5 Ways to Stay Hydrated & Cool in the Hot, Summer Sun

The dog days of Summer have arrived here in the Northeast and if you're out on trail, ooh-boy can you feel it. Staying inside in air-conditioning (as lovely as that can feel) isn't the only way to beat the heat though. Follow these 5 tips to have a more tolerable time on trail.

1. If you're hiking above treeline, wear a wide-brimmed hat and a light colored long sleeve shirt. The hat will help shade your face and the sleeves will protect your skin from the sun's harsh rays. The light color will feel cooler as it reflects away the sun. If you're below treeline, stick to those shady sections -- oftentimes it'll feel 10º cooler just being under the branches.

2. Drink before you are thirsty. If you wait too long to have a drink, your body may already be dehydrated. Place your water bottle or the the drinking tube from your hydration bladder in an easy to reach place like on the chest or shoulder straps of your pack. Just seeing it there will help to remind you to drink.

3. Camel up. When you’re refilling your supply at a stream or spring, rest there for a few minutes and drink an extra liter of water. Not only do you get to take a mini-break, but you’re ensuring hydration for the next stretch of trail.

4. Take a siesta. The middle of the day is often the hottest and therefore hardest to hike in. Save energy by hiking earlier in the morning and later at night. Not only is it cooler, but you get the bonus of seeing the sunrise and the sunset. While you're at it, be sure to take lots of smaller breaks throughout the day too. 

5. And if all else fails, find a spot to swim in!