Mpumalanga, a province known for its breathtaking landscapes and hiking trails, is a summer haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

However, the summer months can bring humid and sweltering conditions that challenge even the most seasoned hikers.

If you’re planning a hiking adventure in Mpumalanga during this time, staying fresh and comfortable is a must, otherwise, you will just be hot and tired and the experience will be a letdown.

At Bermanzi, we are gearing up for our summer-loving hiking guests and to help you make the most of your summertime trip, here are some valuable tips to help you beat the heat while hiking in Mpumalanga this summer.

Choose the Right Time for Your Hike

In Mpumalanga’s summer, temperatures can soar, especially from about 11 am to 4 pm. You should always plan your hikes during the early morning or late afternoon when it’s cooler. This also increases your chances of spotting wildlife, as many animals are more active during these hours.

Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing

Invest in moisture-wicking clothing designed for hot and humid conditions. These fabrics help keep sweat away from your skin and in doing so prevent chafing and discomfort.

Wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made from breathable materials like cotton and linen can also help you stay fresh and cool.

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is key to combating the heat, but always keep in mind that there is such a thing as overhydration.

Mpumalanga’s hiking trails may not always offer easy access to drinkable water, so carry an adequate supply in a reusable water bottle. If you are an avid hiker, you can invest in a hydration pack, which allows you to sip water on the go without the need to stop and open a bottle.

Protect Your Skin

The Mpumalanga sun can be seriously intense, especially in humid conditions. You will need to protect your skin while on your hiking so apply a high SPF sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and don’t forget sunglasses to shield your eyes from the harsh UV rays. The last thing you want is a sunburn as the biggest reminder of your trip.

Choose the Right Footwear

Boots are great for winter, but when hiking in hot and humid conditions, you need to rethink your shoe choice while also keeping things like ankle support in mind.. Wet, sweaty feet can lead to blisters, so keep them dry with moisture-wicking socks.

Stay in the Shade

Whenever possible, choose trails that offer shaded areas. The canopy of trees or rock formations can provide much-needed relief from direct sunlight, helping you stay fresh and comfortable. Rest stops in shaded areas are excellent for catching your breath and cooling down.

Buy Cooling Accessories

Cooling accessories like neck gaiters or bandanas that can be soaked in water can provide instant relief from the heat. You can also bring a small, portable fan to help you cool down during breaks.

Pace Yourself

Don’t rush; take it slow and steady. Hiking in humid conditions can be more taxing on your body, so it’s essential to pace yourself and avoid overexertion. Listen to your body, rest when needed, and enjoy the journey.

Stay Informed and Prepared

Stay updated on weather conditions and trail advisories and inform someone about your hiking plans and expected return time. You should also pack a fully charged phone, a first-aid kit, and a map of the area. Storms can blow up from out of nowhere and the storms in Mpumalanga are often swift but extreme.