How to Stay Hydrated While Hiking In The Summer

You won’t let the summer heat stop you from hiking. Of course, you have to be careful while hiking in the summer. Dehydration is dangerous regardless of temperature or season, but hot summer weather makes it more difficult to stay hydrated, and also puts you at the risk of heat related illness. The hotter it is, the harder your body has to work, and the more sweat you lose. Here are a few tips to stay hydrated while hiking in the summer.

Take dehydration seriously.

Everyone’s invincible, until they aren’t. You may think that you won’t get dehydrated, and even if you do, you’ll just feel a little thirsty. Nothing a sip of water can’t fix, right?

The truth is dehydration can cause confusion and fatigue, it can impair judgement and coordination, and it increases your risk of heat-related illnesses – heat stroke, heat exhaustion, etc.

All of these things can be very dangerous on the trail. Stay safe, and stay hydrated.

Prepare for your hike by prehydrating.

Don’t start your hike dehydrated. One of the best ways to stay hydrated is by prehydrating before you hike. Drink plenty of water the night before, and drink water on your way to the trailhead.

Another great thing about prehydrating is that the water you drink at home doesn’t contribute to your pack weight!

How much water do you need to stay hydrated while hiking in the summer?

You should carry at least 2 liters – roughly the equivalent of 2 standard Nalgene water bottles – per person when hiking in hot weather conditions. That doesn’t mean that you should drink only 2 liters of water, though. This is the amount you need to avoid potentially dangerous levels of dehydration.

Everyone’s hydration needs are different, so make sure that you carry enough water to meet your needs.

Know where to find water.

It’s just not possible to carry all the water you need to hike in the summer. Identify where you can refill water, and bring a means to filter or purify water as needed.

Be aware that some creeks, rivers, or streams that flow in the spring may be dry in the hot summer months. Don’t rely on a water source that you aren’t confident in.

When you do find water, drink plenty and top off your water bottles or water reservoir.

Plan rest stops.

Taking it slow can help you stay hydrated while hiking in the summer. Stopping to rest and catch your breath allows you to cool down and avoid overexertion. This also gives you the opportunity to drink water and hydrate.

Be aware of the terrain.

Steeper terrain and higher climbs mean more exertion. Take a look at the amount of elevation gain on your hike and bring additional water if you’re facing hill climbs throughout the day.

Drink water often.

Make a point to drink water even if you aren’t thirsty. Thirst is a poor indication of how hydrated you are. You’re already dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty. Set a schedule to drink water every 20 minutes or so.

Replenish nutrients.

Staying hydrated while hiking in the summer is crucial, but you have to remember to replenish essential nutrients as well. Electrolyte drink mixes and hydration drink mixes can help you get the nutrients you need. Of course, eating foods that contain electrolytes and nutrients work well, too.

Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters for water bottles, water reservoirs, trail snacks, and hydration mixes before your next hike!

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