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View Full Version : How hot is too hot for you to go hiking??



DavidNH
05-26-2015, 14:31
At what temperature do you shelve the hiking boots and head for the beach or nearest lake or stay home?

Me, if it gets to 90 +, and even more so if it is humid, I won't hike if I can help it!


DavidNH.

TNhiker
05-26-2015, 14:38
it really depends for me....

if im doing a route where there is a good creek to soak in----then it really doesnt matter...

i have however, for the summer, gotten more into doing canoe camping trips..........but that was mainly a result of me buying a canoe three years ago.....

and with the amount of lakes in the southeast-----there's great options...

here's how my summertime years have broken down since i bought the canoe--
2012------a bunch of canoe trips...
2013----no canoe trips..........all hiking...........weather was a touch cooler that summer as well...
2014----a bunch of canoe trips............
2015------not sure yet, but i see myself doing more hiking trips this year.....

BirdBrain
05-26-2015, 14:59
Heat has never been a prohibitive factor for me. Of course there are almost always places to dunk myself up here. Cold is another matter. I don't like walking any distance when it is below freezing.

peakbagger
05-26-2015, 15:28
I have a few backup hikes for hot hazy and humid hikes. Ice Gulch in Randolph and Mahoosuc Ravine via the Bull Branch bushwhack are both great on a hot day. Drakes Brook Trail off of Sandwich is also another nice one. If I can get a breeze on the summits and get an early start (6AM) it makes a lot of difference. In general 90 deg F is my cutoff.

Astro
05-26-2015, 15:51
My AT hikes are determined by my vacation time so I am hiking regardless of how hot it gets.

Once pre-Smart phone in July/August I was out on an open ridge and it looked like 100*on my little Wal-Mart thermometer. I assumed it was cheap and broken until I got into town and some people were getting off due to the extreme heat wave.

HooKooDooKu
05-26-2015, 16:45
If the temperatures are too hot, I'm simply not hiking at a high enough elevation.

I hike the GSMNP, where at the highest elevations, the temperature never exceeds 80 (ok, for one day last year, the temperature a LeConte Lodge did reach 81).
If you look at the climate data for Clingman's Dome, the average summer time hi is 65 (elevation of 6,643'). With much of the AT thru GSMNP above 5,000', temperatures are not much hotter there.

Slo-go'en
05-26-2015, 16:55
I'm glad I got home last night from central Virginia. The first two weeks of the hike were pretty hot and humid. Nice in the early morning, but I really struggled in heat of the afternoon. Last week was pleasant, but now it's back to full on summer conditions, even up here in NH (but there is still snow in the ravines!).

If I were to try to do a long term hike in the summer, I think I'd buy the smallest and lightest hammock I could find and string it up in the afternoon for a long nap. I make so little progress in the afternoon heat there really isn't any sense even trying. Get hiking by dawn, stop about noon or 1 and wait until 5 to get going again.

Ashepabst
05-26-2015, 17:32
hot days are a good day for a creek hike in Tennessee... still lots of great hemlock-shaded canyons for refuge on the plateau, and lots of wild rivers in the mountains to cool off in.

rocketsocks
05-26-2015, 17:48
I much prefer cold to hot to walk in. 90's I'm done.

The Snowman
05-26-2015, 19:16
I call it a day at 100

MuddyWaters
05-26-2015, 19:35
nights over 70 with humidity

85 F and 90% humidity at 10 pm .....sucks.

billnchristy
05-26-2015, 19:41
We used to disc golf and played a lot in the summer so the heat doesn't bother us. Christy's UV allergy makes it difficult, because as it gets hotter the UV levels go up too. Luckily, walking the trail is rather shady so she hasn't been doing too bad, even on overnights.

Uriah
05-26-2015, 19:48
The desert, even at 110 degrees (as it was on the Hayduke at times), was more tolerable than the 90 degrees and 40% (+) humidity that the AT dished out. I went into the AT honestly believing I loved heat. I left it thankful I live out west. Brutal trail, brutal conditions.

kayak karl
05-26-2015, 19:55
if im on a long hike and it gets hot, oh well.
if its a day hike, nothing over 70

saltysack
05-26-2015, 20:19
I'm a cold weather fan...go figure I live in north fl.[emoji16]...90% of my trips(just a weekend warrior) are from mid October-April...usually about 6 hikes per year on southern AT..doing my longest to date in sept.....15 day JMT thru...Its easier to warm up than cool down.....keep movin! With this said I did take my 8 year old son on his first AT hike mid August last summer at standing Indian loop. Actually temps were quite pleasant...


