With lots of sunshine and a little extra free time on your hands, you might think about going hiking somewhere in the Washington DC area this summer. Great idea! Not only does hiking get you out of the city heat and up into higher elevations where it’s cooler, it’s also a great workout that gives you an opportunity to take in all the beautiful natural scenery we have in the region.

But in order to have a successful hiking experience, you’ve got to be adequately prepared for all the summer health threats lurking out there in the wilderness. Without knowledge and the proper tools, you might just end up at a Washington DC urgent care instead of the top of a mountain, munching on a sandwich.

Keep reading to discover three painful summer threats all hikers should be aware of!

1. Food Poisoning

Speaking of that sandwich…is there mayo on it? How about deli meat? If you’re bringing a sandwich with these perishable ingredients with you on your hike, it’s important to make sure they’re kept at a properly cool temperature. If not, you could be at risk for food poisoning, a violent and painful illness that could have you vomiting out both ends. If this happens, seek help at our Washington DC-area urgent care centers immediately, as you could develop dehydration.

2. Heat Rash

Are you going on a particularly long hike that will have you sweating in the hot sun for hours? Be on the lookout for heat rash, which occurs when blocked sweat glands prevent moisture from reaching the surface of the skin so it can evaporate. If you see red bumps on your skin or have an itchy, prickly feeling all over your body, come into one of our urgent care centers immediately to see if it’s heat rash.

3. Poisonous Plants

Getting out of the city and into the wilderness is great for your mind and soul, but it’s important to remember why they call it the wilderness: there’s WILD stuff out there! Poisonous plants like poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak love to hide in plain sight, just waiting for an unsuspecting hiker to tramp right through. Contact with these plants can result in a painful and dangerous reaction. Come into our Washington DC urgent care centers for medical help if this occurs.

We have the medical experience and the flexible hours to help deal with any health threat that summer may throw your way!