“The safety of the people shall be the highest law.”
-Marcus Tullius Cicero
“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.”
Twenty years ago I would have hiked in any kind of weather, and I did. My friend and I even hiked in a blizzard to Anthony’s Nose just to see what the Bear Mt. Bridge looked like when it snowed. We used to go out at noon on days when the temperature was near 100 degrees and the humidity was almost as high. Days when it was raining? No problem.
These days, however, I am a little more cautious when I hike. I know that I have mentioned this before, but with the renal failure I experienced last summer, any forecast of excessive heat truly scares me. So for our area for the next three days, this is what the weather looks like:
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT SUNDAY… * HEAT INDEX VALUES…AROUND 105 TO 110 TODAY AND AROUND 105 TO 115 SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. * TIMING…12 PM TODAY THROUGH 8 PM SUNDAY. * IMPACTS…EXTREME HEAT CAN CAUSE ILLNESS AND DEATH AMONG AT- RISK POPULATION WHO CANNOT STAY COOL. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT MAY QUICKLY CAUSE HEAT STRESS OR HEAT STROKE.
I have decided that even though I go out very, very early in the morning, I am not going to hike today, tomorrow or Sunday. When I went out on Wednesday and hiked 5 miles, I drank two 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade Zero (Orange of course) as well as two 48 ounce bottles of water. When I got home I immediately drank another 48 ounces of water and continued this throughout the day.
Folks, don’t be stupid. If it is going to be this oppressively hot and humid, it just isn’t worth it. Now if you live in an area where this type of weather is the norm, some adjustments can be made, but you still have to be careful.
The good thing is I will still be able to ride my stationary bike which is in a nice air-conditioned room with a television. I will also hydrate as if I was out hiking.
I guess the bottom line is this: Is that hike really worth it? Especially for folks that may be a little older or have a chronic medical condition, hiking in hot and humid conditions like this could be a death sentence. Much better days are ahead!!!!
Take it from someone who knows. It isn’t worth it.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section.