6 tips for safely hiking and running in the heat

I just got back from a truly HOT trail run and my goodness is it fitting that I'm currently writing this email. And we still have a hot minute left in this toasty season... see what I did there? ha.

Trail safety is numero uno in my book. Aside from the basics of having your 10 essentials, bringing enough food + water, being aware of your surroundings, and letting someone know where you're going and when you're returning, weather has an impact on your hikes and runs.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to weather:

1. Start early. Depending on your mileage, elevation gain, and intended duration on the trail, you need to start early if you want to avoid the heat as much as possible. 10am may be early to some, but it is not early enough when it comes to the trails. Think about starting at or before sunrise to avoid the peak heat, which is generally around 12-3pm.

2. Purposefully choose a trail. Depending on which trail app you use, it will often say in the trail description if there is abundant sun, shade, or a mixture. Choosing one with shade may be in your best interest. Additionally, choosing one near water will likely be cooler, as well. Your trail app will usually state if it's by a lake, river, waterfall, or stream.

3. Choose clothing wisely. Lighter clothing (both in weight and in color) will help keep you cooler. Loose and breathable clothing is generally more comfortable on a hot day. Many hiking and trail running clothes have built-in vents; open those bad boys up! Dip your buff in a lake or stream to help cool your neck. Wear a hat and cover up with UPF rated clothing. Avoid cotton socks and go for wool or synthetic material to dodge getting blisties.

4. Stay hydrated. Drink ample water and electrolytes to avoid dehydration. I like to use Nuun tablets when I'm hiking and trail running. *I am a Nuun ambassador, but I do not get paid to promote their products. Do not only drink water, either consume electrolytes through a drink or salt tablets to properly replenish.

5. Wear sunscreen. Us Coloradan's are already closer to the sun than most of the US. It's not cool to be rebellious against wearing sunscreen anymore. Please apply a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF regularly.

6. Be aware of heat-related illnesses. These illnesses can include: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Review the signs and symptoms here. Heat-related illnesses can rapidly change, so you need to know and be able to identify the early signs.

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