You know that summer in Texas means fun getaways to amazing locations around the Lone Star state, but it can also be difficult to stay safe and comfortable. Here is everything you need to know to learn how to stay cool in the Texas heat.
In it you’ll find the collection of posts for being outside in the heat, and where you can venture around Texas that has some fun splashy opportunities for you and the family. You’ll also find some great tips for staying cool while hiking and sleeping.
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Hiking in the Heat
If you’re thinking about hitting the trails this summer heat exhaustion can happen in a jiffy. Do you know the warning signs? In this guide to hiking in the heat , you’ll learn about what to do to stay hydrated while hiking in the summer.
As part of your 10 Essentials, a filtration device is going to be something you’ll want in your pack. If you are hiking somewhere that has water flowing you can use it to replenish the water in your bag. Here are the Top 5 Backpacking Water Filters that you should add to your arsenal. I’m currently using a Grayl system and I love it.
Stay cool in your clothes
The hiking in the heat guide mentions stay-cool clothing. The biggest things you’re going to want to keep in mind are Protection from the sun, comfort, and quick-drying fabrics.
Look for materials that offer UPF protection with at least a 40 rating. This blocks out harmful UVB and UVA rays that can damage the skin. The Texas Trailhead Icon shirt is rated UPF 40 and has comfortable cotton/poly fabrics that keep you cool and dry quickly.
Hats, vented pants, and even a Buff can keep your skin covered, but also allow for breathability.
Here’s my go-to summer outfit-
- Tilley hat or the performance TXTH hat (store links)
- Buff neck covering (store)
- TXTH Icon Shirt (store)
- Kuhl Konfidant Air (store)
- Nike Pegasus Trail 2 shoes (post)
- Darn Tough Hiking Socks (post)
Parks with Water
Texas is fortunate to have lakes and rivers throughout that offer plenty of water opportunities. We have parks from the Texas Parks & Wildlife, LCRA, and the Corps of Engineers.
Here you can read the Top 5 state parks with water, but also see the full list. But the LCRA parks (here are my favorite) are nearly all on the Colorado River, and the one in Matagorda Bay is where it leads into the ocean!
Some of the most overlooked parks are the Corps of Engineer parks. The organization is responsible for maintaining a lot of the dams in Texas, and thus, offers some great water opportunities. Canyon Lake is one of my favorites.
I got some ocean front property
If you want to have a saltier experience then Texas’ coast is robust with parks. I will also include Corpus Christi SP even though it’s about an hour from the beach, but it offers water and is a great swimming spot.
If that’s your thing then you must visit the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This isn’t really for swimming, but you can check out some amazing views from the sky tower, and get up close with some gators.
And as previously mentioned, the Matagorda LCRA Park is a delight. Just be careful when you drive out on the sand. Especially if you drive a Subaru Outback. Cough.
Sleep in the heat
Tents are pretty notorious for being hot in the summer. Unless you’re in a wide-open backpacking tent you’ll be dealing with poor ventilation. These backpacking tents like you’ll find at REI have removable rain flys that really open up the tent and give some great air circulation.
But there’s a better way to sleep in the heat if the park allows: Hammock Camping.
If you don’t know the magic that is sleeping in a hammock you’re really missing out. The great thing is that because you’re elevated the air at night not only cools down, but it’s swirling above and below you, so it really drops the temps down.
Texas has its own hammock company called, well, Kammok, and they make amazing gear that’s suitable for all types of hammock situations. They even make a hybrid tent/hammock set up so you can decide which route you’d like to go down. Learn more about what they offer here.