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peakbagger
05-26-2015, 21:35
I far prefer cold weather. Once the humidity and temps pick up the smog moves into the whites. Generally if its spring later fall or winter, 50 to 100 mile visibility is the norm, in summer its a rarity.

Rain Man
05-26-2015, 22:42
I'll hike in heat, but will cut my mileage, or rather the heat does it for me!

GScout
05-26-2015, 23:26
I live in Texas, so if I don't hike in heat then I don't hike for several months a year. Slather on the sunblock and drink lots of water, you'll be fine.

Pumba
05-26-2015, 23:30
I'll reconsider my plans it it's anywhere near 85. I sweat very easily and quite a bit when it's hot. It's just not enjoyable to me at that point.

Odd Man Out
05-27-2015, 00:09
I did a six day section in central VA last July. I was worried about the heat but went for it anyway. The weather that week was average for central VA in mid July (hot and humid, but not a heat wave). But up in the mountains, I found the weather to be pleasant. It was warm, but not oppressive. Between the altitude, shade from the forest, cooling off at night, and cooling afternoon rains, it worked out OK. After a big climb I would take off my sweat soaked shirt, rest a bit, and then carry on. Of course if there had been a heat wave the story might have been different. But what I've come to learn (having lived in MI for 30 years) is that you should never cancel plans because you think the weather might be bad, because if you do, it will always be good and you will be sitting home regretting your decision. Of course you can plan to hike in the UP of MI in August (what I am doing this summer) where it is reliably cool. Now I just have to worry about bugs.

Jake2c
05-27-2015, 00:35
I got burned in the heat recently. I was probably not taking in enough fluids but I was going to hike in what ever weather showed up anyway. My big mistake was I did not anticipate how much I was going to be sweating and did not bring along any electrolyte replacements. Ended up with some pretty tough cramps one night that I only cleared drinking water with table salt in it. It was the only thing I had and it worked well enough but I won't make that mistake again. I would still hike in pretty much any heat, though in hind-site now, I might ditch the hottest part of the day. Can't say an exact temp since humidity plays a big role.

runt13
05-27-2015, 07:55
In general, anything above 65 deg. is uncomfortable for me no matter what I'm doing. With that said I do a lot of fall, winter, early spring adventures. As much as I want to do a thru, I am probably destined to section in the cooler months.

RUNT ''13''

garlic08
05-27-2015, 08:34
The desert, even at 110 degrees (as it was on the Hayduke at times), was more tolerable than the 90 degrees and 40% (+) humidity that the AT dished out. I went into the AT honestly believing I loved heat. I left it thankful I live out west. Brutal trail, brutal conditions.

Ditto this.

This is what they make mountains for! Lose 5F every 1000' and all's good.

Worst heat I hiked in was on the AT on Bear Mt in NY, there was 70 degree fog in the morning and 100 temps in the afternoon, climbing the south-facing slope in the sun. When it's that humid, the sweat doesn't evaporate as well and your cooling system just doesn't work. I drank twice my normal water that day and had to rest several times from feeling dizzy (heat stroke, brain damage, no messing around there). I've come close to that on some summer desert hikes, but it wasn't as uncomfortable from the dang humidity.

If I can't keep cool somehow (water, shade, breeze) I won't go hiking. That's a good time to take the bike out--it's easier to cool off in the breeze you make with your speed, and often easier to get to shade and water.

rojotide
05-27-2015, 09:50
bring layers you can shed including the right socks for warmth and cooling

HDLV
05-27-2015, 09:53
No problome for me, that's up to my girlfriend.

illabelle
05-27-2015, 12:05
I hate hiking in the summer heat, BUT late summer is the best time to hike in Maine. So if we want to be in shape for Maine, we gotta hike this summer. I'm so glad we live near the Smokies! It won't be cool, but it will be tolerable.

rocketsocks
05-27-2015, 12:24
No sure if anyone mentioned night hiking when the heat wave rolls in, but it is an option...though it carries with it a whole mother set of rules, do be careful.

The Solemates
05-27-2015, 12:26
we are definitely 3 season hikers!!!! hate the heat. summer is for the lake! we dont hike much from June til Sept in the South. we dont mind doing the NE or the rockies in the summer though.

wrap89
05-27-2015, 13:30
90 degrees with high humidity i will not go hiking UNLESS i am on a Thru-Hike.

GoldenBear
05-27-2015, 13:42
I even hike when weather-casters are predicting heat indices in the 100s, and warning people to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities in the daytime.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/entry.php/694-They-said-it-couldn-t-be-done

That is, as long as I have an air-conditioned room at the B&B to end the day at!

