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Heat exhaustion and heat stroke - how do you deal with them while on the trial?

The answer of course is to get the person cooled off, but when its 100 degrees in the shade, and 105 - 110 in direct sunlight, what do you do?

Where I go hiking and camping there are steams every so often. So we can stop and cool off in the water, but sometimes the streams are dry.

 

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Heat exhaustion and heat stroke - how do you deal with them while on the trial?

The answer of course is to get the person cooled off, but when its 100 degrees in the shade, and 105 - 110 in direct sunlight, what do you do?

Where I go hiking and camping there are steams every so often. So we can stop and cool off in the water, but sometimes the streams are dry.
Get their head wet, and if you have anything cold to drink or ice, put it in one of their armpits or crotch.
 

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One of the best things you can do is drink water that is room temp. because it will be processed by the body alot faster than a cold drink. If you are over heating on the trail, find whatever shade possible and stop and lay down, if you are wearing a hat take it off once you are out of the sun, pull your shirt off and chill out a while. The best experienced, advice I can give is ,prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated, in the searing heat your best off traveling early in the morning, or early in the evening. I went hiking out at stove pipe wells (near death valley) and nearly sun stroked out from not drinking enough fluids.
 

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Wear loose fitting clothing and stay hydrated. When you are thirsty, you are already getting dehydrated. Wear a wide grim hat.

Cold packs to the groin, armpits and neck help in an emrgency. A wet towel around your neck is good for general cooling purposes.

Two items I have found useful in the past are a spray bottle to mist yourself and a small battery powered fan.

Light colored clothing also helps to reflct the heat of the sun.
 

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An army study has shown that putting cool water on the hairless side of your forearm, also helps, as that's where the veins come to the surface also. Immersing your forearm in cold water also helps as does cooling off the inside of joints (behind knees, behind elbows).

I mention this because the Army is developing a forearm bath to cool off soldiers with heat stroke. Soldier sits in chair, on armrest is cooled water and they soak their arm in it, lowering the core body temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
An army study has shown that putting cool water on the hairless side of your forearm, also helps, as that's where the veins come to the surface also. Immersing your forearm in cold water also helps as does cooling off the inside of joints (behind knees, behind elbows).
not just the forearm, but anywhere that the blood vessels are close to the skin - especially the head and neck area. Cooling the neck helps lower the temperature of the brain faster then cooling other parts of the body. And when your dealing with heat stroke, you need to get the brain cooled off fast.

Parts of the body that I focus on:

Ears, neck and head and along the spine just below the head.
Below the elbow - forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.
Ankles and toes.

Think about a mosquito - where does it go to get to the blood? Ankles, fingers, ears, face, head area. Follow its example and that is where the blood vessels are close to the skin.
 

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Proper acclimation to the weather and make dang sure they are not over-exerting themselves in the first place.

Make sure everyone hydrates heavily well in advance of any activity in the heat. If they don't have to take a leak, then they aren't drinking enough water.

Heat exhaustion is easy to deal with. Cold water, ice, cool towels, etc on the head, neck, armpits, thighs, etc. A good dip in a lake or stream.

A Heatstroke and they need minimum 3 days in a hospital, IV's, rapid cooling off process or they are dead. Memory loss, brain damage, kidney failure, heart failure, etc.
 

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The wet bandana is a good one to keep you cool during activity. But I just try to control myself in extreme heat so I don't get to that point in the first place.
 

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I carry a rain poncho in the summer. I have had to ( on a job) cool down a workmate. We did have a little water, so, we laid out my poncho in the shade, put the guy on it and poured water on his head, arms and pits and in his crotch area. The Poncho catches the water like a tub and he was cooled down until an ambulance arrived. NOTE: the hood should be inside next to body so person can be placed on it to seal it off. This poncho cost me $1.00 from Target.
 

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Stay in the shade and let the heat of the day pass. Drink lots of fluids ie water. Use clothing or sunscreen to protect the skin from getting burned. Wet a t-shirt or shirt to help cool the body. A good pair of sunglasses, to reduce strain on the eyes. A cap to block out direct sunlight, have been used in to beat the heat. Also cotton clothing, is the only fabric worn in the heat.
 

