Keep your cool walking in the heat

Photo by Amanda Meister.

The Great British Summer really has turned out to be just that this year.  With weeks and weeks of hot dry weather to take advantage of, it’s the perfect time to plan some wonderful walks with a guarantee that your sandwiches won’t get soggy!

But with the mercury regularly reaching 30 degrees Celsius, there are few precautions worth taking to make the most of your summer strolls, stay safe and healthy and protect the countryside too.

Our director of advocacy and engagement, Tom Platt, says: “It’s great to be able to take advantage of this fantastic summer weather to go out walking and we have plenty of wonderful Ramblers Routes to give you some inspiration.

“As always, we encourage anyone enjoying our beautiful countryside to behave responsibly to help protect our environment.  And as the landscape is so incredibly dry, it’s more important than ever to be extra vigilant for fire risks. Walkers can help by keeping an eye out for things like broken glass that can start fires and reporting any fires that appear to be unattended as quickly as possible.”

Our top tips for hot weather walking:

  • Carry plenty of water with you - more than you would usually in cooler weather - and sip regularly to avoid getting dehydrated. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.
    Make sure you apply plenty of sun cream (a minimum of SPF 30 is ideal).
  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing so that you don’t overheat and wear a hat, even on overcast days, to keep the sun off your face and head.
  • Consider doing a shorter walk than usual if it’s really hot, or work out a spot where you can cut your walk short if you need to.
  • Keep out of the sun in the hottest parts of the day and take frequent breaks in the shade. 
  • However unlikely it seems, remember the weather can change. Pack a light waterproof jacket and remember that if you’re walking in the hills, it is often much cooler higher up than lower down, so an extra layer can be useful.
  • In these very dry conditions, help keep the countryside safe by looking out for fire risks and report unattended fires or activities which could cause fires to the emergency services.
  • And don’t forget your four-legged friends. If you’re taking your dog along on your walk, make sure you take some water for them too, and let them have a lie-down in the shade when they’re looking tired.

Don't fancy taking a walk in the heat, check out our tips for walking safely in all seasons.