Summer in Colorado offers unparalleled outdoor fun in the sun. Who can resist walking, running or cycling on open space trails, or heading up to the gorgeous high country for a day or a week? But staying safe during the upcoming ‘dog days’ means taking extra care to stay cool – and knowing when to call it quits.

  • Always keep your fitness level and health in mind – a 98-degree day is probably not the time to attempt your first fourteener. Set realistic goals, and be prepared to adjust them as needed.
  • Your body needs time to adjust to the heat. Work up gradually to greater challenges.
  • Staying hydrated is essential! Hydration packs with sip tubes are a convenient way to drink frequently without having to stop and reach for a bottle.
  • Always bring more water than you think you’ll need. Check hydration guidelines for your activity, for instance, strenuous hiking in high temps can require one liter of water (or more) per hour.
  • When assessing water needs, consider weather, intensity and duration of activity, age and fitness level, and perspiration rate, which can vary widely.
  • Higher altitudes require greater water intake. Know before you go.
  • Keep your pack as light as possible without sacrificing essentials.
  • Avoid the hottest times of day and choose cooler, well-shaded areas, ideally near water. Consider saving recreational activities until dawn or dusk.
  • Choose light-colored, breathable clothing. Specially-designed wicking fabrics will help keep you dry and cool.
  • Wear a hat for sun protection and to help stay cool.
  • Rest when you need to and know when to call it quits. Dizziness, fatigue, rapid pulse, nausea, heavy sweating and headache can all be signs of heat exhaustion.
  • Most importantly, play it safe and have fun!

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