The Monthly Dirt | July 2019
Ways to beat the dog days of summer and still enjoy the outdoors
Hike early in the morning
Select a shaded trail
Carry a bandana and if you pass a cool stream wet it and wrap it around your neck
Take frequent breaks in the shade
Wear light, loose, breathable clothing
You always hear not to wear cotton but on a hot summer day it can feel good having the wet against your skin
Bring a squirt bottle to cool yourself off
Be aware of the potential heat illnesses and how to protect yourself
Sunscreen: Apply 15 minutes before beginning your hike and re-apply at least every two hours
Dehydration: Drink adequate water to stay hydrated. How much you need to drink while hiking depends on a number of factors, such as temperature and humidity, your intensity level, your age, your body type and sweat rate, as well as the duration of your hike. A good general recommendation is about a half liter of water per hour of moderate activity in moderate temperatures. You will need to adjust as the temperature and activity increases.
Over-hydration (hyponatremia): In hyponatremia, sodium levels in the blood become so diluted that cell function becomes impaired. The symptoms of hyponatremia are similar to dehydration: fatigue, headache and nausea, causing some hikers to mistakenly drink more water. This is rare but you should be aware of it.
Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions that can happen suddenly during exercise in hot weather. Treat them as a warning that you’re pushing your limits and that you need to slow down. Make sure you are properly hydrated. If you get heat cramps, do some gentle stretching.
Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is your body’s inability to cope with the stress of heat.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
Treatment for heat exhaustion:
Get out of the heat and cool off
Heat Stroke: Heat stroke occurs when your body literally overheats. It is a serious medical condition that can strike fast and requires immediate medical attention.
At Experience | Winding Stair Gap to NOC
July 12 - 14
PMT 15-Mile Hike
The Dirt On The Benton MacKaye Trail
It’s a footpath of nearly 300 miles through the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States and is blazed by a white diamond. The trail runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the BMT passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. Benton McKaye was a Massachusetts forester and regional planner who first had the idea for the Appalachian Trail in 1921. The two trails, the AT and the BMT are the same for the first few miles before splitting apart to go their separate ways.
Homemade Trail Snack Ideas
No Bake Trail Mix Energy Bites
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup mini candy coated chocolate candies
1/2 to 3/4 cup cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons honey
In a mixing bowl, stir together oats, raisins, peanuts, chocolate chips, and candies.
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together 1/2 cup peanut butter and honey until melted. Let cool slightly so chocolate doesn't met. Pour over the trail mix and stir to combine. If you can't roll into balls, melt the other 1/4 cup peanut butter and add that.
Roll into 1-inch balls and refrigerate until ready to serve.