Beat the heat by escaping to the backcountry

Dang, it’s hot. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of heat. And from the looks of the weather reports, it’s only going to get hotter.

I can’t stand heat. I’d rather be cold than hot. Part of it is just how I’m wired. I just don’t do well when I’m overheated. If I’m doing any kind of exercise, I sweat like crazy. Heck, I even sweat playing cards. But part of it is the fact that if you’re cold, you can always put on more clothes. If you’re in the woods, you can build a fire.

But when you’re hot, there are only so many clothes you can take off. And if you’re in the woods, heat is often accompanied by biting insects, and there are some parts of my anatomy I’d rather not be a smorgasbord for deer flies.

Speaking of the woods, that can be a good place to go to get away from the worst of the heat. The mountains can still be hot, but it’s generally cooler in the backcountry than it is down in town. If you’re a typical Wyoming person, you probably don’t have air conditioning in your house. My office at my day job has A/C, and it’s spoiled me. When I’m at home in the summer now, I spend most of my time downstairs where it’s 20 degrees cooler.

So it’s time to throw the fishing gear in the truck and beat feet for the highest point I can get to. And to get even cooler, consider getting in a body of water out there in the mountains.

Even on a hot day in the high country, the water is almost always comparatively frigid. If you take a pair of waders, you can be pretty comfortable. An old pair of shorts and some wading shoes will work in a pinch. But if you go this route, be prepared for everything under the water to be nearly numb with cold, while all the parts of your body above the water level are scorching hot.

Break free and spend a night or two in the mountains. The high-altitude chill that starts setting in when the sun goes down will recalibrate your system for you.