With exposed trails (meaning full sun) and brick oven conditions (the sun absorbing into the clay and radiating back up to make it feel 10 degrees hotter waist down than the surrounding air temp) hydration was key. We all had 3 Liter hydration bladders inside our backpacks with tubing to the front for easy drinking while walking. It's harder to forget with a tube in front of your face. In addition to that, we had 1 liter bottles on each side that were easy to add electrolyte tablets to and drink during breaks. The first day, our guide carried a bottle of gatorade for each of us to have at lunch as well. I drank 2 liters in the car on the way to the trail head to be tanked up and ready to go. I was peeing about every hour which I thought was a good pace for my goal of being super hydrated. I was sure to take salt sticks capsules so that all that liquid didn't mess up my electrolyte balance and make me feel sick. I drank a full liter before bed day one of the hike because I had a slight headache and was worried it was from dehydration. I think it was more from altitude change and hiking all day...I peed about 10 times that night. NOT cool. I drank much less before bed the next night. Day one I think I drank about 6 Liters. Day two was even hotter and more exposed and we all drank more. I had about 7 Liters that day. Crazy amounts of liquid...crazy amounts of peeing. I leaned against rocks on the trail so I didn't have to take my pack off every stop and had my tp in my front pocket on my bag for lightning speed pee breaks. It may be gross to mention, but I closely monitored how dark my pee was the whole trip too. medium yellow is fine especially since I was still taking my normal vitamins. Darker yellow to amber means DRINK MORE before you start feeling sick.
I was nervous about how the trail food would settle since I've been pretty picky about my food lately from all the hormones and inhale lettuce salad to feel well normally. Turns out when you are starving from hiking all day...anything tastes good. I brought magnesium berry drink and a bag of prunes in case the less than fresh food selections made it hard to...um...keep to a normal schedule. Both of these solutions combined seemed to work for me.
This ensemble earned me the trail name "zebra or zorse". While it may seem counter intuitive to wear long sleeves in heat...a light color deflects the sun and has a cooling affect. I had to carry much less sunscreen as well. I brought a cotton shirt that I kept wet in a ziplock bag to cool down too if I got really hot. That was heavenly...until it dried and then was super hot and didn't breath because it was a knit instead of light fabric. So I ended up changing back into the white one again. That's the nice part about backpacking...all of your clothes options are with you all the time. :) The hat, while I'll admit is pretty dreadful to look at, was amazing. I tried to wear the more normal black one but this zebra hat was essential for keeping the sun out of my face and fighting that fatigue you get from being at the beach all day in the full sun in your eyes. When I had it on...I felt like my head was in a screened in porch. That's the best way I can describe it. When we went along very scary ledges, I pulled the mesh fabric all the way to the front so I couldn't see the drop off and focused on the trail straight ahead. This is when Luke or Kyle would
lovingly call my "zorse". It worked-no shame.