Summer camping is a pretty exciting activity, which can unite and bring together family and friends in one fun campground, helps you stay fit, allows you to see many unforgettable and picturesque places, and tests your strength and emotional stability in the wild.
Nevertheless, people can face numerous obstacles and difficulties, both minor and major, which can turn fun time outdoors into a nightmare. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are some of them. They can be hard to spot until it is too late, and their consequences can be much more severe than you would expect, so they have to be taken seriously.
Avoid placing the tents in direct sunlight. Obviously, it’s better to use sunshades. Still, you might find yourself in an open space, where there is no tall tree, bush, or cave to protect you. In this case, try to work out the direction of the wind and put up your tent in such a way that the wind will keep it cool.
Wear reflective sunglasses to save your eyes. It’s better to avoid cheap versions and buy something with higher quality.
Dress according to the climate. Do some research beforehand and find out what the weather is usually like in the place where you are going to stay, so you can take only the clothes which you will need and nothing else. A heavy backpack with cooler isn’t your ally in the battle with overheating.
Choose breathable clothes in the light rather than dark colors. They should be made of natural materials, be moisture-wicking, and be baggy to allow your skin to breathe normally.
Wear a bandana or some other type of headdress to cool your head.
Don’t forget to take off warm clothes during walking or other activities. To make the process easier, buy a poncho or something like this. It is both warm and easy to take off.
Watch what you consume – drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited in hot weather; drink ample amounts of cool water, even if you don’t feel thirsty at a particular point in time, as it is crucial that you maintain the proper electrolyte balance and stay hydrated. That’s why it is a good idea to carry a plastic jug of water with you. You need to drink at least 2-2.5 liters of water daily. Don’t eat food with large amounts of fat. Eating a cool sweet popsicle won’t help either – you’ll just want to drink more later.
Exhaustion is a quick way to overheat, so make pauses whenever you feel you need it. Don’t try to seem stronger than you are; estimate your abilities correctly. Keep an eye on each member of your group, especially on the weaker ones – it’s easier to notice somebody experiencing the symptoms of overheating than feel them yourself.
Don’t forget about sunscreen with high SPF. In a tropical climate, it should be at least 50. Keep the bottle in a cool place, and don’t leave it under the sun. Remember, you have to use the sunscreen every time after you swim.
You can also splash your face with water once in a while – you’ll be surprised how useful such a small measure can be.
Some experienced travelers advise swimming in clothes and then continuing onwards until the next lake or river. While your clothes are drying, you can have about 40 minutes of pleasant coolness.
When it’s boiling, people often dream about a light breeze touching their skin… Why not make this dream real? While at a campsite, put up a hammock. During the night, use cotton sheets and special sleeping bags or inflatable beds. Don’t forget to keep them in a bag liner to keep them away from the sunlight and water. Use rain flies with a tarp.
On the internet, it’s easy to find a netting or a bug spray with a cooling effect. They are easy to use and easy to buy in a store. To protect you from insects, it is also a good idea to have a special mesh on your head, which helps protect against mosquitoes.
Remember that the fact that the sun can’t be seen does not mean that you can’t get heatstroke. Being active for a long time in clothes that are too warm will end badly.
What to Do to Help the One Who Is Suffering?
As mentioned above, it’s easier to see that someone is about to experience severe overheating than notice your own symptoms. After helping the suffering one, make sure that you are not the next person to blackout.
When you see that your friend’s skin has gone red and that they are complaining about having a dry mouth, being thirsty and fatigued, having a headache and tinnitus, here are the steps that you must take:
Immediately get the person into the shade, a rainfly, or caving.
Loosen their clothes.
Put something wet on the person’s head, for example, a wet towel.
Give the person cool water, ice tea, or another cold liquid.
If the person is in a critical state, it’s better to take him to the hospital as soon as possible. You must always tell somebody where you are going and have a cellphone and some fully charged power banks.
Doctors might recommend avoiding strenuous physical activity for the next couple of days – don’t neglect this recommendation. Otherwise, the symptoms are likely to return; and you may experience a second stroke, which can lead to unpredictable consequences, especially when you are far from your home and medical institutions.
We would like to stress that your safety and the safety of your loved ones are in your own hands. Think about your friends, family, and the other members of the camp. Don’t play at being a hero and pretend you can cope with everything. Negligence during a camping trip can be lethal.
We wish you all the best! Share your experience, pieces of advice, and recommendations with other campers!
By Sofia Muñoz
I'm a traveler, photographer, writer and adventure lover. I like to bike, swim and prepare food a lot. When I'm not doing all this stuff, I write about my adventures and thoughts.