The temperatures are finally coming down in the valley and we’re getting a touch of fall weather.  That means, many of us will be enjoying more outdoor activities, such as hiking.  But even though it’s cooling down, you’ll still want to take a lot of the same precautions you would during the summer months if you decide to hike up a mountain.  

The City of Phoenix Desert and Mountain Parks and Preserves recommends these tips: 

1) Watch the Weather.  While the temps are coming down and it even feels cooler, don’t let the sun deceive you.  Hike when it’s cool outside — early mornings and evenings when there’s more shade.  It’s still not a good idea to hike during the day until the temps drop more.  

2) Dress appropriately.  Wear proper shoes, clothing, hat and sunscreen.  Some hiking experts also recommend wearing light colored clothing. 

3) Bring water.  Always bring more water than you think you’ll need and hydrate before you take a hike.  A good rule of thumb, fefore you drink half of your water, head back to the trailhead.  

4) Keep in Contact.  Always carry a charged mobile phone. 

5) Team up.  It’s always a good idea to hike with others.  If hiking solo, tell someone your start and end times as well as location.

6) Be Honest.  If you have a medical condition, don’t push yourself.  You should take it easy if you have asthma, heart problems, diabetes, knee or back problems. 

7) Don’t Trailblaze.  Stay on designated trails.  Many mountain rescues are the result of hikers getting off the marked trails.

8) Take Responsibility.  Be a responsible hiker, come prepared, and follow safely guidelines.  Don’t be “that person” who shouldn’t have been hiking for health reasons or who wasn’t prepared or ignored safety guidelines.  

So, experts say if you take a hike, do it right!