Fall’s cooler temperatures, milder weather, and changing leaf colors draw many out of their air-conditioned cocoons, armed with a packed lunch, for a relaxing day’s hike in the woods. But for too many, lack of proper preparation leads to fatigue. And fatigue reduces awareness, slows reaction times, and increases the risk of injury. Here, direct from the National Park Service, are a few guidelines for avoiding hiking fatigue:
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, even on cool, wet days.
- Don't wait until you feel hungry to eat.
- Take frequent rest breaks, but not so long that you begin to stiffen up.
- Stay warm. Becoming cold reduces your awareness.
- Watch for fatigue in other members of your party, and take appropriate action and care.
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