Is your emergency plan four-season ready?
Most of us have weather-related items stored in our home or car as part of our survival kits or bug out bags. Which is great- we need blankets or extra clothing in our cars in winter or fall, but what about summer?
Have you put as much thought into staying cool during a summer bug-out as you have staying warm during other seasons?
You should. You may have to spend considerable time outdoors in the heat to avoid a crisis. Remaining cool and hydrated will be essential to your ability to successfully deal with your circumstances. Now is a great time to do a kit audit and update your items to reflect the warmer weather coming.
Here are some things to consider:
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Thirst is a sign of dehydration. Use urine color as an indicator. Clear urine is a sign of good hydration. The stronger the color, the greater the need for healthy rehydration.
Stick to cool (not cold) water and sports beverages. Icy cold water constricts blood vessels in the stomach, reducing absorption. Cool water is absorbed more quickly.
Heavy sweating can cause substantial electrolyte loss. Sports drinks can replenish those electrolytes. Most are available in low-carb and sugar-free versions.
Carry a portable water filter. When you run out of water you’ve stockpiled, you may have to dip into streams and lakes. Keep your plastic water bottles out of direct sunlight. And don’t forget to check expiration dates on any food supplies.
Wear heat-reflecting, light-colored fabrics rather than absorbent, dark ones. Long sleeves and long pants will shade your skin, absorb sweat and reduce surface temperature.
Wear clothes made from organic fibers including cotton, which breathe better and promote airflow. Avoid synthetic fibers that can trap heat. Treat the fabric with insect repellant if you’re working in a wooded area.
Consider vented nylon fishing clothes with UAV protection. For head protection, try a legionnaire-style sun hat or a broad-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face.
Here are five tips to working in the heat:
- Stay hydrated. Drink about 16 ounces of water or a sports beverage before starting work and five to seven ounces every 15 to 20 minutes while you’re working.
- Avoid diuretics. Alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks negatively affect hydration.
- Wear the right clothing. Choose garments that are lightweight, light-colored and loose fitting.
- Eat light. Choose fruits high in fiber and natural juice. Avoid heavy and high-protein foods.
- Know the signs of heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash.