As we approach the first of July the temperatures are rising. Here in the Pacific Northwest we began to see unusual 90 degree weather in June with a forecast for more of the same. I must admit going out Camera Walking on a hot day is not very appealing, so I searched for some practical tips on how to best deal with the heat while out walking.
Tip #1: Become an early bird or night owl. Go out walking when the temperatures are cooler. The good news is that both early morning and later in the evening are perfect times for taking photos. I prefer the morning for my walks, and now that the sun comes out earlier it is easier to get up and out the door.
Tip #2: Select a route that includes shade. Walking in direct sun can make the temperature feel like it is up to 15 degrees hotter. Try to avoid concrete (a bit challenging in the city), and look for natural surfaces, usually those under trees are the coolest. The mosquitos like these places, so be sure to use inset repellent as well as sunscreen.
Tip #3: Get acclimated. It is tempting to do your regular routine, which might mean hitting the ground at a fast pace. When it is hot it is better to start out slower and then increase as you go. Take it easy – lower your intensity to ensure that you can go farther.
Tip #4: Keep hydrated. We need more water when we are working out in the heat. Drink water before you start, and bring a water bottle with you, so that you can consume 6-8 oz every 15 minutes throughout your walk. A great tip that I discovered while researching this blog is to “ice your thirst.” Freeze half a water bottle then top it off just before you leave. Your water will be cold throughout the walk. Some people use hydration back packs, especially if going on a long walk.
Tip #5: Wear the right clothing. Wear loose clothing, preferably light-colored, to reflect the sun, a hat, and wicking shoes and socks. Sweat evaporates more easily when limbs are bare, so expose your skin – just remember sunscreen.
Tip #6: Listen to your body. If you start to feel dizzy or tired, slow down, find some shade, and drink some water. If you don’t feel better get help. I always carry my driver’s license, credit card, medical insurance card, and some money when I am out walking in case I need to get a cab, or medical assistance. It also comes in handy to get a latte at the end of the walk.
Tip #7: Protect your camera gear. Heat and humidity can create problems for your gear while out walking. Check your camera’s manual to see what temperatures your camera can withstand. Although I don’t always do this while out walking, others suggest that it is best to leave the lens cap on when you aren’t using the camera. If you drive to a location for the walk, or plan on leaving your camera in the car while you grab a latte, be sure to place your camera in the trunk or under the seat. Finally, allow the camera to cool down slowly (or warm up in cold temperatures), so that mechanical parts inside the body or lens are not damaged.
Hot summer weather doesn’t need to deter you from getting out Camera Walking. Taking time to plan your walk, using some of these tips, will help you maintain your commitment to your daily walks, taking great photos, and staying cool.
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