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Top 12 Hot Weather Walking Essentials

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Updated June 01, 2014

Beat the heat with hot weather walking items that will help you walk cooler. I start at the top - a good hat to keep the sun off my head, and a neck cooler. I use an anti-chafing product on my underarms and I'm prepared for foot blisters. Then I dress in fabrics that wick sweat away from my body. And I carry enough water and/or sports drink to stay hydrated.

1. Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle
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Water stays cooler longer in this high tech insulated sports water bottle. Camelbak claims it stays cool four times longer than regular bottles and twice as long as other insulated bottles, all without adding any weight or bulk. But I best appreciate Jet Valve that self-closes after you take a drink, plus the positive lockoff switch to ensure it doesn't leak. The bottle is BPA-free and touts being "taste-free."

2. Columbia Sportswear Coolhead Hat or Visor

Columbia Coohead Ballcap III
Wendy Bumgardner ©

These hats keep your head cooler by incorporating cooling polymer into the Omni-Freeze ZERO fabric in the sweatband. They turbocharge the sweat of your brow to produce a cooling effect. This works best in climates with lower humidity. They come in a ballcap style, a visor, and in the Cachalot hat which has a bill and a neck drape. I liked the ballcap as a good walking cap with a stiff bill to keep my face shaded and UPF 50 sun protection in the cap to protect my scalp. If you aren't sweating, it is just a great hat. If you are sweating, you will feel the cooling effect.

3. BodyGlide

Body Glide
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Use BodyGlide anywhere you are likely to chafe - underarms, thighs, crotch, bra, chest, nipples. Chafing occurs when you sweat and then skin or clothing rubs against the area, turning your sweat salt crystals into sandpaper that rubs you raw. BodyGlide goes on like a deodorant stick and is petroleum-free. They have different formulations, and some are fragrance-free.

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4. Ultimate Direction Access Water-Carrying Fanny Pack

Ultimate Direction Access Pack 2009
Pricegrabber ©

This pack is ideal for carrying just enough on a fast endurance walk or run or on marathon day. The slanted access makes it easy to get to your water without breaking stride. The zippered pocket is small, best suited for keys and minimal ID. It comes in a single bottle or dual bottle version. The bottle has a kicker valve so it is easy to use with no leaks, and the mouth is big enough for adding ice.

5. Neck Cooler

Neck Cooler Wrap

Crystals inside these stylish bandannas absorb water and keep your neck cool through evaporation. A real walk-saver on hot weather walks.

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6. Blister Medic Kit

Blister Medic
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You are more likely to get foot blisters in hot weather, as heat and sweat soften your skin. You can use BodyGlide or other lubricants in advance to help prevent them, but it's wise to be prepared for blisters.I like having a kit that has all of the essentials packed up nice and small and ready to use to treat a blister.

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7. Champion Double Dry Women's Shirts

Champion Plus Women's Textured Plus-Size T Shirt
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Stay cool and dry with tops that wick away the sweat. The Champion double dry line includes short sleeve, v-neck and sleeveless shirts and tanks. Go single-layered with the tank racer-back top that has a fully constructed motion-control bra built in. The nylon/spandex construction will wick away the sweat and keep you dry.

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8. New Balance Tempo Shirts - Men

New Balance Tempo Crew Neck T-Shirt
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The Tempo shirts come in styles including short-sleeved crew neck shirts and sleeveless shirts. I like the soft, sweat-wicking fabric that helps keep you cool. Best of all, these shirts won't break your budget. You can find them for under $15. At that price, you can stock up and won't have the excuse that your walking shirt was in the dirty clothes pile. Here's another secret -- us gals can wear the men's styles, too!

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9. Brooks Pacer Shorts

Brooks Revelation Pacer Shorts
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These shorts are quick-drying and ultralight. They have a 3-1/2-inch inseam and a notch on each leg to allow free leg motion. They come in sizes small to XL.

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10. Sunday Afternoon Hat

Sunday Afternoon Sport Hat
Wendy Bumgardner ©

Keep your head happy - cool, dry, and shielded from the sun - with the perfect hat for long hot walking days. The neck drape keeps you from becoming a redneck, and it is sporty enough for both men and women.

11. Cool Point Hand Cooler

BEX Runner
Wendy Bumgardner © 2010

This is an insulated frozen gel pack you wear on your hand to help cool your core temperature. It's light in weight and provides just the right amount of cooling.

12. ColdFront Personal Cooler

ColdFront Personal Cooling
Wendy Bumgardner © 2013

This personal cooling system is best used for treadmill or gym workouts as it is a bit bulky to take along on an outdoor walk. Freeze the whole pack and then use the two palm-size cooling packs to put cool relief where you want it. After a few minutes of coolness, put them back in the cooling pack and they are ready again in 20 minutes. The cooling pack keeps them cool for up to 12 hours. They are a non-drippy alternative to ice.

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