I don’t care what time of year it is: staying hydrated is the most important consideration. Think of it: you’re outdoors, you’re being active, you’re already not getting the sleep you need, you’re probably not eating like you should be, and you wanna have the most fun possible. When being active you should be consuming at least a gallon of hydrating liquid a day.
What do I mean by hydrating liquid?
no caffeine included
- no alcohol included
- low / no sugar in the drink
Yes, caffeine and alcohol are both incredibly dehydrating. Personally I’d completely avoid the latter no matter what the game rules are. Also, if you’re feeling tired, try a glass of water before that cup of coffee; you could just be dehydrated. And excessive sugar can also be dehydrating.
Oh, and I wasn’t kidding about the gallon. For high levels of activity it is recommended to drink one to two gallons in a day. You basically wanna be watering a tree every 1-2 hours (when being active this can be difficult to maintain, very difficult).
How to Tell if You Are Dehydrated:
- do you feel thirsty or hungry?
- do you feel tired or irritable?
- when was the last time you urinated?
- what was the color / smell of your urine?
- very pale yellow is the goal, the darker it is the more dehydrated you are
- little to no scent is preferred, the smellier it is the more dehydrated you are
- dry skin and/or eyes?
- do you have a headache? (especially if it’s closer to the front of your head)
- any dizzy spells?
How to Prevent Dehydration and/or Re-hydrate:
- drink water or an electrolyte filled drink
- I keep electrolyte drops or powder in one of my belt pouches at all times
- herbal tea is also a great option
- hot chocolate is also a good idea if it’s made with real chocolate (try adding a little salt, tastes fantastic!)
- eat something
- Important Hydration Minerals: salt, magnesium, potassium, and potassium
- Good Snacks: trail mix, hard boiled eggs with a little salt and thyme, protein bars, granola bars, nuts, fruit, etc
- take a short break
- in the shade or in a warm building depending on the time of year
- this helps your body catch back up
Read: Gotta love backpackers when learning how to deal with endurance focused outdoor activities –> 7 Tips on Staying Hydrated while Hiking