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Early starts are the best starts – here’s why

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

If you've been hiking for a long time then you would be well aware of the many advantages of packing up camp and setting off early in the morning but if you are new to hiking you may not know the many benefits this can have.

Hiking in summer, and especially the Australian summer can be brutal at times and that is one of the major reasons people often recommend you get cracking bright and early in the morning to take advantage of the cooler and calmer weather.

After many hours in the sun it can really take a toll on your body so getting a majority of the hard hiking out of the way can make the experience much better for everyone in your group.

In addition to setting off on those early mornings you can also take a longer lunch break in the shade to avoid some of the blazing heat which can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you are doing it day after day.

What are the risks of setting off too late?

With proper planning, setting off at a usual time can be fine but it does come with the added risks of dehydration, hyperthermia and heat exhaustion which can occur quite commonly amongst hikers who spend all day out in the heat.

Protecting yourself from this is one of the major benefits of setting off early and can also allow you to get to your destination quicker.

What do I need to plan in advance to do this?

When it comes to setting off early in the morning it may just sound as simple as waking up at 6 and being gone by 6:30 but this isn’t always the case. Some minor planning is involved such as what you are going to make for breakfast because when you are trying to get away early, the easier and quicker your breakfast is to cook then the quicker you can get the hell out of dodge.

Some great breakfast ideas for this include items such as:

Planning a few of these items into your breakfast can make getting away super quick so you take advantage of those cooler hours. Though breakfast may have been simple that doesn't mean you can’t spend a little more time preparing lunch, while out of the sun to make up for the rather lacklustre breakkie you may have experienced.

Ultimately, setting off at an earlier time gives you more options for how you can hike and avoid the heat. Walking in the heat all day my be fine for one or two days but you will quickly find it takes a toll and you'll be looking for ways like this to avoid it.

Applying all of these to your next hike can really help reduce risks of things like hyperthermia while allowing you to enjoy yourself much more while out on the trail. So next time you are heading out on a hot summers day, consider using some of the lessons from this article and try set off early in the day rather than sweating through the heat.

Written by Josh Welch


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