What is Heat Illness?
*Heat illness occurs when our body is unable to eliminate enough heat to keep out bodies at a safe temperature. Your body temperature rises when heat production exceeds heat loss.
Factors that reduce heat loss include high ambient air temperature, excessive clothing, and inability to sweat. To survive in hot environments, human beings must eliminate enough heat to keep the body temperature within acceptable limits – 97 to 100 F (35 to 37 C). Vital organs are irreversibly damaged when the body temperature states at or above 107 F (41.5 C) for any length of time.
*Source for information: NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute
Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke
Heat Exhaustion/ stroke
Desert Hiking Tip: Avoiding Heat Illness.
1. Stay properly hydrated. Continue to drink water during your hike, and hydrate before you start your hike. Bring lots of water (2L minimum) and don’t forget about electrolytes, you lose a lot of electrolytes when you sweat.
2. COLD WATER! Do your best to bring ice cold water with you when you hike, this will help you keep your temperature down.
3. Find shade and rest often! Your body is continuously producing heat. Physical exertion increases the rate of heat you produce and your body is unable to cool itself fast enough. So rest often in shade.
4. If you start to feel any symptoms of heat exhaustion or notice them in a fellow hiker, (Dizzy, excessive sweating, cool pale and clammy skin, nausea/vomiting, rapid weak pulse or muscle cramps, immediately get to shade, drink water, and lay down.