Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Hiking in extreme heat

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Hiking in extreme heat

Postby surgent » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:46 pm

I am curious how people handle the extreme heat when hiking. This can take on a couple forms: very high temperatures with low dewpoints, such as that found in the deserts of the Southwest, or "warm" temperatures with very high dewpoints such as the deep south, eastern seaboard, etc.

People can train to hike long distances in temperatures about 110 F (44 C), but this is an extremely demanding environment. The Badwater-Whitney race is a good example. So are the cases of people crossing 50+ miles of desert in summer from Mexico to the US and somehow surviving it. So obviously, it can be done.

A lot of people hike the local Phoenix-area peaks (Piestewa, Camelback) all year, even in the hottest part of the say, and we can get up near 120 at times. The reality is very few of them actually encounter trouble. My personal record is about at 112 F, both times on rescues, carrying big packs and setting up rope systems to get someone off a ledge. I have deliberately hiked the local peaks a few times at about 105-108 F just to see how well I do. There's a small peak nearby ASU (Hayden's Butte, or "A" Mountain) with 350 feet of gain in 3/8 of a mile that I'll do in the dead of summer. But it's close enough to town so if I lag or get into trouble, there are about 20 places nearby I can duck into for a drink. My wife and I once hiked to and from the pools at Seven Falls in the Sabino Canyon near Tucson in 107 F heat, covering nearly 5 miles total. That's my record for combined heat with long distance, and it was brutal at the very end. Another mile, we may not have made it...

Does anyone here train in the extreme heat, and what tricks do you use?

Has anyone ever found themselves in a situation where they must hike a long distance in the heat (e.g. flat tire, other unplanned situation)?
User Avatar
surgent

 
Posts: 462
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:45 pm
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 88 times in 55 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby Clark_Griswold » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:53 pm

I never trained, I just did it. I did a Bright Angel hike in late June when 111 was the high. I drank a lot and used Gatorade type supplements ( I made my own by adding sodium chloride to a fruit juice that has a high potassium content). I also spent time in the creek, so maybe that doesn't count?

If you're in heat a lot and do things to help with it, like drink water, your body will acclimate. Air conditioning hinders this.
...
User Avatar
Clark_Griswold

 
Posts: 1707
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:51 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 306 times in 234 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby Dan the Jones » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:02 am

I know that while living in New Mexico I often have to build and maintain a heat hiking stamina. Meaning before summer gets here, we start hiking in the spring while the weather stays in the 70's and 80's and we continue to increase our times outside as the weather heats up. When the temperatures start hovering in the high 90's and peaking in the three figures it already feels natural.

Also you can never stess enough the need for water, but not only on the day off but also a hot weather hiker needs to start hydrating the night before they go on long treks, thus when they hit the trail they are not trying to recover from a deficit in hydration levels to start off with. And of course as counter intuitive as it seems wear long sleeves made from SPF materials thus keeping your overall temperature down, along with wearing wide brim hats. The less flesh you have exposed to the sun the cooler you are.

Cheers
User Avatar
Dan the Jones

 
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:19 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby 4corners » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:01 am

LIke you, Surgent, SAR in the Superstitions and other parts of Pinal Cty. I head out and do laps on the hills by Coon Bluff on the Salt River, and also a little used trail up to the summit of Lone Peak (just north of Usury.) Siphon Draw at least to the waterfall and back works well. Have been using thermotabs too, that seems to really help me when it is really humid or temps approaching 110.

Down by the river is the best for me, though, because I can dunk in the water if it gets too hot.
User Avatar
4corners

 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby lcarreau » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:07 am

I consider myself officially acclimated to heat, after living in Arizona for 20 years.

One time when I was involved in working on the Arizona Trail, I was with another guy who was getting heat cramps and couldn't go any further.
We were doing a 10-mile hike in the "Four Peaks" area in the middle of summer.

The dude had to drink water and Gatorade to replace the salt that he had lost.

What bothers me the most are summertime skeeters and gnats.

Most recently, an outdoor volunteer told me that "Avon Nice-and-Soft" seems to be a good deterrent against the blood-suckers.

Image
User Avatar
lcarreau

 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:27 pm
Location: Court of the Crimson King, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 879 times in 660 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby spiritualspatula » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:03 am

Regarding the Avon, I've heard the same of Skinsosoft, but only in regard to the Cedar gnats. Can't say if it works or not...Snopes has an article on it regarding mosquitoes though, so consider that...
They didn't seem to ever bite me in any case (personally), just flew all around my face bugging the hell out of me during belay.
For mountains, I've gone into about the 95 degree territory. I used to suffer from heat exposure a lot worse when I was younger, it would sap my energy more and just make me really lethargic. Now I just need to be extremely proactive with water. I don't have super salty sweat, and I've never had cramp issues, but I'm careful to have adequate salt intake. For me, the biggest thing has always been headaches from dehydration, so I keep something to treat the symptoms of my headache at all times and then have water to treat the cause.
The worst for me was in highschool when I'd spend hours on end at the skatepark in mid to upper 90's. Damn thing with its white concrete surface was like a convective oven reflecting all that horribleness. When I wasn't there I was doing landscaping in the same heat. So as for training, I guess I largely got accustomed to it through exposure and now it's much more tolerable, but this isn't quite as hot as what you're dealing with.
spiritualspatula

