Enjoy the sun but here is a few tips on staying cool in the hills?

The weather had been incredible but very hot, with wee ones especially you have to watch. Sun damage can affect them for ever.

A Hat is a must? It may look daft but so effective.

I spent 13 months with the Desert Rescue in 1974/1975 in the Persian Gulf on Masirah Island and I am aware of the effects of the sun it can kill .I was also unloading ships in temp well over 100 degrees we worked till we were exhausted bringing frozen foods onto the pontoon. It was crazy looking back, we wore shorts and a hat and no sun screen.

1974 posing in the sun in the desert

I learned a lot from that period and the sun does affect me, so I have to be careful. Every year in Scotland in the mountains one of the team got caught out by the effects of the sun!

  • headache
  • dizziness and confusion
  • loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • fast breathing or pulse
  • temperature of 38C or above
  • intense thirst

The symptoms are often the same in adults and children, although

children may become floppy and sleepy.

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion they need to be cooled down.

Things you can do to cool someone down

Follow these 4 steps:

Cooling down in the river!

  1. Move them to a cool place.
  2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
  3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
  4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.Stay with them until they are better.
  5. Bandannas are great for this I always carry a couple they like a Buff are superb for thinks like this.

They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.


Not that easy on the hills or wild places?


I always tried to get away very early and get the height done once on the ridges you may get a breeze. Walking in the middle of the day especially climbing steeply is hard work, take your time and if it’s that hot plan your day accordingly. Use plenty of high factor sun screen do not forget the ears and the face especially under the nose. Sun burn is awful so replenish as you need. Stay off alcohol and drink plenty of fluid before you go! Top up like a camel.

  • Take and drink sufficient water / check your urine during the day clear means plenty of hydration!!!!
  • drink when thirsty (and drinking a little often can prevent dehydration)
  • do not drink to excess just because it’s hot
  • Take appropriate food (peanuts, Complan)salt? For cramps
  • wear shorts/ long thin trousers/ watch out for sheep ticks/clegs,
  • Wear a short sleeve base layer/ have a light long one available.
  • Wear a hat/ bandanna the neck must remain cool.
  • Use sun cream and re-apply periodically. Be aware of the dangers of sunburn!
  • wear sunglasses
  • Consider carry a rehydration treatment?
  • Plan a route that is appropriate to the forecast, i.e. shorter less strenuous one for a very hot day – go early out of heat of the day.
  • cool down at streams by swilling your face and forehead in cool water, or even dipping your hat in the water to wet head.

Always drink plenty on the way home and all will be fine – when you need a few pee stops all is back to normal.

  • I wish I was out but have to give my sore ribs time to recover.

Comments, tips, welcome.


About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Enviroment, Equipment, Health, Hill running and huge days!, medical, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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