Visiting the National Parks in Extreme Heat? Here’s How to Stay Cool.

Heat-related deaths are rising in national parks this summer.


Unless you’ve been living under a cool rock buried deep into the damp Earth, you’ve noticed that it is incredibly hot. And not just extra sweaty armpits hot, but deeply, outrageously, detrimental-to-your-health hot. And as we know, that’s not going to be a temporary situation. The temperature on Earth is rising rapidly-faster than anyone expected-and it is changing the way we do everything.

That especially includes spending time outside, where the risk increases tenfold. It is especially evident in U.S. national parks, where the death toll from heat-related illnesses is rising. ABC News reports that at least five people have died due to heat-related issues since the beginning of summer.

The issue is so dire that the National Park Service has released additional cautions regarding extreme heat and how to stay safe. This is especially necessary in national parks in the western part of the country, where temperatures regularly reach above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

“People are still excited about coming out to national parks in whatever condition there exists out there, even in high heat conditions,” NPS representative Cynthia Hernandez told ABC News. But that enthusiasm needs to come with additional caution. “You are going to need to understand the dangers of heat illness.”

This is even more important for groups who are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, including children and the elderly. Everyone is more vulnerable to heat related illnesses when they are in high humidity, at a high elevation, or are doing strenuous activities. The NPS has an entire resource page dedicated to staying safe in the heat at national parks specifically.

Courtesy of NPS
Courtesy of NPS
Courtesy of NPS

The top tips are pretty standard:

  • Pack plenty of water-more than you think you’ll need.
  • Pack salty snacks-to replenish your body’s electrolytes.
  • Pack sun protection.
  • Pack lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes to keep you cool.

There are other pointers that may not seem as obvious, including:

  • Start before 10am or after 4pm, when the sun is not at its peak.
  • Rest often, and in the shade, if available.
  • Get wet, in bodies of water or from sources of water that are marked as safe.

You can explore all of the resources and trip planning tools at

Looking for more travel tips?

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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