Outside Recreation Council of BC: Ideas for protected and fulfilling recreation throughout sizzling climate

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THE long summer days are perfect for outdoor adventures; However, with the sun can come intense heat that can turn your fun-filled day into a potentially dangerous experience. Learn how to have a good time and stay healthy and safe while adventuring in the hot weather.

plan ahead

Plan activities for the coolest part of the day and avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. The hours between 12pm and 3pm are usually the hottest. On scorching days it may be best to avoid this time altogether by starting early and finishing your hike early afternoon, or leaving anytime after 3pm (perhaps try hiking or paddling in the dark to start a new one). and to have different experiences!) . If avoiding the hottest hours isn’t possible, plan your trip so that you can take frequent breaks in a cool or shaded area, or plan your activity near the ocean, a lake, or a river.

Try this tip: Dip your hat or bandana in a lake or river as it will help cool you down as the water evaporates.

Stay hydrated and cool

Drink plenty of cool liquids, even if you’re not thirsty (and that means drinking water before, during, and after your outdoor activity). It’s best to avoid caffeine (and alcohol) as it can cause dehydration, which prevents your body from properly controlling its temperature

Try this tip: Freeze a bottle of water that can be thawed into a perfect ice-cold drink

Wear light layers

Dress for the heat and your activity level. Choose light colors (white, tan, or khaki) that reflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them (as dark colors do). Make sure you choose loose clothing that breathes well, which will help your body regulate its temperature. Synthetic is a good choice. Cotton can also work well when it’s hot and dry, but bring a change of clothes if you’re staying outside until the temperatures drop.

Try this tip: While it may seem counterintuitive, covering up with a light, long-sleeve shirt or neck warmer can offer effective protection from harmful UV rays.

Protect your skin and eyes

Make sure you wear a hat and apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher before going outside. This is especially important when re-enacting on reflective snow or sand – or at altitudes over 1,500 meters where the sun’s rays are more intense. Sunglasses are a must to protect your eyes.

Try this tip: If you burn yourself along the way, place a cold, damp cloth over the burned area to relieve pain and minimize swelling. take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever; Cover sunburned areas and reduce sun exposure for the rest of the trip and drink more fluids.

Don’t forget pets—and horses

Pets can become dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outside. Make sure your pets have a shady spot where they can escape the sun, be careful not to overexert them, and keep them indoors in extreme heat.

Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and breathing rates, drooling, mild weakness, lightheadedness, or even collapse.

Try this tip: Dogs can only pant and sweat through their pads to cool off. Make sure you give your canine pal water to drink frequently and take breaks in the shade.

When it comes to horses, trail riders need to know that their horse gets hot much faster than humans and is more susceptible to the adverse effects of heat stress. While horses have sweat glands all over their bodies and use sweating as their primary means of cooling themselves, sweat cannot evaporate very quickly in humid weather, potentially leading to heat stress or heat stroke in horses. Read more about hot weather hazards and horse safety tips here.

Know what heat exhaustion feels like

Heat-related emergencies occur when the body becomes dehydrated, resulting in an elevated body temperature. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke can happen to anyone who spends too much time in the summer heat and sun. Children, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses like heart disease, and people taking certain medications can get sick faster than healthy adults in hot, humid weather.

Make sure you know the signs of heat exhaustion and have a plan. Watch for symptoms of dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine. If you have heat sickness symptoms during extreme heat, go to a shaded area to rest, drink water (if you have electrolytes or salt tablets, use some), and cool down. If symptoms don’t improve, call 9-1-1.

Try this tip: if you can’t find a shady place to rest and you have a tarp, use it to block the sun. If you have access to cool water in a nearby river or lake, splash the cool water on your face and head, dip a headscarf or hat in the water and put it on your head.

Heat stroke is a serious condition that can occur quickly and requires immediate medical attention. It occurs when the body overheats. If your partner is showing symptoms of heat exhaustion combined with changes in behavior (irritable, confused, aggressive, or bizarre), they could have heat stroke. Look out for these signs in particular: severe headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, confusion or disorientation, anxiety, rapid or shallow breathing, and a body temperature of 40 degrees Celsius or higher. Heat stroke can damage internal organs. If any of these signs are present, get your partner out as soon as possible by calling 9-1-1, or go directly to the hospital for further evaluation.

Contact the Canadian Red Cross for more information.