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A hike or other outdoor activity during the hot, summer months requires a little prep. Even the most adventurous, impulsive types should take a moment to assess their plans during these warmer months when venturing into the Idaho wilderness.

Time of day

Heading out at the warmest time of day might not be the best plan. Early morning hikes or even an astronomy stroll in the evening might be a better option. Summer storms in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area often happen fast. Check your local forecast before heading out. 

Consider others

What are the ages and abilities of those with you? Young children, seniors, and pets can have different needs when hiking during warmer months. Not all individuals/animals can adapt to the heat as easily as others. And don’t forget the increase in altitude and a much dryer climate. These factors, added with extreme temperatures, can make regulating internal temps challenging for those not already acclimated. Know ahead of time the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke so you are prepared.

Type of trail

More exposed trails with less shade can result in hikers becoming overheated quickly. Look for ones with more trees, and perhaps water nearby. For Sawtooth trail information visit: 

Sawtooth Mountain Trail Maps and BCRD – Summer Trails.

Sun protection

Beyond sunscreens, consider cooling methods such as cooling hats, cooled/wet bandanas, UV protectant clothing, sunglasses, and cooling agent balms. When you reach a water source (lake, creek, etc.) consider wetting your hat, t-shirt, or other clothing. Lowering your body temperature can be helpful the last part of a hike. 

Basic checklist

  • At least 2-3 liters of water/ water filtration system- Water for pets, children
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen/insect repellant
  • Basic 1st aid kit
  • Proper footwear
  • Hiking poles
  • Appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses, or other personal protective gear suitable for your hike