Hiking is a fun sport that also happens to be a fantastic method to be fit and happy because it allows you to get plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. However, the activity causes dehydration, which can make a trip less enjoyable or even dangerous.
Senior hikers should drink enough water because they have 10% less fluid in their bodies than younger hikers. Seniors also have a decreased sense of thirst, which leads to a decrease in fluid consumption, making them more prone to dehydration. However, any hiker, young or old, must be hydrated before, during, and after a hike to be safe.
- Before you hit the trail, get some water
You should drink one or two cups of water before starting the hike. You should not wait for your body’s “thirsty” signal before drinking because it only occurs when the water level in your body is already low. Instead, hydrate before your hike to prevent your water level from falling. Before going on a hike, developing long-term hydration practices will help you be at your fittest and healthiest.
2. Before a hike, avoid consuming alcohol
Are you planning on hitting the path first thing in the morning? Instead of a drink the night before, opt for water.
Drinking alcoholic beverages before trekking should be avoided at all costs, as they contribute greatly to dehydration. These drinks are also bad to bring on a trek because they don’t properly hydrate you and may dehydrate you.
3. Bring food and water with you (& Make Them Easily Accessible)
Any hiker should have plenty of food and drink with them. Water keeps you hydrated, while food provides fuel and salts (electrolytes), which you need to avoid dehydration. Unless the trek includes meal times, a day hiker usually only needs individually packaged snacks, energy bars, dry meals, and bottled water. To avoid being very unwell and dangerously incapacitated, make sure to balance your food intake with fluid consumption.
You may also want to bring electrolyte tablets with you on longer, more rigorous excursions. Sweating causes electrolytes to be lost, making hiking more difficult. It’s simple to keep on top of your game by including electrolyte tablets or a sports drink in your pack.
Of course, bringing water or food won’t keep you hydrated or healthy unless you drink it. Perhaps hydration comes easy to you and you’ll remember to drink, but if you find yourself forgetting frequently.
Here are a few suggestions are given below:
- Use a bladder — if you drink from canteens or bottled water and find yourself forgetting to stop and get a drink, a bladder allows you to drink while on the go, with water always nearby.
- Prefer bottles? Choose your hiking pack carefully – if you prefer bottles or canteens to a bladder, make sure your hiking pack allows you to easily access your water. Forward-facing pockets on some packs make it easier to get your bottle out than the conventional side pocket.
- Keep a few snacks in a convenient location, such as the hip pocket of your backpack.
4. Before you feel thirsty, drink some water
Waiting till you’re thirsty to drink water implies you’re already dehydrated and not operating at your best. Drink one-half to one quart of water every hour while trekking to replace fluids and electrolytes. Depending on the temperature and the difficulty of the hike, you may need to drink more.
Alternate between plain water and an electrolyte-containing sports drink for variation. This will help you retain water, stay energized, and keep your electrolyte levels balanced, making your hike more enjoyable.
5. After a hike, stay hydrated
When you finish hiking, don’t stop drinking. Even after you’ve finished the hike, you should keep drinking fluids to replenish water and electrolyte loss. Drink more than you think you need because thirst always underestimates your body’s fluid requirements.
If Dehydration Occurs,
Although prevention is usually the best medicine, if you or someone in your group becomes severely dehydrated, be sure you have the necessary first-aid supplies and information. Oral rehydration salts are a simple addition to your first-aid kit that has been shown to improve your body’s ability to absorb and retain water. If you’re going on a long trip, including these in your luggage could make a big difference.
Having a backup plan can make all the difference if you forgot to bring extra water. Keeping a portable water purifier in your pack or using a purifying water bottle like the RapidPure Intrepid as one of your water bottles will help you rehydrate while protecting you from viruses, germs, and parasites that may be present in wilderness water sources.
Keep Hydrated and Go Hiking!
Hiking offers significant medical benefits when done carefully and safely, including lowering the risk of diabetes, colon or breast cancer, osteoporosis, and heart attacks, as well as lowering the chance of disability and improving overall physical performance. Hiking, on the other hand, provides us with a sense of adventure and a rush of adrenaline from being in nature and finding new places, all of which are beneficial to our mental health. However, if you want to hike effectively and get the most out of it, make sure you stay well hydrated to avoid dehydration.
Dehydration is a serious issue, so it’s important to take proper precautions before heading out on your next outing. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water and make sure you always carry extra supplies with you.
The tips we shared above will also help ensure that you stay healthy while enjoying nature in the wild. Happy hiking!