Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
As we enter August, those among us who eschew putting foot to trail in hot weather start getting a little anxious. It was OK back in mid-June; there were other, largely water-based pursuits to keep us occupied: paddling the canoe, kayak or standup paddleboard, surfing, just lolling in the surf.
Now, even though it’s still hot, we’re missing the trail. Must we wait until the end of September to renew our love of hiking?
No. You do have options. You need trails that either work with their surroundings or you need to know when exactly to hike.
A while back, we assembled a list of 10 mountain hikes especially suitable for summer. Those hikes are:
I have various rules of thumb for when it’s too hot to do certain things. Over 80? Too hot to hike (sweat + overnight cobweb construction + lots of body hair makes me feel like a wad of cotton candy after a mile or so). I draw the line slightly higher, at 85, for running, mainly because of the skimpy apparel involved. I’ll paddle into the low 90s, but not on open, unshaded water. I can handle 90 degrees on a mountain bike; the calculation becomes more involved on a road bike. I’ll ride up to 95 on road, maybe higher if I don’t have to stop; few things are more demoralizing than coming to a stoplight after generating an 18-mile-per-hour breeze, then losing that breeze altogether. (Sweaty fact: 109 F is 42.777 C.)
New news from the research world … .
Cool(ing) technology: It’s 99 out and the humidity is even higher. You want to workout, you yearn to workout. On the other hand, you’re not big into heat stroke, either. Clever entrepreneurs have discovered this about you, which is why you’re starting to see an increasing number of PCDs — personal cooling devices — on the market. From the $50 Bex Runner cool pack that straps to your palm to the $189 Arctic Heat cooling vest by Cool Down Fire Up to $3,000 gizmo called CoreControl, devices abound to help you work out when it’s way hot.