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Avoiding Dehydration: Hydration 101

Posted by Self Reliance Outfitters on June 03, 2013  

In a survival situation, avoiding dehydration is of utmost importance. Hydration assists in keeping a keen mind and sharp mental focus and when in a survival situation – mental acuteness is key. When up against the elements, the ability to come out alive requires lightning quick reflexes, good planning and avoiding dehydration at all cost.

 

There are no substitutes for being mentally razor sharp and avoiding dehydration begins with a simple plan.

AVOIDING DEHYDRATION

Avoiding dehydration starts with a careful consideration of multiple factors. Depending on the temperature, season, terrain and other circumstances that may increase perspiration, it is a rule of thumb that you will sweat around 1/2 to 1 quart of fluid every hour you walk in the heat. At this rate of exertion, it will require at least 101 oz of fluid to get you through a 4 to 6 hour hike. It is vital to have an adequate water supply to accommodate your body’s required hydration.

It is also vitally important to understand that mental and physical health depend upon adequate water consumption. Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., EatingWell Nutrition Editor writes, “Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. When you’re well hydrated, you can also think through a problem more easily.” Staying adequately hydrated will keep you focused and alert, this is why avoiding dehydration is of utmost importance.

Through medical science we understand that the neurons of the human brain enable us to make quality and in-the-moment decisions. Given that your body is around 70% water and the brain is about 80% water, hydration is key. Daniel G. Amen, M.D. a noted clinical neuroscientist and medical director of the Amen Clinic for Behavioral Medicine in California states, “Your brain is 80 percent water and if it’s not hydrated, your neurons can’t perform properly.” It’s easy to see how important avoiding dehydration is, as it could save your life.

HYDRATION 101

Avoiding dehydration needs to start at the beginning, not the end of an outdoor adventure. Hydration 101 – remember if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Make sure before you start any outdoor activity that you are qdequately hydrated. This means drinking plenty of water, starting even the evening before. Dehydration can began to occur in just a few hours, therefore any outdoor activity should begin with proper hydration.

In an emergency situation, proper hydration and urine monitoring are essential to overall health. “The easiest thing that anybody could do on a daily basis is monitor their urine color,” says Douglas Casa, Ph.D., A.T.C., who studies hydration at the University of Connecticut. “Lighter urine color – like lemonade – means you’re generally well-hydrated. If it’s darker, like apple juice, you are most likely dehydrated.”

This is why we developed what we consider to be an essential in avoiding dehydration – our 32oz. Stainless Steel Pathfinder Bottle and Cup Set. Designed to be streamlined and packable, the Pathfinder Bottle and Cup are unique in size and weight making it the perfect combo for you to stay hydrated.

Regardless of the season that you’re planning on being outdoors, maintaining your body’s proper fluid balance and avoiding dehydration may mean the difference between life and death.

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