Hot weather hiking

 Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     First, a big welcome to our new readers. Since the permit process started we’ve added a few hundred more daily readers. I hope you join the fun every day. I’ll be here to share a few minutes of info about Half Dome, Yosemite, gear, technique, and an occasional rambling about something I think us hikers would enjoy. No political chat here. Feel free to comment, but I know you are busy and just love having you stop by the fire. Comments are welcome but this is not SFGate. I moderate all the comments and keep the spam and rude talk out.

     Now for some beef. I know we are months away from summer, but this advice might help you when it’s 95 degrees in the valley. When you are hiking up the John Muir trail, it’s helpful to know that the physics of things is such that for every 1,000 feet you ascend the temperature drops 3 degrees F. So it might actually be pleasant up high. But since HD is at 8842 feet it sticks up and catches some nice wind gusts. But assuming you are plowing up or down the trail, a good suggestion is to bring along a bandana. When you get to the Merced, the Little Spring or other stream, dip the cloth into it and wrap it around your neck. The convective action will draw the heat away from you and your neck blood vessels will be cooled this lowering the temperature of the blood heading up to your noggin. A cotton cloth works best as it retains water much longer than synthetics. Ditto your cap – dip it and let the moist surface cool you even more. Since you have more concentrated blood vessels in your head than other parts of your body, it is most important to extract heat from there. Those neck wrap gizmos with a crunchy filling serve the same purpose. When you soak them in water, the crystals absorb water. Wrapped around your neck they will cool you for a long time. Then when you find a water source you can soak it to swell up again.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness.” -William O. Douglas

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –*


5 Responses to “Hot weather hiking”

  1. Dean Says:

    Coming from a cooler climate (Scotland) I really felt the heat while hiking Half Dome. I’m fairly fit but it’s a rare day indeed to be hiking in the 80/90s in Scotland.

    I take along a sports drink to supplement my water as well as a few other energy supplements and a good hat.

  2. Dean Says:

    Found this today, thanks to @YosemiteScience on Twitter…absolutely fantastic Yosemite photo archive…

  3. Maureen Lahiff Says:

    I’m really fond of the little electrolyte tablets/powder packets to add to my drinking water to replace salts lost due to sweating.

    (Think gatorade without the calories.)

    • Roberto Hernandez Says:

      What are these tablets called? Isn’t Gatorade powder from Walmart cheaper?

      • mrhalfdome Says:

        There are several brands of Electrolyte tablets …just ask your outfitter or running/biking store. Yes, Gatorade powder in a can is WAAAAAY cheaper.

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