. Try it and see if you agree. 

Hillsdale Truman 006.JPG

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Kay-Hikes

@Gary M Amazing photo! Where was that taken? 

Funny you mention dipping your hat or bandana in a stream, this past weekend I was hiking along a river bank when my hike turned into more of a wet walk. I ended up flooding my boots with some rain water that had collected on the trail the past few days! After I got past the initial fear of what might be in the water with me, and got back on dry land, I found that my boots, while soggy, were cool and it helped me finish the hike! While I don't foresee myself dunking my boots in water like that again, I can definitely see the benefit! I'll keep my eye out on some clean, fresh water next time! :P

I completely agree that the best things on the trail are indeed free :) 

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@Kay-Hikes Photo is from late in 2015 at Hillsdale Lake, Kansas.  It was a day long hike around the lake with one of my faithful canine companion trail dogs.  

You might try carrying some sandals or flip flops and go wading in a clean lake or stream. That way your boots stay dry but you can still cool off your feet.  Hikers will sometimes change out of their boots when crossing a major creek or river, again to keep their boots dry.   

Hillsdale Truman 015.JPG

Truman at Hillsdale Lake

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  • 4 weeks later...

All good ideas. 

I found, while on a solo trek across the Mojave Desert researching for the Colin Fletcher biography, that prehydrating worked well and if I drank a lot of water each morning before starting out I felt better all day long. The best canteen I know of is a belly full of water. Contrary to logic, I don't feel bloated and I usually can't hear is sloshing around in there.

I also recommend getting some electrolyte replacement and keeping a mixed container of it handy. I have it in the pack's hydration system and sip as I walk along.

There is another corollary to prehydration before your trek: I have learned if I start breaking free of the world of man-crud a couple days before going on a trek, when it comes time to sever ties with society I am already well on the way. To do this, I stop using as much technology as possible including the phone, radio, computers (as much as possible), tv, tablets, etc. This cuts down social lag time that can keep you tethered to a world from which you are trying to escape for a bit.

Taking along a pair of sandals is a must for me. As Gary M said, they come in handy for stream crossings. I use them in camp at night to give my feet a rest.

Walking from Westside Road to Goldbelt in Death Valley I developed a really huge, nasty blister on my heel. I had some sandals on that trip, so with a lot of Telfa, tape, pain killers, antibiotic ointment, sandals, and luck, I managed to complete the journey successfully with a minimal amount of pain.

On one Grand Canyon outback trip I somehow managed to rip a big toenail off. It stayed in place because I usually wrap moleskin around them as I've been known to get blisters on my toes. The moleskin masked the fact that the nail was completely off the toe. But it hurt like hell so I knew something was seriously wrong. I could not walk with my boots on so this could have become a very serious situation.

Fortunately, I'd brought sandals along and I managed to walk for several days with them and some heavy hiking socks. It worked great! And this was in rugged Grand Canyon backcountry.

I use the river runner type of sandal with velcro straps. They look like Tevas, (which of course is a brand name), and they work very well.

Some folks I know actually hike in them and leave their boots home. There is a discussion about this in Colin Fletcher/Chip Rawlins' Complete Walker IV. Some people go so far as to put glue in their heel cracks to keep them from getting worse.

For my trans-Mojave traverse I managed to find a pair that weighed in at 8 ounces! They held up for the entire trip. I continued to wear them at home for another year before they finally gave out.

Sandals are on my list of things I always put into the pack.

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