Best Ways to Stay Hydrated While Hiking in the Summer

Yahoo Contributor Network

Staying hydrated is important when you are hiking. This is especially the case during the summer months when high air temperatures, coupled with dehydration, may lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Hence, you'll want to do everything possible in order to remain hydrated. With that said, here's a quick look at how I stay hydrated while hiking during the summer months:

Carry Sufficient Water

The first action that I like to take in order to remain hydrated while hiking is to carry enough water with me onto the trail. Based on my experience, long and intense hikes tend to dehydrate me faster than short and easy treks. As such, I'll allow the hiking trail's difficulty level, its duration and the weather forecast dictate how much fluid I'll carry with me onto the hiking trail.

Monitor Your Hydration Level

The second action that I like to take in order to remain hydrated while hiking is to periodically monitor my hydration level. There are two easy ways that you can check your hydration level. The first way to check your hydration level is to examine your urine's color. If your urine is dark and odorous, there is a good chance that you are not properly hydrated. The second way to check your hydration level is to perform a skin turgor test. The skin turgor test is the method that I use the most often. In order to complete the test, I'll pinch the skin located on the back of my hand. If my skin doesn't drop back into place quickly, I know that I need to drink more fluids.

Refill Water Bottles Often

The third action that I like to take in order to remain hydrated while hiking is to frequently replenish my water supply. I like filling my water bottles up at rest stops that may be located on or near the trail. Other hikers prefer to refill their bottles with river or lake water that has been purified. There are several ways to purify water while hiking. Options include boiling the water and treating it with chemicals. I'd recommend that all hikers learn how to purify water before attempting backcountry hikes.

Keep a Stocked Cooler

The fourth action that I like to take in order to remain hydrated is to keep a stocked cooler in my car. Doing so allows me to rehydrate once I exit the hiking trail. I'll typically stock the cooler with frozen bottles of water because they stay cold longer.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys summer sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.

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