Uriah
05-27-2015, 13:48
Worst heat I hiked in was on the AT on Bear Mt in NY, there was 70 degree fog in the morning and 100 temps in the afternoon, climbing the south-facing slope in the sun. When it's that humid, the sweat doesn't evaporate as well and your cooling system just doesn't work. I drank twice my normal water that day and had to rest several times from feeling dizzy (heat stroke, brain damage, no messing around there). I've come close to that on some summer desert hikes, but it wasn't as uncomfortable from the dang humidity.

Indeed. Bear Mountain was actually one of the areas I was thinking about when I typed! (Rumor has it they named it as such not because of bears, but because the summertime hiker must bear it...)

Add the mosquitoes to the mix and voila!...a truly challenging experience. My hat goes off to those hardy summertime hikers back east. The AT was a once-and-done experience for me. Never again.

Sarcasm the elf
05-27-2015, 14:30
Like some others have commented, my hikes are done whenever I can get vacation scheduled for, so trips don't get cancelled. When it's real hot I hike real early take big breaks when it's hottest in the afternoon and the hike late when it cools down.


On my first ever full week trip back in 2009 we hit a bad heatwave in MA temps over 100f, and high humidity. We got passwd by a bunch thru hikers on days 1&2, but not many after that, then on the last day of the trip we got passed by most of the same hikers we met at the beginning, it turned out that it was so hot they all bailed into town for three days!

The Splitter
05-27-2015, 14:31
The Splitter hikes regardless of temperature.


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The Solemates
05-27-2015, 17:48
In general, anything above 65 deg. is uncomfortable for me no matter what I'm doing. With that said I do a lot of fall, winter, early spring adventures. As much as I want to do a thru, I am probably destined to section in the cooler months.

RUNT ''13''

the number of times it got over 65 on our thru-hike is likely less than a dozen

golfjhm
05-28-2015, 07:40
60-65 max but preferably much cooler. Warmer than that means snakes, spiders, ticks, etc. I prefer to hike in the south in the winter - no crowds and get to use all my gear as opposed to it just sitting on the sidelines. I'm also a big guy so can walk in below freezing temps with just a merino ls top and layer up once I stop. Additionally, campfires are much more enjoyable when it is cold IMO.

LittleRock
05-28-2015, 07:41
80F is my limit - I still remember burning through a gallon of water on my way up from the NOC in late spring, then stopping to change out of my sweat-soaked hiking clothes on top of Cheoah Bald while being eaten alive by mosquitos... ugh.

wormer
05-28-2015, 08:39
80F is my limit also, with an exception. I plan on taking two 10 milers on the PCT this August in Campo and Temecula areas. I'll get an early start and plan to be finishing up at 11AM or earlier to beat the heat.

bill1980
05-28-2015, 11:19
I never mind hiking in the heat and humidity because I am moving. My discomfort comes from trying to sleep in high temps and humidity.

Bronk
05-28-2015, 11:49
I only hike from about October to April...to me ideal weather is 50s to 60s during the day and 30s to 40s at night, though I do occasionally camp when its much colder than that. The rest of the year I do canoe trips.

runt13
05-28-2015, 15:14
the number of times it got over 65 on our thru-hike is likely less than a dozen

good to know!

RUNT ''13''

Tuckahoe
05-28-2015, 16:02
I consider myself fortunate that I have lived all my life in Tidewater with the normal heat and humidity of a coastal Virginia summer, and topped off with working outside every day, I can say that the AT is a far cry from hot or humid. I tend to find it rather cool.

Right now here at work its 90 degrees and 89% humidity and pretty nice.

AO2134
05-28-2015, 16:22
As a weekend warrior, the only time I don't hike is when it is raining. Otherwise, heat doesn't really put me off too much. However, like many, I would prefer to hike in cooler temperatures.

Cookerhiker
05-28-2015, 20:47
I can do short day hikes up the low 90s. I'm in a hiking group which goes every other Saturday throughout the whole year.

Backpacking - the only AT or eastern hiking I'll do in summer is the Whites, Maine, or the high elevations of West Virginia in the Monongahela National Forest e.g. Dolly Sods and Cranberry Wilderness. Otherwise, the humid nights do me in. Summer is for western hiking - Rockies, Cascades, Sierra.

kenp
05-29-2015, 10:31
Living in Ireland I am not acclimatised to warm weather and when I visit SW VA during the summer (July) I find that temps in the high 80s oppressive. Yet I've NEVER been uncomfortably hot on the AT (I try to hike for 5/4 days each visit). I guess it's a combination of altitude and shade. And actually, I find the nights a little cooler than I would like, my 40deg bag is just about sufficient.