Beat the heat in the high country

Dang, it’s hot. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of heat.

I can’t stand heat. I’d rather be cold than hot. Part of it is just how I’m wired. I just don’t do well when I’m overheated. If I’m doing any kind of exercise, I sweat like crazy. Heck, I even sweat playing cards. But part of it is the fact that if you’re cold, you can always put on more clothes. If you’re in the woods, you can build a fire.

But when you’re hot, there are only so many clothes you can take off. And if you’re in the woods, heat is often accompanied by biting insects, and there are some parts of my anatomy I’d rather not be a smorgasbord for deer flies.

Speaking of the woods, that can be a good place to go to get away from the worst of the heat. The mountains can still be hot, but it’s generally cooler in the backcountry than it is down in town. If you have the opportunity, throw the fishing gear in the truck and beat feet for the highest point you can get to in the free time you have. I’d be up in the Snowy Range right now if I wasn’t recording a bunch of radio programs.

Even on a hot day in the high country, the water is almost always comparatively frigid. If you take a pair of waders, you can be pretty comfortable. An old pair of shorts and some wading shoes will work in a pinch. But if you go this route, be prepared for everything under the water to be nearly numb with cold, while all the parts of your body above the water level are scorching hot.

Unless you have a really good air conditioner at home, you can never really beat the heat in the summer if you stay in town. But if you break free and spend a night or two in the mountains, the high-altitude chill that starts setting in when the sun goes down will recalibrate your system for you. There’s no better way to get over the heat of the summer than to spend a couple nights in a warm-weather sleeping bag when the temperature falls to the low 30s.

 

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