Its NOT too hot to walk!
Posted on August 18 2018
“Its hot to walk”! Many fellow walkers have told me this over the summer months heat wave. The North York Moors have had the hottest driest spell I can remember, (and according to the statistics I have found, this is indeed the fact). Yet it has not stopped me from accessing the wonderful Yorkshire countryside. I even managed the Lyke Wake Walk, on a very hot day. I have fair skin and am not great in the hot, yet with a bit of knowledge and kit, you can easily enjoy a strole or even a challenge walk in the heat.
Firstly, as with all walks, get used to checking the weather, looking at temps, expected sunlight hours and UV charts. From this it should prepare you for the expected conditions. If needed, adjust your expected distance and change your terrain to a forest instead of open moorland. Factor 50 is your friend. Apply it, (or at least 30), before you start your day out! Spend time here, to ensure all areas are well covered. I did the Blue Mountain on Sky in 28 C heat and missed a patch on my back leg. It was burnt to a crisp by the end and gave me no end of pain.
Hydration is another obvious one. Take more than you think you need. You should continue to pee and sweat, if this stops, your very dehydrated. Sips, little and often is the way. On the Lyke Wake I drank about 9 litres of fluid over the day, (including breakfast etc). You can over hydrate, but this is pretty hard. For a 10-15 mile walk in the hot, I will pack 3 litres. I find bladders best, like camelback and platypus. I also rate taking a Hydro Flask with a chilled drink. Its also good to have one at the car, for your return. Tastes so refreshing and can be a great cooler at the end of a hot walk.
Clothing is another one people seem to get wrong. Sadly, it appears, many people don’t know why cheep base layers are cheap. They tend to be unbreathable bags that you end up getting hot sticky in. I find the Paramo base layers the best, but the Patagonia ones are great to. Breathable underware is a must too. I’m a great fan of the Tilley coolmax extreme boxers. They are so comfortable to ware in hot or cold, keeping the moisture moving away form your skin. Shorts is an obvious one, but a good fitted, walking short. Finally, foot ware and socks. This is a blog post in itself! However, again quality is the key to comfort. I rate approach shoes for shorter easy trails, (like the Scarpa Vortex or the Aku Montera Low). These can be pushed further with the use of poles. Although I stuck with boots for the Lyke Wake, as the terrain can be challenging in places. A good Bridgedale sock goes a long way to, but the weight depends on the distance and is a personal thing.
Finally, a hat. A broad rimmed is the best. I rate the Tilley LTM5 and have owned one for years. Its my constant summer companion.
The bottom line is, just like in the colder months, (when we get the snow and ice), in the heat, you just need to prepare and plan for the expected conditions. Don’t stop walking. Just adapt to the conditions and enjoy, otherwise you will miss another great chunk of the outdoor year, which is no good for anyone.