Dehydration: A Year 'Round Problem

  1. GPS1504
    The word dehydration is often used in conjunction with hot temperatures and arid climates. While those areas do present dehydration dangers to those traversing them, it is not there and there alone that you should concern yourself with the perils of dehydration. Just because cold weather has set in also does not mean the risk of dehydration has diminished. Cold, wet weather is just as if not more dangerous than hot weather due to the lesser likelihood of drinking enough when cold, especially if the beverages available to you are also cold. During warm weather, you may be more likely to notice as you sweat profusely and lose fluids than during cold weather, but the threat of dehydration is still very real, which makes it important to properly hydrate yourself all year long.

    Photo: Body Pro

    Staying hydrated is one of the key components when it comes to survival. Once dehydration takes hold, your body and brain become compromised. When these symptoms begin to occur, you may have already turned a corner into a scary situation that can be difficult to rectify, which is why it is so important to take steps ahead of entering the danger zone when it comes to properly balancing your bodily fluids. Here is how to do so:

    1. Track both your intake and output. Consumption levels should be at least 2 quarts per day and output through urine should hover at around 1/4 of what you drink. Remember that the amount you drink will need to be increased based on activity level. Other factors can play a role as well, including the amount of caffeine you drink and your overall health. While it may be tempting to grab a soda when you're thirsty, water is the best and most effective thing you can drink.

    Photo: SOS03

    2. Keep an eye out for symptoms of dehydration, both in yourself and your companions. Since your thought processes are affected once dehydration sets in, it is ideal to keep an eye on one another as a whole so action can be taken immediately to help someone before dehydration becomes detrimental to the overall health of your survival unit. Dehydration symptoms include:
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness/ Tiredness
    • Decreased Urination
    • Constipation
    • Thirst/Dry Mouth
    • Confusion/Lack of Mental Clarity
    • Low Blood Pressure
    • Elevated Heart Rate
    • Rapid Breathing
    • Sunken Eyes
    • Dry Skin
    3. Plan for your needs ahead of time. Whether it is moving supplies on a hot summer day or hunting for wild game in the snow, it is vital that you have a plan to stay hydrated. This may include a canteen, bottled water, a filtration device, or survival straw, but be sure it includes something to keep you alive and prevent illness associated with dehydration.

    Photo: Travel Blog

    As with all other survival preps, an ounce of prevention can go a long way towards keeping your health intact. When alone, it is especially important that you monitor and tend to your liquid intake needs but it is essential to look out for those in your group as well. The last thing one needs when the SHTF is to fall prey to a preventable issue such as dehydration.

    What are your dehydration avoidance practices? How do you plan for your water needs? Let us know in the comments.

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