This thread at the BAHiker.com discussion board is getting more timely as summer approaches: how to cope with the sun and heat.
You could just spend all your time hiking under forest canopy, but there’s always something to be said for getting out in the sunburn zone, especially if you’re into taking nature pictures, which tend not to come out so well when taken in the depths of the redwoods. A thoughtful post from Fasthiker:
I try to cover up as much as possible when it’s especially hot. I have one of those goofy looking sun hats with an oversized brim by “Sunday Afternoons”. I bought my current one at REI. Under the hat I have a bandana to keep the sweat out of my eyes. The hike is so much easier when I don’t have the sun or sweat in my eyes.
I also try not to roll up the sleeves on my long sleeved shirt. I currently use the Mountain Hardwear Canyon Shirt. Sometimes I can’t help myself and uncover my forearms.
I hate sun block which is why I cover up as much as possible. I sweat a lot anyway. Sun block just makes we sweat a lot more until it gets washed off. On the other hand, I’d die in long pants so I always wear shorts unless it gets down toward freezing.
Then, of course, you have to keep drinking something on a regular basis. You’re more likely to drink if you have a water bladder.
Of course, the first time I used a bladder on a real hike I got dehydrated. I was drinking every 15-20 minutes but wasn’t drinking nearly as much as I thought. Those narrow tubes take a fair amount of effort to get a relatively small amount of water.
Once you get dehydrated all you can think about is drinking more water. You drink until you can’t hold any more. This prevents you from eating. When your stomach empties out a little, you drink some more rather than eat.
Many have noted before how you have to be careful with water bladders — if you wait till you feel really thirsty, it may be too late, but you also have to guard against over-hydration (See “Hyponatremia: Losing your water balance.”)
Hmm, maybe it would just be easier to hike in the shade.