Buffalo Hiking Club Message Board › Hikers dying from heat stroke
The excessive heat in the Southeast United States this spring has resulted in weekly reports of hikers of all ages dying from heat stroke. Age and conditioning are not shields against heat stroke as evidence by the deaths of marathon runners. And temperatures above 100 are not needed for heat stroke to occur.
When hiking in warmer temperatures, water, salt, and electrolytes must be consumed while hiking to prevent heat stroke. Once heat stroke sets in it is often too late to revive the person. Death soon follows.
But even the less server conditions before heat stroke is reached can cause death. The leading cause of death to hikers is from falls. Dehydration affects coordination and judgment, which increases the risk of a deadly fall in the backcountry.
Get into the habit of drinking water on a regular basis. Don't over do it, just take a few sips every now and then. Always drink some water if you feel thirsty - that is your body's way of telling you it is becoming dehydrated. Pay attention to the color of you urine - dark colored urine is often a sign of dehydration.
If hiking in a group never be shy about asking for water if you run out and feel thirsty. The group leader can lecture you later about bringing enough water for yourself, but at that moment your survival is more important.