Let’s be honest, no one is a fan of extreme temperatures! But harsh weather should not keep you from your adventures. There is a trick to braving the punishing cold temperatures of the Montana winter and exploring in the sweltering heat of an Arizona summer. On my recent trip to Havasupai Falls, this fair-skinned Montana girl learned a few things about staying cool in the heat. Here are my top five ways for beating the dry desert heat of the southwest:
5. Wear a hat. A wide brimmed hat will keep the sun off your face, ears, scalp and neck and is the best choice for beating the heat. A lightweight baseball cap will at least protect your face and your scalp.
4. Avoid strenuous activity during peak heat hours. The peak heat hours are between 10 AM and 4 PM, so limiting your sun exposure and strenuous activities during these hours will help you stay significantly cooler. Early mornings and dusk will be your favorite hours of the day for activity. The sun is not beating down on you, temperatures are moderate and this is the best time for physical activity. If you are heading out on a desert hike, go early!
3. Keep your neck cool. Wet a bandana or a light weight neck gaiter and put it around your neck. Keeping your neck cool will help trick your body into thinking it is a cool. It feels fantastic and this will also keep the sun off your neck.
2. Wear sunscreen. There is absolutely nothing worse than being sunburnt and feeling hot. Do not take a chance. Always apply sunscreen early in the day, do not wait until you feel a little burnt. By the time you realize you might be getting toasted, you are probably toasted. I recommend an oil free sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher. You will need to reapply often especially if you are sweating or in the water, every two hours is a good rule to follow. Do not forget to apply the sunscreen to your face, ears and tops of your feet. Always use a SPF lip balm so your lips do not burn. It really is better to be safe than sorry, so slater it on!
1. Hydrate, hydrate and then hydrate more! The absolute best way to keep your body cool is to drink lots of water. Regardless of your activity level in extreme temperatures you will need to drink plenty of water, if you are active you will need to drink even more. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to have a drink. I highly recommend a day backpack with a hydration system in it, that way your water stays cool and is always very accessible.
I hope you find these tips helpful on your next desert adventure. If you have any tips or tricks for keeping cool, leave us a comment and let us know!
Your Friendly Travel Consultant,