The days are getting warmer, making it typical summer-weather again. Whether you like that or not, it is safe to say that enjoying the outdoors on hot days can be a bit challenging. But it is definitely not impossible! Here are some tips to help you get your fix of nature.
The right time
Probably the most important thing is to pick the right time to go outside. Quite simple, the best moment is to go as early as possible in the morning. If you have a busy schedule, you might even consider getting up a bit more early to go for a walk or bike-ride before your normal daily activities start. If that is too much for you, or really can’t fit it in, then you can best opt for the evening. But make sure you protect yourself from the midges if you go out around dusk!
We Dutch people tend to do everything a bit hurried. Even when it is not a stressful occasion, most of us usually walk or cycle at a rather quick pace. That is all very well during the rest of the year, but on really warm days, you would do best to slow down a bit. I know it can be quite hard, I am still struggling with it myself. But to prevent yourself from getting over-heated, please do give it a try!
Pick your nature area
Not all nature is the same. Obvious, right? But that also goes for the warmth of nature areas. Some places just heat up much quicker than others. When you have the possibility to choose between different nature areas, carefully consider which one would be best on hot days. Inland sand dunes, dry grasslands and heather generally get very hot, while (deciduous) forests and mixed grassland-shrub-areas form a much cooler surrounding.
Note: if you go for the cool temptation of a water-filled area, make sure to use enough sunscreen, as you might not feel the heat so much, but you can get sunburned very easily.
Plenty of water
When you are active outdoors, you almost can’t avoid sweating a bit. Even if you are exercising only lightly, you might lose more water then you realise. So make sure to take a large flask (or several flasks) with you and make yourself drink plenty of water. It might also be helpful to set a rule for yourself to immediately drink a large mug of water/tea/anything else when you return.
Finally, clothing can be an issue on warm days as well. If you do choose to go out with bare shoulders and legs, be very careful to check for ticks as soon as you get home. They are still enjoying their peak season at the moment, so you could get them anywhere, from grassy fields to bushy forests.
To secure yourself against ticks, you might consider wearing long trousers and tucking the legs into your socks. It can be a bit warm, but is definitely safer. (And there are some very nice, light sportsleggings available, those could be an option for you as well.)
If you do end up getting a tick, take it off as soon as possible and keep a close eye on the spot where it bit. If you see any strange colourings or markings (even as long as weeks after), head to your doctor right away.
I hope you see a way to still enjoy the outdoors on hot days. Have a great time in the lovely sunshine!