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Having worked construction in Central Texas at 114F in the shade, pipeline in Southern Texas at 100 degrees and 98 % humidity, backpacked the Grand Canyon and hiked Death Valley...I feel I can say a few things about heat. You must keep hydrated, but you must also replace the electrolytes you lose in the sweat. Those who drink and don't eat, or use water additives (such as GatorAid or Gookinaid (sp?) ) are asking for muscle cramps, nausea and unconsiousness....besides being very "unhappy campers". Think sodium and potassium when you read those labels on your snacks and/or drinks. ...you need both, and you'll be surprised where you get them if you haven't studied up on the subject.
 

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With good acclimatization, you will find your comfort zone gets higher. A hundred degrees feels a lot hotter in June than it does in September. (About the time 100 starts feeling comfortable for me hiking, fall shows up and temps start to drop

Obviously you want to stay in the shade as much as possible. Time your hiking NOT to hike in the hottest part of the day. For shade, rig up a Mylar space blanket using whatever is available.

Rivers and creeks that dry up seasonally may still have some moisture below the surface. For example, the Mojave River flows year round but only in the wettest parts of winter and spring do you see any moisture at all. Dig down a foot in many of them and you'll hit mud. The best locations are where there seems to be some greenery while everything else is dried up or where it looks like a rock formation might force underground water to the surface. Obviously you are better off to check this out prior to actually needing it.

I like to wear a wide brimmed cotton hat and keep it soaked at every opportunity. In fact, if it is really hot, keep everything soaked until late afternoon.

You want to get below the surface of the ground. A couple inches down it is noticeably cooler. Failing that you want to get above the ground. The top inch or so of soil and the air just above it is where the hottest temperatures are found.

North of the tropics, the north side of a hill is always cooler then the south facing side. Reverse for southern hemisphere. Your wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and boots are the most important pieces of clothing for desert survival. If water is no problem and you have sunscreen, bare skin is the coolest. Otherwise stick to loose lightweight cotton to conserve water and prevent sun burn.
 

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Me I just walk into the river clothing pack and all then walk back out.. works well for me only thing I take out is eletronic stuff but thats just keys (car) and cellphone then right into the water clothing pack and all then right out cools me well.. But I have a good ablity to resiste cold I turn blue in the lips and I can still function normally and dont feel the effects of hypotherma just takes alot longer then most people.. for me.. I get hot fast through.. water around the neck and drinking lots of water and even stoping and resting in the shade befor getting to hot can help alot..

time of day you work in makes a huge diffrence as well.. if you have to work do it early or latter on that way you dont fry in the sun..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I updated the first post of this thread with a video.

This video was filmed in July, 2009. But because of the video format of the new camera, I had to buy some conversion software.
 

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Stay covered up when walking, long sleeves and trousers, helps reduce the loss of water when sweating.
 

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Staying hydrated means more than just drinking when you're thirsty. See FM21-76 on Survival. The chart on p.13-2 shows you need 1gal/day while resting in shade at 77 deg F. You need 3gal/day for moderate activity like cleaning weapons in sun at 100 deg.

Electrolytes are important too. Consider what you are wearing and doing. The Army has studied safe stay times for various protective clothing doing different tasks. Wearing that extra stuff really does lower your IQ. We used to counteract the effect by downing a jug of Gatorade before suiting up. If you can't drink during a period of stress, make sure you can drink before and after.

Caffeine, tobacco and some medicines can make you more vulnerable to heat. If you have ever had heat stroke or frostbite or if you aren't acclimated, you will be more vulnerable.
 

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I keep a few hankerchiefs or bandanas wrapped around a few frozen water bottles in my bag. The heat helps the water melt, the condensation is cool and absorbed by the bandanas. I take this out to cool off when I'm feeling the heat. If necessary you can soak the bandana with the water from the bottle as well, or drink it if you need it. I also keep a spare bandana in the bottom of my daypack that absorbs any condensation from the water bladder for the same purpose.
I wear a light colored hat with a 360 degree screen vent in the top, white usually, during the summer months, long sleeved light colored shirt and a bandana around my neck to keep the sun off my skin. I also wear white long socks with moisture wicking capabilities to keep my feet dry, and the long ones are great with long shorts so I don't have to wear heavy pants.
In the hottest part of the day I seek out the shade, lay back and take a nap after a light lunch.
 
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