The Perfect Summer Hike

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By Caro Ryan

Science has proven that spending time in nature is a powerful way of recharging our batteries – and where better than on a Summer hike in the Blue Mountains?

Here are a bunch of handy tips to help you have the best possible experience during hot weather.

Pick the right track for you

Do a bit of research to find the track to suit the time you have and the amount of challenge you want. Watch out for tracks with lots of stairs that go down … you’ll need to come back up again. The free NSW National Parks app is a great start.

Carry more water than you think you need

Those popular 600ml bottles of water disappear quickly when heading into the bush on a warm day. Allow at least one litre per person for a couple of hours on a flat, easy track – more for longer and more challenging walks.

Start early

Feel like a local by catching the sunrise (that’s how we avoid the crowds and walk in the cool of the day). You’ll not only feel less sweaty but there’s more chance of seeing birds like the superb lyrebird.

Seek shade

Choose shaded walks through our rainforests, following creeks, cascades and waterfalls.

Some popular Insta-famous spots might look good onscreen but involve a long hot walk, with no shade, facilities or toilets.

Be sun smart

Carry your shade with you by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses; sunscreen and lip balm.

Creepy crawlies

Not all our native fauna are fluffy and cute. Keep an eye out for snakes and learn the first aid treatment of staying still and applying a pressure immobilisation bandage (see: Australian Bites & Stings app).

For smaller critters like mosquitoes (mozzies to us Aussies), ticks or even leeches, good insect repellent can make all the difference.

Check for closures, weather or fires

Avoid disappointment by checking for track closures before heading to the trail head, the weather forecast (especially those Summer afternoon storms) and the Hazards Near Me app for fire danger levels.

Caro Ryan is a bushwalker, search and rescue volunteer, TV and video producer, author, and the creator of Lotsafreshair.com, where she shares her passion for all things outdoors.

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