How to deal with allergies while hiking with these 7 life-hacks!

friends into a forest sorrounded by plants and trees

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Are you an adventurous soul who loves to hit the trails and explore the great outdoors?  

If so, you probably know the exhilaration of hiking through breathtaking landscapes.  

But what happens when allergies threaten to put a damper on your outdoor adventures? Don’t worry, fellow thrill-seekers, because in this BUFF blog, we’ve got you covered. 

In this article, we’ll explore practical tips to help those with allergies  enjoy the great outdoors without it being a sneezy, itchy challenge.  

Disclaimer: Before implementing any of the tips mentioned in this article, it’s always essential to consult with your doctor. Allergy management can vary based on individual circumstances, so make sure to double-check with a healthcare professional to ensure the recommendations are suitable for your situation. 

General Tips to Have a Smooth Hiking Experience

Let’s cover some general tips to ensure a pleasant hiking experience, especially for allergy sufferers. 

Learn what are your triggers

Figure out what sets off your allergies. Pay attention to what plants or environments make you sneeze or itch. Keeping track of these triggers can help you plan your hikes better and avoid allergy trouble. Take notes on what bothers you the most, so you know what to watch out for next time you hit the trails. 

Choose a Route with Few Trees

When picking your hiking trail, aim for ones with fewer trees. Trees release pollen, which can turn your hike into an allergy nightmare.  

So, opt for paths with less greenery to minimize your exposure to allergens and keep those sniffles in check. 

Check the Pollen Count Before Hiking

Before you head out, do a quick check on the pollen count in your area.  

There are plenty of weather apps and websites that’ll give you the lowdown.  

If pollen levels are sky-high, maybe consider rescheduling your hike or finding a different spot with lower pollen levels. 

Avoid Hiking in the Early Morning

Pollen levels are at their peak in the early morning, so why not hit the snooze button and go for an afternoon hike instead?  

By waiting till later in the day, you’ll dodge those pesky allergens and enjoy a more comfortable outdoor experience. 

Be careful with your hands

Watch where you’re putting those hands, especially if you’re prone to allergies. Touching allergens like pollen and then rubbing your eyes can make symptoms worse. Keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face while hiking to minimize the risk of irritation. 

Help yourself with a neck gaiter

Throw on a neck gaiter and pull it up over your nose and mouth, just like a makeshift face mask. While it may not offer the same filtration as a proper mask, it acts as a barrier against pollen, helping to alleviate allergy symptoms during your hike. 

What's the best weather to avoid an allergic reaction?

Wondering about the ideal weather conditions to keep those pesky allergies at bay during your hike? Let’s explore some tips to help you navigate the great outdoors with ease. 

Hike in the rain

Rainy days might not sound like perfect hiking weather, but they’re a blessing for allergy sufferers.  

Rain clears the air of pollen, giving you a break from those irritating allergens. So, don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits – embrace it and enjoy a sneeze-free hike! 

Just be sure to dress appropriately and bring waterproof gear to stay comfortable during wet conditions. 

The cooler, the better

Hot and humid weather can make allergy symptoms worse, so aim for cooler days for your outdoor adventures.  

Not only will you stay more comfortable, but cooler temperatures also mean lower pollen levels – win-win! 

Avoid windy days

Strong winds can stir up pollen and other allergens, turning your hike into a sneeze fest.  

If the forecast calls for gusty conditions, maybe consider postponing your hike or finding a sheltered trail where you won’t be as exposed to airborne allergens. 

What about only mild allergies?

For those dealing with minor or mild allergies, over-the-counter meds are your best friends. Pop an antihistamine or nasal spray before hitting the trail to keep those annoying symptoms at bay.  

  • Nasal sprays 
  • Over-the-counter antihistamines 
  • Decongestants 


Just be sure to check with your doctor first, especially if you’re already taking other prescription drugs or if you have existing medical conditions. 

And for chronic allergy sufferers?

For those dealing with chronic allergies, it might take a bit more effort to manage symptoms while hiking.  

Consider chatting with an allergist for personalized treatment options like allergy shots, corticosteroid nasal spray, or prescription meds. Oh, and don’t forget to rock that mask or bandana – every little bit helps when it comes to minimizing allergen exposure. 

  • Allergy shots 
  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays 
  • Prescription medications 
  • On top of all the above, wearing a mask or bandana 


Plus, consider carrying emergency medication with you in case of an allergic reaction. If your allergy may require the use of an EpiPen in severe cases, don’t go for a hike without it and make sure your hiking partner knows how to use it too.  

Wrap up for your next spring hike

Hiking with allergies might sound like a challenge, but with a bit of planning and some savvy tips, you can enjoy the great outdoors without the sniffles and sneezes.  

So, gear up, hit the trails, and soak in all the beauty that nature has to offer – allergy-free and with the help of a BUFF® neck gaiter as a face mask! 

Unique FAQs

  • Can I still go hiking if I have severe allergies? 

While hiking with severe allergies can be more challenging, it’s still possible with proper planning and precautions. Consult with your doctor and consider carrying emergency medication with you in case of an allergic reaction. 

  • Are there any natural remedies for managing allergies while hiking? 

Some people find relief from allergies by consuming local honey, which may help desensitize the body to pollen from nearby plants. However, the effectiveness of this remedy varies from person to person, so it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before trying it. 

  • Should I avoid hiking altogether during allergy season? 

If your allergies are severe, you may want to consider avoiding hiking during peak allergy season or on days when pollen counts are particularly high. Alternatively, you can explore indoor hiking options or other outdoor activities that are less likely to trigger your allergies. 

  • What should I do if I forget to bring my allergy medication on a hike and i start to get symptoms? 

If you forget your allergy medication while hiking, try to find a shaded area and rest until your symptoms subside. Stay hydrated and avoid exerting yourself until you can safely return home or seek medical assistance if necessary. 

  • Can hiking worsen my allergies in the long term? 

While hiking itself is unlikely to worsen your allergy level, it may worsen your symptoms (see bullet above). Plus, repeated exposure to allergens during any activity, outdoor included, can lead to increased sensitivity over time. To minimize the risk of long-term complications, take steps to manage your allergies effectively and seek medical advice if you experience severe or persistent symptoms. 

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