Lesson Learned – I Can’t Hike in the Heat

by Andy Hough on July 21, 2016

Upper Goose Pond Cabin

Upper Goose Pond Cabin

My planned three-week hike turned into a one-week hike. I was concerned before I left on the hike that it might be too hot for me to hike, but the forecast when I booked the trip looked like it might be cool enough. Unfortunately, it  warmed up making the hike an unpleasant experience.  After one week of hiking in the heat, sweating buckets all day, and getting eaten up by insects I decided to head back home. In addition to the hike being unpleasant it was also somewhat risky for me to hike in the heat. My blood pressure makes me prone to getting dehydrated and it was difficult to drink enough water each day to stay hydrated. I was drinking up to 5 liters of water a day and the section I had coming up had unreliable water source which would have made it difficult to get sufficient water.

The trip ended up being a pretty big waste of money. The trip cost me about $500 for round-trip transportation and a couple of hotel nights.  I could have had a pretty nice vacation for that $500. Instead I managed to hike about 27 miles in unpleasant conditions.  That is a rather high cost per mile. This is the third time I’ve ended a hike early due to heat. I think I’ve finally learned to not even try to hike in warm temperatures. In light of how much it cost to get to and from the trail I’m considering scrapping my fall hike and instead doing one long hike next spring.  I probably won’t make a final decision on that until fall.

The trip wasn’t a total loss. I did have a nice night swimming in Upper Goose Pond and hanging out at the cabin.  Although I didn’t enjoy hiking 8 miles in the heat of summer it was good to learn that I could do it.  I rented a car one-way from Albany, NY to Kansas City to get home.  Since the cost was about $190 a day I wanted to make the trip in one day. I managed to make the 19 hour drive without taking any breaks.  I just made stops as necessary for gas, food, drink and/or bathroom.  I didn’t even start feeling very tired until I was in Missouri. I’d prefer not to make a trip like that again it is nice to know I still have the stamina to complete such a drive.

Now that I’m back home I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

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