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Tips For Outdoor Activities In The Summer



Summer's coming! I know that calendars don't usually mark summer until mid-June and it's only April, but calendars don't mean the same thing in some parts of the world. Here in the southern US, it's not uncommon to see 70- or 80-degree temperatures in the spring and fall...and we won't even talk about how hot it gets in the summer! For this reason, it's particularly important to know what to wear and do if you plan on spending much time outside. Here are a few suggestions on what to wear if you are going on a daytime hike.

Pants or capris. Shorts are okay for simple walking or climbing a rock wall, but it's better to have your legs covered when hiking uphill because of the scrapes you can get if you slip and slide down. If you've ever lost your step and skidded over rock and dirt, you know what I mean.

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. There are fabrics such as 'dri-fit' that pull sweat from your body, but other clothing should be made of cotton or some other 'breathable' fabric. Shirts may be sleeveless, but wearing a bikini top while climbing (yes, I've seen hikers doing this) is not recommended for the same reason I warned against shorts. The sun exposure can damage your skin, and...well, let's just say the men on your trip will appreciate what could happen if you fall more than the women will. :) Not all bikini tops are like this, but it's just not a good idea.

Shoes with skid-resistant soles. The summer may be 'sandal weather', but it is best for shoes to be closed-toe.

Other Do's

Do make sure you bring plenty of water. Keeping hydrated is very important, even if you don't find your activity to be particularly strenuous.
Do wear sunglasses.
Do make sure you eat. You might not feel hungry, but you still need to eat the same as you would any other time of the year. If you're worried about losing your cookies in the heat, 5-6 small meals a day and including lots of fruit can be a big help.
Do try to avoid outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day. It's usually the hours between 11am-3pm, but it could be shorter or longer depending on where you are.
Do listen to your body's signals. Our friend Danielle http://www.womensoutdoorlife.com/2012/05/summer-series-how-to-avoid-heat-related.html
wrote a couple of posts about the dangers of 'over-heating'. Rest when you need to, drink when you need to and eat when you need to. Don't worry about slowing anyone else down.


And, for one of the most important 'dos'-
Wear sunscreen! I know you probably hear this every five minutes, but it's really important. Aside from skin cancers, the sun can dry out your skin and make you more prone to wrinkles. Remember that lady you saw at the company picnic whose arms looked like a Naugahyde sofa? That's what excess exposure to the sun can do to your skin over time. Even if your skin is naturally darker and less prone to burning than your redheaded counterparts, you should still wear sunscreen because the extra melanin your skin has doesn't make you immune to skin cancer.

These are just a few of the things to keep in mind during the summer months. Taking the proper precautions when doing outdoor activities is a good way to make sure a good time is had by all. Have fun!



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