How to stay safe if you’re hiking in warm weather

How to stay safe if you’re hiking in warm weather

Sum­mer is a great time to enjoy parks and reserves. Fol­low our tips to make sure you stay safe in the heat.

If you love being out­doors in sum­mer, there’s no rea­son you can’t enjoy a hike on a hot day – so long as you are fit and well prepared.

But remem­ber, the park will still be there when the weath­er is cool­er, so be sen­si­ble about whether to head out or take a raincheck.

If you’re inclined to go, here are some things you need to consider:

Check the fire dan­ger ratings

Some parks and gar­dens, like Mount Lofty Botan­ic Gar­den, are closed on days of severe, extreme or cat­a­stroph­ic fire dan­ger, and all nation­al parks and reserves are closed on days of cat­a­stroph­ic fire danger.

Make sure you check fire dan­ger rat­ings online with nation­al parks, the CFS or the Bureau of Mete­o­rol­o­gy before you go. If in doubt, vis­it the clo­sures and alerts page on the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Aus­tralia web­site to check whether the park you plan to vis­it is open. 

Plan your walk

Choose a hike that has a clear, easy-to-fol­low route and always stay on the trail. The nation­al parks web­site lists dis­tance, return time and lev­el of dif­fi­cul­ty for many hikes, and you will often find the same infor­ma­tion sign­post­ed at trailheads.

Many parks have inter­ac­tive maps avail­able through Aven­za Maps which you can down­load to your smart­phone, and with GPS switched on you can see your­self as a mov­ing blue dot on the trail.

Be aware that you may tire more quick­ly in the heat, so take that into con­sid­er­a­tion if you are con­sid­er­ing a long walk.

Car­ry plen­ty of water

If you’re walk­ing on a hot day, you’ll need to drink about a litre of water per hour to stay hydrat­ed. Most parks don’t have drink­ing water avail­able, so don’t count on being able to refill your bot­tle. Instead, make sure you bring enough water with you.

Tell some­one

Always tell some­one where you’re going, which trail you plan to take, and when you’ll be back – just in case.

It’s a good idea to car­ry your mobile phone for emer­gency calls too. Remem­ber – phone recep­tion will often be bet­ter at high­er spots in the park.

Cov­er up

A shady hat and sun­block are a must, but a shirt with long sleeves and a col­lar is a good idea for extra protection.

Watch out

Be aware that snakes are more active in warm weath­er. If you see a snake, keep well away, stand still, and wait for the snake to move on. It will usu­al­ly go on its way and be hap­py to let you go on yours.

Remem­ber – most snake bites hap­pen when peo­ple are try­ing to catch or kill a snake.

Have you ever thought about how native ani­mals fare in warm weath­er? Here’show you can help.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Novem­ber 2017

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living