It's HOT outside! Hiking in hot weather

Portland and the surrounding areas are in the middle of a record setting heat wave!

I hate to say this, but it's not a good idea to go hiking this week.

If you must get out, consider going out to the coast, where its supposed to be 20 degrees cooler. Or if you have unbreakable plans to go hiking locally in the next few days, please be prepared for the heat. This site has some tips.

  • Drink a lot of water! Drink water before you even get outside. Then on the trail, take a drink at least every 10 minutes, even if you don't feel thirsty. Try freezing one of your water bottle overnight. By the time you finish your first bottle, the second will be melted and nice and cool. You might also keep a cooler with ice packs and more water in your car so you have something cool to drink when you're done.
  • Eat lots of food. Watch out for melt-able items in your trail mix.
  • Take enough breaks and don't over-exert yourself. Now is a time to chill out on an easy trail.
  • Don't hike alone.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and sun protection.
  • Learn the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Watch for them in yourself and you hiking partner.
From the CDC website:
What are the warning signs of a heat stroke?

Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
What should I do if I see someone with any of the warning signs of heat stroke?

If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
  • Get the victim to a shady area.
  • Cool the victim rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
What are the warning signs of heat exhaustion?

The warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • The skin may be cool and moist.
  • The pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow.
  • If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. See medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.
What steps can be taken to cool the body during heat exhaustion?
  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Seek an air-conditioned environment.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
None of that is a good time. If you can, just stay indoors and especially in air conditioning if you can find it.

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