Pilgrim Hack – How to Beat the Heat

If you read the headlines at all, you’ve realized that Mike and I are walking across Spain… In July… In a record-breaking European heat wave. Just our luck! It’s been over 100°F for the past five days.

We’ve had to make a few changes to our routine to make things tolerable. We started setting the alarm for 5:00am, packing and setting off in the dark, so that we can get in at least 5km before sunrise. We try to get wherever we are going for the day by 2:00pm – not that we’re staying in air conditioned accommodations, but at least we can sit in the shade and have access to as much drinking water as we want, instead of continuing across open plains in the worst hear of the day.

But besides that, Mike and I have very different approaches to managing the heat. I keep it simple with a big floppy sun hat I bought on Sierra Trading Post. It’s by Chaos hats and I love it! Chaos hats. It has a foam brim, lots of ventilation, comes in a size small to fit my teeny head, has a string for windy days -everything you need!

Mike instead bought a $50 ultralight backpacking umbrella, in silver to reflect the sun. And then, with the help of our friend Nathan in Denver, he designed a feat of engineering genius – a mixture of PVC tubing, parachute cord, and bungees that is intended to keep the umbrella upright and hands-free while hiking.

When I showed Mike this photo, he said, “So that’s what I look like? That explains why everyone has been smiling and waving and honking at me. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn a red bandana.” Mike sweetie, I have to break it to you… They aren’t honking at your red bandana 😜 But he’s really happy with his sun solution, especially when he gets it set up exactly right. And (since it IS in fact an umbrella) it even works in the rain!

So we’re both very happy with our solutions for dealing with the heat. Which do you prefer?

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