Usually it’s mid-June before we’re forced to address the issue of summer heat. Before, that is, we’re forced to issue our annual plea to stay on the trail during the summer months ahead.
In some parts of the U.S. — the Northeast, the Pacific Coast, the mountain states — hikers live for the summer and its warm days. Not here, where Summer is equated with still air, sticky clothes and sweat-stung eyes.read more
Back in January I got to thinking about where I haven’t been in too long and thus, where I would love to explore this summer.
I didn’t have to think long: the mountain portion of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
Now, I hike the MST nearly every day, since I can pick it up a couple blocks from my front door in Hillsborough. And while I never tire of this stretch, nor of the other 120 miles I hike with some frequency through the Triangle, there’s something about the MST’s nearly 350-mile run through the mountains that’s especially enchanting — and diverse, capturing both the rugged beauty of the Southern Appalachians and its moments of intimate calm. Here’s a look at three favorite sections, all along the Blue Ridge Parkway.read more
Already, it is August — mid-August, to be accurate — and the days of summer are waning. If you’re not a friend of hot weather, this comes as good news. But if you like the heat and feel you haven’t taken full advantage of the season, this realization could bum you out. Don’t let it.read more
With another steamy summer weekend coming up, rather than think about how to deal with the heat, why not think about how to embrace it instead? A couple thoughts on the subject, both of which involve water.
On the water
North Carolina State Parks offers two ways to beat the heat this weekend on the water.read more
Whooo, baby! We’re looking at our first 90-degree weekend of the year. And you had your heart set on taking a hike.
No need to cancel your plans. You just need to alter them a wee bit.
From our GetHiking! Guide to Summer Hiking, a bit of advice:
Dress appropriately. Button-up fishing and hiking shirts typically have vents and mesh that do a good job of keeping your torso from building up head. Shorts are good, but there are also inexpensive lightweight nylon pants that protect your legs without keeping in the heat.
Hydrate. Always important, especially in heat. Increase your desire to drink by packing cold water, either by filling a water bottle three-quarters full the night before, freezing it and topping it off with cold water before the hike, or by loading a bladder with ice, then filling in the nooks and crannies with cold water.
Hike early. The coolest part of the day. This weekend, the temperatures shortly after sunrise should be in the low 60s.
Hike late. Temperatures typically peak late afternoon, then drop as the sun does. By 6:30 p.m. you should be down 10 degrees from the day’s high, and you’ll benefit from a continually dropping thermostat.
Choose a heat-resistant trail. How, you ask? Look for trails with:
Higher elevations. The temperature drops roughly 3 degrees for every 1,000 feet of elevation.
Near water. Trails along creeks or around lakes are especially good. If you start to overheat, kick off your boots and wade in.
Look for a northern exposure. Trails that spend most of their time on a northern exposure, away from direct sunlight, tend to be cooler.
Not sure you want to do that much research? Worry not. We have some recommendations.read more