Staying Safe From Heat-Related Illnesses in the Sedona Summer
It’s a dry heat — but it’s plenty dangerous. Already this year, two hikers have died from extreme temperatures as the southwest remains gripped in a heatwave.
You owe it to yourself to know the facts and protect yourself. Here are eight tips for staying safe from heat-related illnesses in the Sedona summer.
8 Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness in the Sedona Summer
What precautions should you take if you chose Sedona as your summer vacation destination? Please heed the following eight tips.
1. Carry Lots of Water
If you’re planning a visit from away, please forget the eight 8-ounce glass requirement that you learned through conventional wisdom. According to Arizona’s 211 information system, you need five to seven ounces every 15 to 20 minutes when outside to stave off dehydration.
You might want to freeze a few bottles to carry in your backpack on the trail. According to Rolf Halden, Ph.D., PE, doing so is safe, as the process inhibits chemical release, contrary to urban myth.
2. Keep It Short
Summer isn’t the time to tackle the 22-mile Jack Canyon jaunt or even the 7-mile Outer Limits trail from the Cultural Park trailhead to Cockscomb without pedal power. The best hikes for summer in Sedona are three miles or less.
You’ll find plenty of loops within this range. On the Village side, the Made in the Shade and Slim Shady loop offers about as much cover as you’ll find on this side of town. To the north and west, Stirrup to Saddle Up offers a short, pleasant jaunt.
3. Know Your Limits
I’ll tell you a story that’s only funny in retrospect. When I first moved to the Southwest from the much more humid Northeast, I went on an 8-mile Grand Canyon hike. At the time, I was doing half-marathons and figured it would be no big deal. I was wrong.
Fortunately, I had the pristine Colorado river awaiting me at the end of my journey, but you don’t have that luxury as a Sedona visitor. Please know your limits and understand that now isn’t the time to test them. It’s hot out there for rescue crews, too.
4. Wear a Hat
The right hat won’t make your head excessively sweaty. It will, however, keep the worst of the sun from burning your scalp, a real danger if you are fair-haired or a little thin on top.
You get a cooling bonus if you carry a small towel with your icy water bottles. Dampen it with some cool water and stick it inside your hat to drop your body temperature.
5. Go Early
If you arrive at a popular trailhead after 7:00 a.m., please don’t be surprised if you can’t find a parking space. Locals and tourists alike know that you have to start early in this heat to get in your hike before temperatures soar. It’s honestly best to get up with the sun and start then — you’ll only need another shower afterward, anyway, so skip that morning step.
6. Stick to the Shade
You’ll find it a bit challenging to find shade in the desert. Most juniper trees around here don’t get much taller than 20 to 30 feet — hardly enough to provide ample cover.
You’ll find your shadiest bets along Oak Creek. Red Rock State Park offers several trails that take you to the creekside, and West Fork remains relatively cool all summer long.
Heading out shopping? You’ll notice that many savvy southwesterners carry umbrellas on sunny days. Why not get in the habit — you’ll prevent sunburn and drop your core temperature a bit.
7. “Mist”ify Yourself
When monsoon season arrives in Sedona, you’ll hear locals complain about the humidity. However, if you come from the east, you’ll discover that it really is a dry heat.
Therefore, misters work wonders to drop temperatures. You can buy personal misting fans that hang around your neck. You’ll also see these devices at many outdoor eateries.
8. Heed All Fire Advisories
If anything gives me nightmares, it’s the specter of forest fires. You’ll notice multiple signs warning you of fire danger — please take note. You might not be able to have a campfire, but you probably won’t need one. Nighttime lows in the summer often remain in the 70s. While the reduced humidity makes those temperatures feel rather chilly, you’ll do fine with no more than a sweatshirt.
Recommended Products for Keeping Cool
If you’re trying to stay cool in the heat, check out some of the following products while planning your trip. Please note that this blog participates in the Amazon affiliate program and this blog’s creators may earn a commission from any purchases.
You’ll stay much cooler both on the trail and when strolling the shops of Uptown. Multiple speeds let you choose your comfort level.
Will you look silly or stylish? In my estimation, everybody in the Southwest will soon sport one of these when they realize how they provide necessary shade while keeping your hands free.
How do you carry all that water? A backpack can get heavy and make you sweaty. These versions come with carabiner hooks so you can link them to your belt loops and stay cool and hydrated on the trail.
Even if you normally rely on your cellphone for navigation, high temperatures can drain your battery like a hungry vampire. Carrying a traditional compass can help you get to safety more quickly if you lose your way on the trail.
Sadly, wildfires are a real risk in the Sedona area. Keep tabs on the latest developments with this free app.
Stay Safe From Heat-Related Illness During the Sedona Summer With These Tips
Sedona is nature’s playground, but Mother Earth has her dangerous side. Stay safe from heat-related illnesses during the summer with these tips.