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5 Tips For Hiking In Hot Weather

Jungfrau Region's Blogbuster Series / Nr. 16

Hiking’s virtually a national sport in Switzerland. Summer’s of course the perfect time to do it – it’s pleasantly warm, the weather’s good and the landscapes are beautifully green. No wonder that in summer we are drawn out into nature. But especially when it‘s really hot and the sun’s burning from the sky, you should consider a few things when hiking:

#1 Preparation

As often, preparation is key. When choosing your hike, make sure that there are also some sections in the shade along the way. Ideally even with streams, rivers or lakes for refreshment.
Start your tour early in the morning so that most of your tour is done by noon and you don't have to struggle in the hottest part of the day. Check the weather forecast as well. You want to know what temperatures you have to expect and if thunderstorms are predicted. Especially in summer there are often violent thunderstorms, which can occur locally and unexpectedly.

#2 Sun protection

The sun is our friend and gives us valuable vitamin D. But also take care of your dear skin when the sun goes full throttle. Apply sufficient sun cream. Especially on head, upper arms and thighs as well as calves. Don't forget your ears and neck as well.

You can also protect yourself from the sun with clothing and accessories. As cotton shirts don’t support our body function when it’s hot, wear airy, functional clothing, best with a sun protection factor. Put on a headgear, preferably a sun hat with sun protection as well. Protect your eyes with sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Get lightweight hiking boots. There are even models that cool.

And in case of a sunstroke: Immediately place in the cool shade, up your upper body, open your clothes and place cool towels on your forehead and upper body. If there is no improvement, please consolidate the emergency call.

#3 Pace

Adjust your speed to the temperature and take frequent breaks. Otherwise there is a risk of your body overheating. It’s not worth it to challenge the heat and bring your body to its limits. Therefore, please take a break at lunchtime and pay attention to it again and again.

#4 Eat and drink right

No, beer's not always the answer haha. Because alcohol burdens your circulation and withdraws fluid from your body.

It’s pretty banal and yet i soften neglected when hiking: drink water. A lot of it. Isotonic drinks can also support you during the hike, because important minerals are excreted through the sweat. Take enough liquid with you and drink early and regularly. It is best to drink small quantities more often than large quantities. At high temperatures, you can easily take 2.5 litres of water with you. If you don’t want to carry that much – fill it up somewhere, we have pretty good natural water here in Switzerland.

As for food: Avoid heavy meals. Opt for a light diet or several small meals.

#5 Cool down

Especially in the Alps, mountain lakes or other small waters can provide a refreshing cooling. The courageous jump into the cool water is not always advisable - especially in the ice-cold mountain lakes. The extreme temperature difference causes the blood vessels to contract in cold water within a short time. This leads to enormous pressure on the cardiovascular system. We certainly don't want to scare you, but these are just facts.

A gentle immersion of feet, hands and forearms is a much better decision. If you still want to take a bath, you should slowly get your body used to the cold water temperature. First moisten your upper body with your hands before you fully immerse yourself in the water.

By the way, our blog about water experiences comes in handy.

Either way, try to stay in a good mood and follow these few tips. Then it will be along, fun summer in the great outdoors.