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Preventing Dehydration

Posted by Sharon Harrington on

 Keeping hydrated is the most important rule of any outdoor activity, from hiking to fishing, to canoeing or tailgating. With dehydration comes muscle cramps, fatigue and possibly even confusion or lack of consciousness. Here are some basic tips on how to stay hydrated:

Know where to get water

Whether you’re running a marathon through city streets or hiking miles up a mountain, it’s important to know if there is any drinking water available to you. If there’s not, plan to carry enough water to get you through your entire trip. If there is, you’ll need enough to make it to the first water source, but always bring extra (especially in the wilderness) unless you’re certain of a water source’s reliability.

Get enough water

On average, a person should consume 2-2.5 cups of water per hour of activity. If it’s hot outside, you start under-hydrated or your activity is particularly strenuous, you’ll need more. This can be difficult to achieve if it’ll be a long time between water breaks, so take advantage of the water source itself by “cameling up” whenever possible. This means to drink as much as you can at the source of the water so that you don’t need to carry as much between stops.

If you’re concerned that you may not drink enough water, it often helps to add some flavor. If you’ll be going for more than a couple hours, choose a powder or a concentrated liquid with electrolytes.

Be water smart

Whenever possible, avoid the hottest times of the day for your activity (usually 10 AM to 2 PM). Choose a shaded area (or even inside!) to take your breaks. Save trails or activities where water will be sparse for cooler days or for when you can be sure to carry in lots of water.

Bring snacks that will help with your hydration, like fruit, instead of dry snacks, like crackers.

Even more essential than food, water is an absolute must for all of your outdoor adventures. Whatever fun you’re planning this summer, be sure it includes plenty of water!  

Staying Safe in the Sun

Whether you’re paddling down a river or pitching a tent in the woods, if you’re outside you need sun protection. A sunburn can occur on cloudy days, clear days, summer days or winter days. It’s important to practice sun safety year round. Here are some guidelines to follow:Wear sunscreen Everyone knows it’s important to wear [...]

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Camp shoes: do you really need them?

It may seem redundant to carry two pairs of shoes on a hike when the goal is to pack less weight, but camp shoes are well worth their weight. Keeping your feet healthy is of utmost importance when hiking. Here are the top 3 reasons to strap a lightweight pair of sandals to your backpack: Airing [...]

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How to Pack a Pack

Collecting everything you need to hit the trail is a daunting task, but, once done, you’re still not finished figuring out your gear. Now, you’ve got to find a spot for it all. Packing a backpack requires much more precision than just throwing things in. You’ll want your gear’s arrangement to be comfortable and practical. [...]

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Hiking with a Dog

If you have a dog and you love the outdoors, chances are you’ve thought about bringing your pal into the woods with you. That’s a great idea! Dogs are welcome on most hiking trails and in a lot of state and national parks, but there are rules and regulations. Follow these guidelines to ensure that [...]

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Tick Checks: Your Best Defense Against Tick-Borne Illnesses

You might think bears or snakes are the creatures that top the “most-feared-by-hikers list,” but it’s actually an insect so small that it could fit on the tip of a sharpened pencil: a tick. Particularly scary for outdoors-people, ticks carry pathogens that can lead to Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and the most-widely [...]

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Water Purification Methods

Having clean water available for cooking and drinking is absolutely necessary in the outdoors, but weighing in at over two pounds per liter, it’s too heavy to lug into camp from home. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to purify water obtained from the backwoods. From the most archaic methods to the newest technologies, each type [...]

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Five Essential Pieces of Rain Gear

Staying dry is important when you’re headed outdoors. In some cases, it’s a matter of safety. Even if you’re just headed out for a dayhike on a beautiful day, here are five pieces of gear you should always take with you, just in case.PonchoA low-priced, extra-large poncho is the most compact rain protection you can [...]

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Staying Dry While Camping

Whether you’re setting up a tent after a long day of hiking or sleeping next to your car, when you’re camping, you do not want to be wet. Especially when paired with cool or cold temperatures, being damp can be dangerous. Fortunately, there are several ways to stay dry even in a downpour.Location, location, locationWhen [...]

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Spring Hiking

Spring is here and cabin fever has surely taken over. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and trails everywhere are thawing. It’s the perfect time to get outside! But first, make sure you’re ready for spring trail conditions!1. Water, water and more waterAs the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” If you’re hitting the [...]

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