hiking in the heat

How to stay cool and safe while hiking in the summer heat

Hiking under the scorching sun can be a miserable experience without the proper preparation and gear. As the heat rise, it's crucial to help regulate your body temperature and mitigate the risks of heat-related issues when out on the trail. 

Here are 10 practical tips on how to stay cool while hiking in hot weather.

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Staying hydrated is paramount in hot weather. Bring an adequate supply of water and sip consistently throughout your hike. Consider using a hydration system or water bottles for easy access.
  • Electrolytes: Replenish electrolytes lost through sweat with sports drinks or electrolyte tablets. This helps maintain a proper fluid balance in your body.

2. Choose the Right Time:

  • Early Mornings or Late Evenings: Plan your hikes during the cooler parts of the day. Early mornings and late evenings provide more favorable temperatures, reducing the risk of heat-related issues.

3. Dress Appropriately:

  • Lightweight Clothing: Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow air circulation. Long-sleeved shirts and pants made of moisture-wicking materials can provide sun protection while keeping you cool.
  • Light Colors: Choose light-colored clothing to reflect, rather than absorb, the sun's rays. Dark colors tend to absorb heat and can contribute to overheating.

4. Sun Protection:

  • Sunscreen: Apply a high-SPF sunscreen on exposed skin, even on cloudy days. Sunburn can increase your body temperature and contribute to heat-related issues.
  • Wide-Brimmed Hat: Protect your face and neck with a wide-brimmed hat. This provides shade and helps regulate your body temperature.

5. Take Breaks in the Shade:

  • Rest in Shaded Areas: When fatigue sets in, find shaded spots to take breaks. This allows your body to cool down and recover before continuing your hike.

6. Cooling Accessories:

  • Cooling Towels: Use cooling towels that can be soaked in water and worn around your neck. Evaporation helps lower your body temperature.
  • Misting Bottles: Carry a misting water bottle to spritz yourself with a refreshing mist. This can provide instant relief from the heat.

7. Proper Ventilation:

  • Use Ventilated Gear: Choose hiking gear with proper ventilation, such as boots with breathable mesh and backpacks with airflow systems. This helps prevent excessive sweating and promotes cooling.

8. Acclimate Gradually:

  • Build Tolerance: If you're not accustomed to hiking in hot weather, acclimate gradually. Start with shorter hikes and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts to the heat.

9. Know Your Limits:

  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to signs of heat-related issues, such as dizziness, nausea, or excessive fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, take immediate measures to cool down and consider ending your hike.

10. Plan Adequate Shade:

  • Plan Shaded Rest Stops: If possible, plan your route to include shaded areas or rest stops with natural shade. This provides a welcome break from direct sunlight.


Hiking in hot weather demands a proactive approach to staying cool and safe on the trail. By prioritizing hydration, choosing appropriate clothing, and incorporating cooling strategies, you can enjoy your outdoor adventures while minimizing the risks associated with high temperatures.

Staying cool isn't just about comfort — it's also a crucial aspect of staying safe when out on the trail during the summer heat.

Back to blog