 
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:56 am
Location: Colorado
Thanked: 15 times in 15 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby lcarreau » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:10 am

Thank God - the temps are finally going down in AZ, with a polar air mass coming down from the Pac NW. No more skeeters 'till next year :!:

Yeah boyeeeeeee ... HOWDY ..

Image
User Avatar
lcarreau

 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:27 pm
Location: Court of the Crimson King, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 879 times in 660 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby Clark_Griswold » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:16 am

Ah, the attitude of the low desert dweller. I wish I could join you. On the plateau, the next 8 to 9 months represent the crappy season, of wind, wind, more wind, and cold. Might get some precipitation in there, who knows?
...
User Avatar
Clark_Griswold

 
Posts: 1707
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:51 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 306 times in 234 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby Tonka » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:02 am

Lionel wrote:Ah, the attitude of the low desert dweller. I wish I could join you. On the plateau, the next 8 to 9 months represent the crappy season, of wind, wind, more wind, and cold. Might get some precipitation in there, who knows?


Fuck you... I live in Minnesota :D
User Avatar
Tonka

 
Posts: 1221
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:24 pm
Location: Spring Park, Minnesota, United States
Thanked: 71 times in 52 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby Mountain Bandit » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:45 am

Haha this is an interesting topic. As the vast majority of topics on this forum are associated with climbing mountains (ie higher altitudes), it's rare that extreme heat comes into the equation......

Growing up in the centre of Australia, I've done my fair share of extreme heat hiking. A good example was we climbed Mt Zeil (1531m - highest mountain in Australia west of the main eastern range - Great Divide) in the dead of summer. I think town (Alice Springs) had a top of 44C that day meaning that where we were would have been hotter. The climb consisted of a non-technical scramble, up about 1000 vertical metres, which we climbed up and down in one day. Growing up in the heat, it wasn't too much a shock on the body but gee it was tough and we did churn through a bit of water. The funny thing is that I didn't feel as hungry as I do on the colder climbs (maybe my body was running off all the salts and nutrients in the Central Australia bore water!!)

Weirdly enough I didn’t think my climbing/hiking experiences in the dryer and hotter climates (like above) was as taxing as some of the not so hot (still 30C or so) treks I’ve done in humid places like in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.
User Avatar
Mountain Bandit

 
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:50 am
Location: Australia
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby Clark_Griswold » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:44 pm

Tonka wrote:
Lionel wrote:Ah, the attitude of the low desert dweller. I wish I could join you. On the plateau, the next 8 to 9 months represent the crappy season, of wind, wind, more wind, and cold. Might get some precipitation in there, who knows?


Fuck you... I live in Minnesota :D

Does Minnesota have a blowing dust problem?
...
User Avatar
Clark_Griswold

 
Posts: 1707
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:51 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 306 times in 234 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby goldenhopper » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:54 pm

Our Lord Ray Jardine advises that after chipping holds in the face of El Cap, you use an umbrella wrapped in space blanket material to reflect direct rays from the sun.

Image

http://www.rayjardine.com/index.shtml
User Avatar
goldenhopper

 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:29 pm
Location: La La Land, California, United States
Thanked: 557 times in 391 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:03 pm

goldenhopper wrote:Our Lord Ray Jardine advises that after chipping holds in the face of El Cap, you use an umbrella wrapped in space blanket material to reflect direct rays from the sun.

Image

http://www.rayjardine.com/index.shtml



actually, I think Jardine uses that to focus radiowaves directly into his brain--sent by extraterrestrials on Neptune

-
User Avatar
jesu, joy of man's desiring

 
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:54 pm
Thanked: 443 times in 330 posts

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby goldenhopper » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:23 pm

Steve1215 wrote:
goldenhopper wrote:Our Lord Ray Jardine advises that after chipping holds in the face of El Cap, you use an umbrella wrapped in space blanket material to reflect direct rays from the sun.

Image

http://www.rayjardine.com/index.shtml



actually, I think Jardine uses that to focus radiowaves directly into his brain--sent by extraterrestrials on Neptune

-


Image
User Avatar
goldenhopper

 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:29 pm
Location: La La Land, California, United States
Thanked: 557 times in 391 posts

The following user would like to thank goldenhopper for this post
lcarreau

Re: Hiking in extreme heat

Postby lcarreau » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:07 am

Image
User Avatar
lcarreau

 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:27 pm
Location: Court of the Crimson King, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 879 times in 660 posts


Return to General

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.