Are there good reasons to hike in the summer desert heat?

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Are there good reasons to hike in the summer desert heat?

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:34 am

A hiker in Phoenix this summer told the New York Times that she hikes in the summer heat because this is what she does. She also mocked the heat by pretending to be exhausted from the heat. Another hiker told the NYT that he hikes in the midday heat to have solitude. Another fellow said that he does not want the weather to keep him from doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it.

The NYT ran this story on August 6: ... scent.html
If it is insanity, it is at least beautiful.

Interestingly, the popular mountains in Phoenix have far more rescues in winter than in summer. The reason, according to a rescue worker (a captain) quoted by the NYT: Too many people on the trail "causes" more injuries and falls. In summer the injuries decrease, and most rescues are caused by heat exhaustion, dehydration, fainting and a few heart attacks.

And so, perhaps that is another reason to hike in the summer - less chance of injury.

The NYT described one hiker in the midday summer heat listening to "All Things Considered." The irony made me laugh. I saw mockery of the heat in the hiker's nonchalance and in the name of the program to which he listened.

All things considered, hiking when it is really hot is not a bad thing to do, it seems.

It is all so counter intuitive, isn't it?
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Re: Are there good reasons to hike in the summer desert heat

Postby cynthia23 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:44 pm

Well, as the saying goes, 'it takes all kinds". I think exercising in high heat for short periods is probably ok, if unpleasant. But I am firm in my belief that doing it for hours on end,for years on end, is not good for the body. I knew a (very strong) man who for years worked as a swimming pool contractor here in the valley, and he said that after years of doing manual labor during the summer, he began to have health problems. I also think (just my speculation) that you might develop some cognitive problems as you're somewhat literally cooking your brain.

Thanks for posting, Wildhorse. As always, you give us food for thought.
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