Every year, there are dozens of stories relating to sun exposure that leads to injury or even death in Arizona. The cause? Many of the victims are novice hikers who make easily avoidable mistakes. We’ve come up with some of the most common mistakes that people make when hiking in Arizona and how to avoid them.
Avoid These Mistakes When Hiking in Arizona
Not drinking enough water.
We cannot stress this enough: drink, drink, drink, drink. LOTS of water is the key to avoiding dehydration. Between the heat, dryness and the physical exertion of hiking, it’s easier than you think to get dehydrated in the desert. Always bring more water than you think you’ll need. Try bringing at the very least 4 liters per person for a full day of hiking.
Wearing the wrong clothes.
Hiking in Arizona is definitely not a fashion show. Have you ever been out hiking a popular trail and ran into somebody wearing denim jeans in the middle of summer? Although it may make you laugh to yourself, wearing the wrong clothing can be a serious matter. Leave those flip flops at home, closed-toe shoes are a must. Here are some of our other rules for what to wear when hiking in Arizona:
- Never wear denim. Ever.
- Avoid cotton. Cotton soaks up moisture and keeps it close to the skin which can make your hike an unpleasant and miserable one.
- Always wear a hat. Always.
- Think layers. Depending on the weather, start with a base layer and add layers from there.
- Sunscreen. Use it. All over.
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Choosing the wrong hike.
It can be a brutal experience if you choose a hike that is way outside of your comfort level, outdoor skills and physical abilities. There are few things worse than choosing a hike that you aren’t physically or mentally prepared to finish. Smart hiking is planning out and selecting a level for your hike and not veering outside of your comfort zone.
The next time you’re out hiking in Arizona, make sure you’re prepared and don’t make these dangerous mistakes.
Weekend warriors: listen up. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the weekends on a mountain, lake or ocean, or breaking in a brand new pair of running shoes, use these tips to help avoid a would-be injury for the weekend warrior.
Physical therapy plays an important role in injury prevention and treatment for the weekend warrior. If you have pain of any kind from your weekend warrior activities, like hiking in Arizona, or want more tips on preventing an injury, contact DHT Physical Therapy today. Schedule an injury screening and be evaluated by a licensed professional who can evaluate the injury and recommend the proper course of treatment for you.