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How to prevent dehydration while hiking?

March 18, 2022

How to prevent dehydration while hiking?

Photo by Bit Cloud on Unsplash

Are you planning to go on a hike but wondering how to prevent dehydration while hiking? Then continue reading!

If you're like me, you love exploring the great outdoors. Hiking and camping are some of my favorite activities, but there's one thing that can ruin a good time – dehydration. It can lead to a number of problems, including heat stroke and hyponatremia. So, it's important to know how to prevent dehydration while hiking so you can stay safe and enjoy your adventure. In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips on how to prevent dehydration while hiking, as well as signs that you may be dehydrated. Let's get started!

Related: Summer Hiking Tips: How to stay cool while hiking?

Stay hydrated and safe on your next hike by following these tips!

1) Drink plenty of water before and during your hike:

A woman drinking water from her bottle while hiking

Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

It's important to stay hydrated before you even start your hike. Drink plenty of water in the hours leading up to your hike, and then continue to drink water throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to drink about a half-liter of water per hour that you're hiking. If you find yourself getting thirsty, that's a sign that you're already dehydrated, so drink up! Keep in mind, you need to develop habits for long-term hydration, not just for your hike.

2) Carry a water bottle with you and drink regularly:

carry water bottle to rehydrate your body during your hike

Photo by Dhiren Rai on Unsplash

One of the best ways to prevent dehydration while hiking is to carry plenty of water with you, and that you're drinking from it regularly. How much water you'll need will depend on a number of factors, including the temperature, humidity, and activity level. A good rule of thumb is to bring at least one liter of water per person, per hour of hiking. If your water bottle is empty, fill it up at the next opportunity! It's better to drink small amounts of water often than to wait until you're thirsty and then chug a bunch of water all at once. In case you're hiking in an area with questionable water sources, you should also bring a water filter or purifier with you. It can help make sure that the water you're drinking is clean and safe.

Related: How to choose a water filter or purifier?

3) Dress in light-colored clothing

a person hiking uphill with hills in the background

Wearing light-colored clothing while hiking can help you stay cooler. The lighter the color of your clothing, the less heat will be absorbed by your body. So, try to wear light and airy clothing that will let your skin breathe and won’t make you too hot. What you wear while hiking can also affect how much you sweat. We highly recommend wearing quick-dry fabrics that will wick away sweat and keep you comfortable. Some examples of quick-dry fabrics are polyester, nylon, and spandex.

Related: Best Hiking Clothes For Summer

4) Avoid caffeine and alcohol:

don't drink coffee in the morning if you want to prevent dehydration while hiking

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Steering clear of caffeine and alcohol can help prevent dehydration while hiking. Yes, this includes your morning coffee. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes you to urinate more frequently and can lead to dehydration if you're not careful. The same goes for alcohol. It might seem like drinking beer or wine will help keep you hydrated since they're liquids, but alcohol actually has the opposite effect. It's a diuretic like caffeine, so it will cause you to urinate more and can lead to dehydration if you're not careful.

5) Take breaks & look for signs of dehydration while hiking:

A hiker resting and drinking some water

Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash

If you're hiking in hot weather, it's important to take breaks often to rest and drink water. We recommend taking a break every 20 minutes or so to avoid overheating. During your break, drink at least 16 ounces of water. You may also want to wet your bandana or shirt and put it on your head or neck to help cool yourself down. If you start to feel any signs of dehydration while hiking, such as excessive thirst, fatigue, or lightheadedness, stop hiking and rest in the shade. Drink plenty of fluids and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

6) Wear sunscreen and a hat:

a hiker wearing a hat to avoid dehydration while hiking in the sun

Photo by John Michael Lindsey on Unsplash

Protecting yourself from the sun is important for preventing dehydration while hiking. Wearing sunscreen and a hat will help keep you from getting too much sun exposure, which can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both of these can cause dehydration, so it's important to take steps to prevent them. We recommend wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and a hat that provides shade for your face and neck. During hot summer months, it's also a good idea to hike in the early morning or evening when the sun isn't as strong.

Related: Best Sunscreen For Hiking In 2022

7) Continue drinking after finishing your hike:

a hiker drinking water after finishing her hike

Photo by Jackson Hirsch on Unsplash  

Last but not the least, don’t forget to drink even after you’re done with your hike. You might have sweated a lot and lost essential fluids from your body. So, it is necessary to rehydrate yourself by drinking water or any other healthy fluids. Many hikers simply make the mistake of not drinking after a hike and end up dehydrated. And do look out for any signs of dehydration even after your hike.

Conclusion

So, these were some tips on how to prevent dehydration while hiking. Dehydration is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly, especially while hiking in hot weather conditions. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, take rests, and seek medical attention if needed. Do you have any other tips on how to prevent dehydration while hiking? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Hiking!

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