How to stay cooler while hiking.

The other week a guy by the handle of Hiking Padre tried to hike the Tecumseh Trail and had a rough go of it. Now I’m one to give unsolicited advice so here it is.

1. The use of a chromed umbrella cannot be understated. It can reduce the temperate under it by a noticeable amount. You can find them easily by asking Dr. Google, but a good option is:

Gossamer Gear’s Swing Liteflex

Zpacks sells the same one, for a similar price, and it looks to be the old Golite chrome dome too. It’s what I use.

2. The lighter your pack, the less you have to work. Sounds simple right? It can be. The old adage is that ridding pounds costs dollars, and ounces cost hundreds. Once you hit a certain weight true cost for great gear goes up exponentially. A good light sleeping bag costs around a hundred to two hundred, an Ultralight one will run you into the three to four hundred easy. But generally your big three are the best to lighten first. That’s your backpack, sleeping bag, and shelter. I recommend Gossamer Gear, ULA, and Zpacks for the packs. Zpacks, Enlightened Equipment, or Kick Ass Quilts, for the sleeping bag or quilt. And for shelter I really only have experience with hammocks.

3. Stay hydrated! If you aren’t drinking, you’re dying. The average human can go there days without water and it SUCKS. I once did a 17 mile hike on a liter of water due to my stupid, and I will bail on a hike so fast if I’m ever in that situation again. It was the worst.

4. Eat! Andrew Skurka talked about the caloric drip, it pretty much means you are snaking while walking. So I always bring something. Usually peanut M&Ms and some almonds.

5. Wear wicking clothing. Under Armor Heat gear and similar items are good, I like long sleeves and tights under some light gym shorts. But I look terrible. But I don’t care either.

Here is a video with all that put together and in motion. Note it was around 90 degrees that day.