Hot weather walking – top tips to stay safe in the heat

Two people walking along a path in the countryside, with hills in the distance 

The mercury is set to hit an hit an all-time high today, with temperatures set to climb to 39 degrees Celsius, so it’s really important to take some precautions to make the most of your summer strolls and stay safe and healthy.

It’s great to be able to take advantage of the fantastic summer weather to go out walking and enjoy the countryside in its full summer glory, but make sure to take a few measures to stay safe in these unusually high temperatures.

Here are our top tips for hot weather walking:

With the mercury regularly reaching 30 degrees, avoid walking at the hottest times of day, between 11am and 3pm. Plan your walks in the early morning or the evening and take frequent breaks in the shade. 
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 
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.
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.

Find out more about how to keep safe and tips for dealing with different situations that you may encounter when out and about walking.