Anyone keen on the outdoors/survival/trying to be the new Bear Grylls….is very aware that one of the most important things that you must always keep in mind while outdoors is staying hydrated! Without the ability to drink enough water to stay hydrated, bad things can happen. You can become weaker, may suffer headaches, may faint, become violently ill and if severe enough may even die! During sessions in Seeley Copse, I always made sure that I had access to a drink if I needed it. Of course, if you are lost outside (without the necessary know how to find/collect water) it is not possible and this got me thinking. What does happen to our bodies when we become dehydrated? what are the side effects? and so….
Dehydration – Dangerous, Deadly and Debilitating!
Why is hydration important?
The importance of water to our bodies can’t be overstated. After all, it makes up more than two thirds of our body weight and is responsible for a variety of functions, including blood flow, body temperature regulation, It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps the skin healthy. Hydration is therefore definitely extremely important!
So what is being “dehydrated”?
The NHS states on it’s website that being dehydrated is when the body “loses more fluids than it takes in”. This is usually caused by not drinking enough fluid to replace what we lose. The climate, the amount of physical exercise you are doing (particularly in hot weather) and our diet can also contribute to dehydration.You can also become dehydrated as a result of an illness, such as persistent vomiting and diarrhoea, or sweating from a fever.
It all begins with the hypothalamus, the gland responsible for regulating our body temperature and triggering the processes that balance the fluids in our bodies. When the hypothalamus detects too little water in our blood, it signals the release of an anti-diuretic hormone that causes the kidneys to remove less water from the blood. The result? We pee less, and when we do, our urine is more concentrated and darker in colour. At this point the brain also tells us we’re thirsty, and if left at this point some serious symptoms can begin to occur!
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
|Mild to Moderate Dehydration||Severe Dehydration|
|Dry, sticky mouth||Extreme thirst|
|Sleepiness or tiredness||Irritability and confusion|
|Dry skin||Sunken eyes|
|Headache||Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it|
|Constipation||Low blood pressure|
|Dizziness or lightheadedness||Rapid heartbeat|
|Few or no tears when crying||Rapid breathing|
|Minimal urine||No tears when crying|
|Dry, cool skin||Fever|
|Muscle cramps||Little or no urination, and any urine colour that is darker than usual|
|In serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness and in extreme cases death.|
That all sounds a bit scary! but what can I do about it?
The solution is actually extremely simple! Drink More!. Make sure that when travelling or even just on a normal day, that you have an adequate supply of hydrating fluids throughout the day (sports and energy drinks or alcohol do not count I’m afraid!).
WHAT WOULD BEAR DO?
Bear Grylls, what a man! The things that he has achieved and seen in his life are truly inspiring. The man is a true genius when it comes to survival and he has many people entranced, staring at his various television pieces wondering how on Earth he does what he does!. However, there a few things Bear does that have many of us wanting to throw up our dinners!. Bears idea of a good way to stay hydrated is one of these things. DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH.
On a recent programme, Bear demonstrated an easy way to stay alive when the only access to liquid you have is dirty water. This kind of water cannot be swallowed through our mouths due to the damaging things it contains. But how can we consume this liquid, become hydrated and not become ill?! Bears answer is very simple! get a pipe, shove it up your bottom and drink through it by squeezing!. This is called an “emergency enema” and is effective and can very much keep you alive! It is however also a bit disgusting and sounds rather painful….in fact, this was Bears face during the experience!
IN FACT HERES A VIDEO……
So other than using our bottoms are there any less painful looking ways to collect clean water we can use to survive?
There are and just for you, I have just the image to show you how!!
A few far nicer ideas I think!.