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Backpacker Magazine – October 2011

Fall Hiking: On the Trail

Stay warm while hiking in the fall with these temperature-regulating tips.

by: Jason Stevenson

Illustration by Supercorn
Illustration by Supercorn

Defeat Heat Thieves

» Radiation Any time air temperature is below 98.6°F, bare skin vents heat. Fix Cover exposed skin with gloves, a hat (A), neck gaiter, and a face shield. Go inside a shelter, which traps body heat.
» Evaporation During a tough hike, cooling sweat could drench your layers—and drying them wastes energy. Fix Adjust pace and clothing to avoid excess sweating, and slow down 30 minutes before reaching camp to let body heat dry baselayers.
» Convection Moving air cools skin fast—that’s why windchill makes temps feel colder. Fix Wear windproof outer layers, seek shelter (B), and plan a route with minimal wind exposure, like a forest or a canyon.
» Conduction Contact with frigid surfaces siphons heat as the temperatures equalize. Fix Insulate sleeping and sitting surfaces with your pack or sleeping pad (C), or even dry leaves.

Eat Your Way to Warmth
 
» Switch to a high-fat diet. Calorie-dense foods like chocolate, nuts, and cheese metabolize slowly, prolonging digestion’s hour-long, body-warming effect.
» Drink green tea. Catechin-packed tea boosts metabolism, and hot drinks
in general cause sensors in your
arteries to shuttle more blood to your extremities, making you feel warmer.
» Add oil and spices. Olive oil is a caloric H-bomb, and eating mild spices (ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon) increases blood flow to the skin. Beware of capsaicin in hot chilies; it’ll make you sweat.





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READERS COMMENTS

AZ Hiker
Sep 30, 2012

This article posts some gr8 trail tips. Another good tip to remember is that sometimes getting lost can be easier than staying found and that's what makes short hikes the most dangerous. No matter how well they know the trail, many people never consider that they might end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors or waiting for medical help --and so they hike without the essentials. Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon) teaches essential day-hiking skills, items to pack, how to navigate your way with and without a map or compass, and how to get rescued. Learn to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. A compass doesn't need batteries and works in all types of weather but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. This book is for all ages --parents, friends, and children can learn together. It's a fast, easy read that could save your life and will definitely make your hike more safe and enjoyable!

AZ Hiker
Sep 30, 2012

AZ Hiker
Oct 22, 2011

And dont forget to read Felix the Sugarglider Be Safe Hike Smart B4 U hike! Avail on Amazon. This book will teach you how to stay found on and off the trail.

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