This summer has proven to be an extra hot one, and with the climate changing we can expect extreme temperatures to become a more regular occurrence. With this in mind, it becomes reasonable to consider not only what to do to stay cool in the heat, but also what we can do to limit our personal contributions to rising temperatures.
Every outdoor recreationalist knows the importance of weather and how quickly changes in it can influence an experience in the mountains. And, though one typically associates cold temperatures with danger (rain storms in the back county, surprise blizzards, and hypothermia), the opposite is equally as worrisome, and becoming all the more familiar. Yes, extreme heat gives the recreationist reason to think twice about their adventures. And, rightly so, heat stroke can be harder to escape than cold weather.
Mountain Biking the Moonrakers
Credit Jeff Bartlett
Conservation and Preparedness:
The word drought conjures images of deserts and cacti, but, sand storms aside, in reality, a drought is a combination of weather patterns over time, like low snow accumulation, hot & dry weather, and limited rainfall. In B.C., the government logs water basin levels to determine drought conditions across the province. As of August 10th, most of B.C.’s water basins are considered to be at drought levels.
In this light, water conservation policies typically come into place, but it’s good to be practicing these things all of the time. And not just at home but in the places we visit as well. Here are a few tips on how to conserve water as you travel:
Credit Destination BC
Recreating in Extreme Heat
Overheating can be harmful to your health and can even be deadly, you’re especially at risk of overheating if you’re recreating during the heat of the day. Symptoms can come on quite quickly and include:
- Rapid breathing and heartbeat
- Extreme thirst
- Decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine
If you, or someone in your group, are experiencing these symptoms, take immediate steps to cool down and seek emergency care. This provincial advisory has information on extreme heat and how to prepare for it.
Keeping Cool in Golden
Try to recreate during cooler hours of the day, such as early morning hikes or bike rides during the evenings. Spend the hottest parts of the day doing a water-based activity, like white water rafting or paddling on one of the many surrounding water bodies.
- Rent canoes, kayaks, and SUPs from the Columbia Wetlands Outpost
- Book a day trip with one of the local rafting companies
- Take little ones to the spray park in town
- Lounge the banks of Confluence Park for the afternoon
Make sure you’re prepared for your activities with protective clothing, enough water, and a hat. Pack sunscreen and UV-protective eyewear. And try to rest in patches of shade when you can. You can also take part in indoor activities during really hot hours, visit the museum, local shops, Golden’s quaint movie theatre, or one of the two local climbing gyms.
Credit Dave Best