Heat Survival Tips: Drink Fluids, Avoid Strenuous Activity, Wear Lightweight Clothing (What are We, Stupid?)

So, here we are, on day 47 of the worst heat wave since the days of the dinosaurs – or so it seems – and health authorities continue to treat people like imbeciles.

Following is an actual excerpt from an advisory on preventing heat-related illness issued by the Centers for Disease Control, regarded as one of the nation’s leading authorities on all things medical:

– Drink more fluids.

– Take a cool shower or bath.

The estimable American Red Cross makes this suggestion:

"If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls)."

And the National Weather Service warns:

– Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day.

– Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.

– Don't get too much sun.

Gee, I don’t know about you, but I always emulate mad dogs and Englishmen by going out in the midday sun. I also found its best to wear a wool sweater, overcoat, hat and mittens when running in excessively hot weather, and avoid consuming any liquids.

Conversely, in late January when snow flies, winds howl and temperatures plummet, these same institutions warn about the perils of hypothermia and frostbite by urging anyone venturing outdoors to dress in layers, stay dry and avoid prolonged exposure to severe cold.

Ya think?

With this in mind, I hereby offer similarly useful tips for dealing with a plethora of health- and weather-related situations those of us who venture into the great outdoors occasionally experience.

– Don’t seek refuge during a lightning storm by climbing a flagpole.

– When encountering a hornet’s nest it’s best not to whack it with a stick.

– Never try to tease a grizzly bear by playfully running off with one of its cubs.

– To avoid unforeseen complications most rock climbers opt to tie off the top of the rope before belaying.

– Don’t assess avalanche risk by jumping up and down on a snow shelf.

– Stop eating freshly picked mushrooms immediately at the onset of projectile vomiting.

– One way of determining if snakebite was from a potentially lethal copperhead or from a harmless milk snake is excruciating, throbbing pain in the vicinity of the bite.

– The efficacy of repeated cursing as an insect repellant has not been adequately proven.

– Never accept an invitation to hunt quail with Dick Cheney.

– A startled skunk that spins around and lifts its tail in your direction is trying to tell you something.

Anyway, I trust the persistently oppressive heat and humidity aren’t deterring fellow adventurers from enjoying the great outdoors.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to don my expedition parka and insulated climbing pants before heading on for a midday hike.

 

 

 

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Urban Excursions: Finding Adventure In The Big City

A brisk autumn breeze scattered crimson maple leaves that fluttered from trees lining a pond glittering in the morning sun as my friend Bob Graham and I loped along a narrow path the other morning.

My Friend The Log Splitter: Leaf Blowers Notwithstanding, Not All Machines Are Evil

After my overwhelming victory last year in a rake vs. leafblower contest I hoped I’d heard the last of those infernal, noisy, polluting contraptions — but while out for a run the other day, savoring the fall foliage, a familiar whine as...

Welcome To Steve's Lumberjack Camp

Good morning! I hope you all had a good night’s sleep, enjoyed the griddle cakes and are eager to work off those calories.

At Nayaug Canoe And Kayak Race, A Win Is A Win Is A Win — Sort Of

Race starts are notoriously adventurous — jackrabbits at the line itching to shove and elbow their way into the lead; clueless slowpokes poised for pileups; nerve-jangled competitors, fueled by surging adrenaline, chattering...

Rocks In My Head, Part 37,482

Descending New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in a blizzard some time ago, a friend and I briefly strayed from the ice-encrusted Lion Head Trail – not all that surprising considering wind-whipped snow reduced our visibility to...

Hey, Unless Your Head Is Made Of Cement, Wear A Bike Helmet!

Last Saturday was glorious, perhaps the last sunny, warm day of the season, so a couple friends and I set out for a 50-plus-mile ride on Rhode Island’s magnificent East Bay Bike Path, one of my favorite places to pedal.

How to freeze your - - - off in four easy steps

I know you’ll find this rather shocking, but all those white things in the new picture of me aren’t really snowflakes – they’re feathers from an old pillow, which we thought would be a clever way to illustrate a...

Hey, Unless Your Head Is Made Of Cement, Wear A Bike Helmet!

Last Saturday was glorious, perhaps the last sunny, warm day of the season, so a couple friends and I set out for a 50-plus-mile ride on Rhode Island’s magnificent East Bay Bike Path, one of my favorite places to pedal.

Forget San Juan Capistrano – If You Want to See Hundreds of Thousands of Swallows, Check Out the Lower Connecticut River

Like the first snowflakes of an approaching blizzard, a small flurry of tiny birds flitted across the slow-moving water of the Connecticut River earlier this week, just as the sun began to dip below the western bank in Old Saybrook.

Celebrating the Spirit of Johnny Kelley, as We Dedicate a Statue in His Memory

Participating in weekly runs with legendary marathon champion Johnny Kelley back in the 1970s was a lot like attending a religious service.

Pink Gloves Save The Day At The Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon

Paddling a tandem kayak in the second leg of the Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon in the Berkshires of Massachusetts is a lot like competing in a combined NASCAR, Formula One and Demolition Derby race, what with every manner of vessel...

A Three-peat Victory, Redemption and Inspiration at Norwalk’s Lighthouse to Lighthouse Race

As Ian Frenkel and I stealthily steered our 22-foot tandem kayak toward Greens Ledge Lighthouse on Long Island Sound off Norwalk Saturday, we closed in on our good friend and arch rival Phil Warner, who was racing in his 24-foot two-man...

The Elegance (and Pain) of a White Mountain Presidential Traverse

Most hikers traipsing among New Hampshire’s White Mountains consider peaks in the Presidential Range – Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower – a worthy day hike, and many break up ascents of the more...