Be prepared for hitting the open trails this summer.

It's hiking season, folks! For many of us, summer means less time indoors and more time outdoors. We're anxious to get outside and see the sights. And while there is nothing wrong with that, we need to be careful.

Because it's hot out there.

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We've already experienced some serious heat out there before the season officially kicked off. Our region and the west coast have experienced extreme temperatures. Many places have been under heat watches and warnings, while others are experiencing droughts.

Now that summer is finally here, the heat will only continue.

Keep this in mind as you break out the hiking gear and start heading up the nearest mountain. I know we know this and as residents, we've got some experience with summer hikes. But it never hurts to be reminded.

Recently, CBS News reported that a woman died after hiking the Grand Canyon in 115 degree heat. According to the report, Michelle Meder (53) was visiting from Hudson, Ohio, and became disoriented while hiking one of the trails. She lost consciousness and when rangers found her she was pronounced dead. Although there is a formal investigation going on, it is widely believed she died of heat-related causes.

Even though this wasn't one of our trails, it is still a big reminder to monitor any heat watches or warnings and not to hike if it's too hot. Always pack water or sports drinks and wear clothing that will keep you cool in the sun. Pack foods that will help prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And take plenty of breaks when you need them.

As for me, I'll stay inside with the air conditioning.

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