By: Blonde One

Walking in a heatwave

Recently the temperatures have soared in Devon and we have seen a, thankfully rare, amber weather warning for extreme heat. Typically, we Blondes had lots of walking planned for right in the middle of this heatwave! It took all of our resilience and stamina to keep going despite the excessive amounts of sweat and sun-cream. As usual though, we proved why we are so good at running expeditions as we took our powers of dynamic planning and risk assessing to whole new levels. It was a great exercise for us in terms of maintaining and improving our skills but we are both mightily glad that it’s over!


Here’s a few things that you can do to make sure you stay safe if you find yourself in the middle of a heatwave:

  1. Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to reduce the likelihood of headaches.
  2. Sprinkle water on clothing or carry a wet cloth (a neck scarf or spare t-shirt is ideal). Use river water rather than your drinking water.
  3. Loose fitting clothing is best to help keep cool. Merino is a great option.
  4. Long sleeves and trousers (especially those with built-in sun protection) stops you having to apply so much sun-cream. Some clothing has great ventilation options.
  5. Drink plenty! Sounds obvious but it’s surprising how much you need to drink to stay hydrated in these type of temperatures. Flavour your water if necessary.
  6. Keep snacking to replace lost salts through sweating.
  7. Change your route so that you take in plenty of forested areas and woodland rivers.
  8. Use the direction of the wind from your favourite weather forecasting app to make the most of any breeze.
  9. Change the schedule of your walk so that you avoid the hottest part of the day. Leave early, have a long break during the early afternoon, walk again in the evening.
  10. If none of these things can be done, then don’t go out!

Should you spend too long outside in the heat you may succumb to heat exhaustion which is fairly straightforward to treat. Should these symptoms persist it may be that you are suffering from heat stroke which is a far more serious condition and will require emergency intervention.