It’s summer which means it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather while it’s here! While warmer weather increases the amount of hikes that are available to you, it’s important to prepare for these specific conditions. Alpha Pak is here to break down our top five tips for summer hikes.
Hydration is Key
If you are to follow any tip, this is the one! Drinking lots of water before, during and after a hike will ensure you beat heatstroke and dehydration. Pack reserves of water for both you and your pup and make time to stop and drink water. It might seem timely to continue hiking, but the effects of dehydration on a hot day are severe and can happen quickly. Look for signs of dehydration in yourself and your dog. Pack packets of electrolytes to mix in water to boost energy and stay properly hydrated. H2O is the way to go!
Pack Proper Sun Defense
The sun is strong, especially on hot days and hikes that might take place in desert terrain areas. Pack sunscreen for you and your pup (for places like their nose, paws and other exposed areas) and wear clothing that will keep you from getting burned. Hats, sunglasses, dog goggles and dog booties might also be necessary depending upon the type of terrain you will be encountering. Dogs can get sunburned too, so keep an eye out for exposed areas of skin that might need extra protection.
Time Your Hikes Right
To avoid the most intense heat of the day, schedule your hikes in the morning or late afternoon. The sun is at its strongest peak around noon, so be careful to avoid spending too much time outdoors doing physical activity at its peak. If you are an owner of a dog with a thick coat, this is a particularly important tip to follow to avoid them becoming overheated. Check the UV indexes to see when the sun will be the strongest on the day you plan to hike!
Don’t Be Afraid of Shade
Building in rest time into your hike is incredibly important. The safety of yourself and your dog is more important than meeting a certain time limit on a hike. Take breaks, drink plenty of water, fuel up with high-energy snacks and allow yourself and your pup time to rest. Spots of shade or water are the perfect places to take a little break before you continue on.
Watch For Signs of Fatigue
Heatstroke can be dangerous, especially while out on the trials in isolated areas. Listen to your body during warm weather hikes, and keep an eye out for signs of fatigue in your dog as well. Have the number of local park or trails emergency lines, and follow all safety tips on the trail to avoid any serious injury or illness.