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How to Keep Cool While Hiking

08-31-2017

Southern Utah is a big draw for avid hikers. Many travelers come to Parry Lodge in Kanab because of its proximity to the Mighty 5® National Parks, including Zion, as well as Arizona’s Grand Canyon. These natural attractions aren’t just beautiful. They also offer a variety of hikes for all skill levels, plus opportunities for seasoned outdoorsmen to test their climbing, bouldering and rappelling skills. One of the major challenges for hikers is how to keep cool while hiking. We don’t mean staying calm when you trip over a rock, either. Though the body has systems in place to regulate your body temperature, hot outdoor temperatures or lack of sweating can cause hikers to overheat. Luckily, keeping cool while on a hike is a breeze when you follow our helpful temperature tips.

1. Take breaks: You might feel like you can get to the top of Angel’s Landing without a breather. Maybe you can, but that doesn’t mean you should. Try to take a 5-minute rest every 30 minutes when hiking strenuous areas.

2. Drink water: That “8×8 rule” (drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day) goes out the window when you add exercise/activity into the mix. How much you need to drink will depend on your size and activity level. For example, one active, 165-pound male hiker brought a 2 liter hydration bladder and one 27 oz. bottle on a summer hike of Bells Canyon in Utah and came down ok, albeit a bit thirsty.

3. Freeze Your Water: One of the simplest tricks hikers use to keep their hydration packs cool throughout the day is the nightly pre-freeze. Simply fill some cheap plastic water bottles (or use bottled water) and stick them in the freezer overnight. There’s just one key thing to consider.

·      Heat expands, cold contracts. Right?  Not always true. Liquid contracts as it cools, until it gets down to lower temperatures. Once it hits freezing, the ice expands by 9%. Basically, make sure you use a flexible, softer plastic water bottle. If you use glass or hard plastic, it will bust!

4. Cover Up: We’ve all seen shirtless dudes jogging through neighborhoods. When you’re completing an intense hike, all you want to do is strip down to basics. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the best option when the sun is blazing and UV rays are high. Protective gear such as long sleeves, bandanas and sunglasses can help save you from dehydrating sunburn. Bonus: Dip your bandana in cold water and you have an instant cooling pack.

5. Explore Specialty Products: Think like a Boy Scout and come prepared. If you’re prone to overheating on the trails, consider a specialty cooling vest, towel or sweatband. These products are made with sweat-wicking materials and may contain fans or ice packs. Chemical cooling packs are also available at most sporting goods stores.

If you plan to visit Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon or the Grand Canyon’s North Rim while staying at Parry Lodge, make sure to prepare for changing temperatures. By bringing plenty of water and following our advice, travelers can stay safe and cool on the trails. Call 435-644-2601 or contact us online to start your reservation.