Hiking Tips for Flash Drought Conditions
As you plan a hike along the trails in Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve or elsewhere in Georgia this fall, you may need to spend more time in planning your outing.
The National Weather Service issued a statement on September 26, 2019 that north Georgia is experiencing a “Flash Drought.”
Flash Drought conditions happen during extended periods of time with high heat and low rain volume. The soil’s moisture content is so depleted that even if it does rain, the water will likely evaporate before soaking into the soil.
Of note, the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club reports that out of the 64 standard water sources possible on the Appalachian Trail, 23 are listed as entirely dry and another 20 are listed as low availability. The Club updates this list weekly.
8 Tips for Hiking During a Flash Drought
- Carry on average 1.5-2 times more water than normal. Conditions are likely to cause dehydration and normal water sources cannot be depended upon. Regular conditions call for ½ liter of water per hour of hiking. Make sure to bring water for pets accompanying your trip.
- Consume electrolytes as well as water frequently.
- Consider hiking miles conservatively based on weather conditions.
- Plan hikes to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
- Stay informed of recent campfire and/or burn-ban restrictions in the area you are exploring.
- Plan for low-water sightings. Waterfall and stream sightings may be impacted due to the lower than normal rainfall. Instead, plan trips to waterfall/water feature locations during high rainfall seasons.
- Be prepared for higher likelihood of encountering wildlife in large water sources (rivers, lakes, etc.). Less water sources for us means the same for local wildlife.
- As always, make sure to boil or correctly treat ALL water prior to drinking or when using water to cook.