Health and Safety Tips for Hiking

Hiking may just be a recreational activity that anyone who loves to explore the great outdoors may engage in. However, as simple an engagement it is, it is a heart-racing one that requires a lot of planning to ensure the health and safety of anyone involved. And one of the things that will ensure that this is properly taken care of is to bring one of the best water bottles for hiking. This is the best one to keep your body properly hydrated.

Hydration, however, is just one of the many other essential things that you will need to consider to make sure that your hike will be a safe and most beneficial to your health and those who are with you throughout the activity.

Here are the other important things that you will need to consider when you plan to go hiking:

Research

You will need to do your due diligence to discover helpful tips and tricks that will lead to the success of the activity. This will also serve as the foundation of your overall hydration plan.

To accomplish this, you will have to study maps, guidebooks, and also check for up-to-date information on the internet related to the route that you intend to pass through. Local agencies directly will also provide the additional information that you may need, so do not forget to get in touch with them as well.

If info proves hard to come by, always err on the side of caution in regards to how much water you are carrying. Better too much than too little.

It is best that you bring enough water as well to make sure that you will have enough to consume during the hike. Knowing possible sources of potable water or planning your route around water sources are also important things that you need to remember before you go on a hike.

Know how much water will be enough.

Engaging in intense activities like hiking will make you lose body water more. Note, however, that the amount of water that you need will depend on several factors, including environmental factors, the level of your efforts, as well as individual needs.

As a rule of the thumb, however, you may follow the guidelines that The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine set to remain hydrated while engaging in high-intensity activities like hiking. Note, again that these amounts will vary depending on the factors already specified:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids from foods and all beverages for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids foods and all beverages a day for women

Note that when you engage in these kinds of strenuous activities, you release not only body water but also essential electrolytes. That is why the American College of Sports Medicine indicates in their position regarding nutrition and athletic performance that those individuals engaging in such activities should also consume sports beverages containing carbohydrates and electrolytes before, during, and after exercise as this will help maintain blood glucose concentration, provide fuel for muscles, as well as decrease risk of dehydration and hyponatremia.

Failure to do so will lead to a loss of muscle mass, loss of or failure to gain bone density, an increased risk of fatigue, injury, and even health issues, as well as prolonging the recovery process.

The hydration process should be taken as a continuous process, hence drinking and consuming food high in carbohydrates should be done at regular intervals. You should not wait until you are already thirsty or hungry before you do so as this will only affect your performance and may even cause dehydration and other health concerns. There is no need for you to take vitamins or supplements if you are consuming enough drinks and food that will provide you with the water and energy that you need to keep on going.

Note that your body can take only as much as it needs. Anything that is beyond its limit will never be beneficial to your health. The same thing with the amount of water that you can take. Although this will be a rare incidence, as whatever you may take that is beyond your body’s limit will normally be released through your sweat and urine, it is still possible that you can force your body to keep on holding to more water than it can hold. This can lead to a serious condition known as hyponatremia. This happens when there are abnormally low sodium levels because of too much water than what the body can hold and without enough electrolytes in the body.

Wear sun protection

Clothing accessories such as hats and shades can also keep you feeling cooler. Colder body temperature will require you to release fewer body fluids, which means you will be needing less water to drink.

It’s also worth wearing sunscreen as your concern is your health and safety. You will need to apply a generous amount of a full spectrum sunscreen and re-apply every two hours or so to ensure that your skin is kept protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

Drink more when you’re at water sources

If you are hiking on a route where opportunities to fill your bottles are rare and distance is quite big, you will need to drink more water before leaving the source. This will require you to carry less water on your backpack, which makes it easier for you to cover a greater distance.

Start early

Beginning your hike early in the morning so you can enjoy an extended break during the warmer part of the day. Make the most of break time by eating your main meal, so you can continue hiking up until the early evening without having to worry about cooking a big dinner. This will make it possible for you to require less water since you would be hiking during the cooler parts of the day.

Bring the best water bottle for hiking

Remember that not all sources may be safe for drinking. However, if you find one of the best water bottles for hiking that is designed with a filter and/or a purifier, like the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle, that can remove bacteria and protozoa from lakes, streams, and other water sources to ensure safe and clean drinking water.

Know the signs of dehydration

It is a terrible thing to fall into the trap of dehydration. Still many would voluntarily dehydrate themselves in an attempt to do more or to reach their destination. If you feel dizzy, exhausted, nauseated, or have an increased need to drink water, you are most probably dehydrated. Rest for a while, have some water with re-hydrating powder or an energy drink, and cool yourself by soaking your shirt, bandana or hat.

Next time you plan to go hiking, remember these reminders so you’ll get the most out of your efforts.

 

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