Maintaining body fluids and abiding by basic hiking hydration safety tips should ensure a safe time is experienced on the trails.
Getting the proper intake of fluid should take place before, during, and after completing the trek.
Whether a hike takes place in a cold or hot climate, at altitude, or at sea level, proper hydration is an essential part of staying safe and healthy.
Hydration Safety Tips
Here are 10 tips to help avoid issues with dehydration while out on the hiking trails:
Cut the intake of fluids that contain caffeine as these can lead to dehydration. These include colas, coffee, and alcoholic beverages.
Check for signs
There are a variety of signs that can be checked to help determine issues with dehydration, including:
- Low volume of urine, which is dark in color, or painful to pass urine
- Fast heart rate
- Feeling weak
- Constant fatigue
Hiking while in a state of dehydration can lead to more serious issues, such as kidney failure, muscle breakdown, and heat stroke.
Even after a hike is complete and you are resting, continue to drink fluids to replace what has already been lost. It usually means drinking more than you believe is needed.
Before starting out on a hike make sure to consume 1-2 cups of a sports drink, juice, or water, which gets you properly prepared for the exercise to come.
The process of dehydration is much more efficient when fluids are rich in potassium and sodium. Alternatively, eat foods rich in these healthy compounds in addition to the liquid refreshment.
Foods high in electrolytes can benefit the all-round health and well-being, and include:
- Orange juice
- Citrus fruit
- Tomato juice
In addition to drinking plain water on the hiking trails it can benefit to include an electrolyte/carbohydrate sport beverage.
This is more efficient at retaining fluids in the system and improves the energy level. But, avoid relying solely on sports drinks; they should only form a portion of the fluid intake.
Fluid per hour
While on a hike – no matter the difficulty – it is essential to get the right fluid intake which is at least 1-quart per hour. Also, this should increase as required to compensate for the climate with hot environments needing more fluid intake.
Use local knowledge, guide books or internet-based information to help determine the difficulty of the intended hike, time-frame to complete, and available water sources.
This should make it easier to put in place a proper hydration strategy. It is best to be cautious and pack too much rather than too little.
Drink fluids at regular intervals throughout the hike and don't wait until you start to feel thirsty – this is likely to mean you have left it too late.
Refilled water bottles or hydration packs lake, river, pond or stream are each of the available water sources passed on the hiking trail. This is especially important if trekking on paths that have limited refill points. Just make sure that you have a good water filtering system.
Plus, by carrying enough water to reach the next water sources, it is possible to cut down on the weight carried in the pack.