Tips For Adventuring in Hot, Humid Climates
Heat and Humidity
If you live in the southeast or are planning to visit, you are guaranteed to encounter this region's typical hot and humid climate! While this weather is perfect for beach days, it can be little miserable for adventure enthusiasts who aren't prepared. Having plenty of experience in this type of climate, we have decided to collect all our best tips so you can fully enjoy your adventures!
What To Wear
No matter what your adventure of choice is, whether it's camping, hiking, bicycling, or climbing, your clothing choices will have a big impact on your enjoyment levels. Here is what you should wear when it is hot and humid:
- Loose Fitting Clothes: It is best to choose loose fitting clothing that hangs slightly off your body, that way your skin can breath. Skin tight clothing tends to hold sweat, which can be extremely uncomfortable. The exception to this tip is extreme cyclists or those planning on taking a long bike ride. For optimal comfort in this situation, you will want proper cycling clothing such as Lycra and Gore-Tex. For short or leisurely bike rides, loose clothing will work just fine!
- Moisture Wicking Material: Look for clothing that is light weight and has a label containing something similar to “moisture wicking,” “absorbs moisture,” or “quick drying.” Most options will be made from synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, however, cotton isn’t a bad choice. Cotton absorbs moisture, which could be harmful in the winter but is actually fine in the summer. Just make sure it fits loosely!
- Light Colors: Lighter colors, such as white, khaki, and pastels, repel sun rays and help keep you cool. It is an added bonus if the clothes are also UPF rated, since those help keep you even more protected from the sun’s rays. Avoid dark colors such as black and brown. Darker colors absorb the the sun and can cause you to feel overheated.
- Hats and Sunglasses: Both hats and sunglasses are beneficial in the summer, as they protect your face and eyes from the sun’s rays. Some hats have vents you can open or meshing that help keep your head cool, too!
- Drink Plenty of Water: The number one rule when adventuring in hot and humid weather is to stay hydrated! Dehydration can lead to many health issues such as fatigue, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Whatever you have to do to remind yourself to drink water, do it! You can also consider a hydration pack that allows for convenient sipping throughout the day. If you are sweating a lot, drink a sports drink or something with sodium and electrolytes to keep you feeling your best.
- Plan Your Activities: Check the weather and plan your outdoor adventure accordingly. If it is going to be hot and humid, try to plan on being out early in the morning or later in the evening. If possible, choose hiking, climbing, or camping spots that are shaded.
- Wear Sunscreen: No matter what your adventure of choice is, if you are out in the sun remember to put on sunscreen! Choose a sport sunscreen that is water resistant to make sure that you are protected even while sweating or in the water. For the best protection, the general rule we follow is apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going in the sun and reapply every two hours.
- Pet Safety: If your pet is joining you on your outdoor adventure, keep their safety in mind. Take lots of breaks and make sure they always have access to shade and clean drinking water. What we like to do before walking on asphalt, sand, or other surfaces, is check the temperature on our hand or barefoot. If it it too hot and uncomfortable for us to walk on or hold our hand against, then it is too hot for a pet’s paws. Consider getting them protective footwear or avoid taking them with you during the hottest parts of the day.
- Only Start Fires At Night: We can't stand sitting around the fire during the heat of the day! It also just zaps our energy. So, we stick to granola, protein bars, or fruit for breakfast and then simple sandwiches for lunch. Once it is dark outside, then we start a fire to cook dinner.
- Wear Bug Spray: You can’t have summer in the southeast without bugs... So remember to bring big spray and reapply frequently while you are outside. DEET big sprays work the best, especially considering how many mystiques and ticks there are.
- Invest In a Quality Cooler: If you have the ability to bring a cooler on your adventure, invest in the best possible one! After a long day in the sun, you will not want a lukewarm drink. Icy cold water or sports drinks are the most refreshing and you can only have those with a quality cooler.