Don’t dry out in the backcountry

Our intern and author, Alyssa enjoying the outdoors.

This summer at Klymit, we are lucky enough to have Alyssa working with us as an intern. As a nursing school student, Alyssa has all kinds of knowledge to share about preventing and recognizing dehydration. Without further ado, here’s Alyssa:

We are in the heat of summer and everybody is hitting the backcountry. Whether you’re backpacking, headed out for a day hike, mountain biking, or trekking up to a pristine fishing spot, don’t forget to stay hydrated.

Dehydration isn’t something to take lightly. By the time you are feeling thirsty you have already lost about a liter of needed fluid. On average, someone weighing 150lbs. needs to maintain a level of 40 liters of fluid. This can definitely be a challenge when you’re enjoying the outdoors.

Here is a quick checklist to keep in mind on your venture:
• Pack more water than you think you will need–a good estimate is 8 ounces every hour or more depending on your level of activity.
• Take a purifying system.
• Pack fruits and vegetables if possible as they provide water and maintain sugar levels.
• Take an electrolyte drink or supplement with you and avoid caffeine.

If you are taking off to high altitudes, remember that there is a higher risk of dehydration. Lower air pressure results in rapid evaporation of moisture from the skin and lungs. Combined with sweating, this is great potential for dehydration. We know this might be a “too much information” moment, but a good indicator on your hydration level is how often you are urinating, which should be every 2-4 hours.

Symptoms of dehydration include:
• Dizziness, headaches
• Dry mouth, nose and lips
• Muscle cramping
• Rapid breathing

If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to brake from your activity, find a cool spot and rehydrate with water and electrolytes if possible.

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July 2012


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