By: Blonde Two
We busy Blondes write our blog posts ahead of time so you can bet your bottom dollar that today it will be raining and we won’t be in the middle of a heatwave. At some point however the weather will be hot again, so here are ten top tips for keeping your cool when outdoors.
1. Cover up… I know, we all still secretly love the idea of a suntan but covering at least your arms and head won’t make you any hotter and will almost certainly result in less end-of-day discomfort. I tend to cover my legs too when it is hot.
2. Carry extra water… Water is heavy (1kg for 1l) but think of the additional exercise you will be getting. The recommendation is 2 litres for a normal day, so make sure you have access to extra on a hot day.
3. Carry some way of purifying water from streams and springs… Whether you choose water filters or purification tablets is up to you but avoid drinking untreated water. Hold your bottle facing downstream to fill it to avoid bits getting in.
4. Plan a route to include some shade and waterways. There is a knack to getting this right, valley waterways are likely to remain wet, those that meander across moorland may dry up.
5. Adjust your day so that you walk in the cool of the early morning and later evening. If you have never had an outdoor siesta, you really should try it.
6. Don’t be afraid to make your own shade if the sun gets too strong. A survival bag, a tarp or even the outer of a backpacking tent can all make a difference.
7. Dampen your clothing to help you cool down. You might not want to do this with your top but a cool, damp headband or hat can improve your heat levels and your mood.
8. Carry rehydration salts. As the heat hits, it is common to feel lethargic and maybe even a bit low. If you have been sweating a lot, rehydration salts (made to the correct concentration) can help pep you up again.
9. Remember that, although a breeze gives a very welcome cooling effect, it doesn’t protect you from the sun. Cover up and wear suncream even if you aren’t too hot.
10. Understand the signs of heat exhaustion – dizziness, headache, nausea, pale (and sometimes cool) skin. Be prepared to deal with these quickly to cool yourself or someone else down and seek medical advice.
Getting outside in the sunshine is definitely something to be recommended but make sure you don’t underestimate the elements. As with much of outdoor life, you need to be prepared and think about how you are going to look after yourself and the rest of your party.