Hot weather bushcrafting

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Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
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I was just outside and boy is it hot, I got up early this morning to do some jobs around the house before the heat set in and then went for a walk as it was heating up.

It's got me thinking though about the compromises we make due to the heat. We often discuss the cold and what we do to prepare for that, how we camp in it, cook, survive etc but rarely the heat such as we're having now.

So, how does it change what you do, what you take with you and even where you go?
 

Paulm

Full Member
May 27, 2008
1,055
117
Hants
I'm just back from a couple of nights in the New Forest, decided to escape to the cool of the woods :)

It's a few degrees cooler down there near the coast and under the canopy, but still hot and humid.

I went through nearly a new bottle of Incognito mozzie spray, was having to have a respray every couple of hours !

Cooked on the wee gas stove during the day and just put the fire on early evening to boil some water for some rice and Look What We found stuff, too hot to be messing around cooking on the fire, and I was tired and hot after working in the woods so wanted something quick and easy, quite good too washed down with some beer :)

It stayed light through to around 10pm too which surprised me, didn't have to switch the headtorch on or have the lantern on (although I did just for fun anyway ! :) )

So I guess for me, a quick summary might be, take more beer and mozzie spray, and do less work and cooking !
 

Klenchblaize

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 25, 2005
2,584
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Greensand Ridge
I'd rather give it a miss but that said if you must get out there I'll give you one tip:

Don't attempt to erect a Hellsport Finnmark before sundown!

K
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,568
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McBride, BC
Take a look at Australian bush craft in the outback.
Make shade and/or find shade.
Manage your electrolytes in much more drink than you imagine.
Any breeze at all will suck the life out of you.
Be mindful of that wind, as cooling as it will seem.
Always have much more water with you than you can imagine using.

30C+ and I kept 20 x 2l plastic pop bottles of water in the back on the floor of the car.
I' m terrible with the electrolyte management, even salt packs.
Need 1 kg powdered lemon tea to cut the taste.
Canada at 53N, I keep 2 x 5gal water jugs in the back.

The South African canvas water bags really do work better than you imagine.
Hanging in the hot sun an 10C water?
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
10,951
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Wiltshire
I have drunk so much I have a sloshy stomach.

And the wind...

Also even though I put on total block my skin was red (but not tender)

My appetite has died (and you know how bad it has to get before I lose the will to eat)

Tonight I will spend in a puddle of sweat...

And people travel to experience this in our winter????
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,568
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McBride, BC
Give it a month, you'll get used to it.
Sunblock is like living in a plastic bag. Never. Thin white cotton for shade.
I wore shorts for so long over those years that it was 2 years back in Canada before the tan line disappeared.

The saving virtue is that little bugs, midges and mosquitoes, have huge surface areas for their little body volumes.
They have a very sudden risk of dehydrating and dying. Can't say as I'll miss them.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
It is what, just under 30C?

So no big deal. You will get thirstier, so drink more water.

Drinking large amounts without being thirsty only leaches out electrolytes.

Remember, your body will tell you you when it needs water.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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Lie others said, find shade or make shade. I agree with Janne about only drinking when your body tells you you need to. That said, it's gonna tell you much, much more often so either take loads of water or stay near a source. Be aware of the signs, symptoms, and treatment of heat stress.

What do I do differently? I change exactly what activities I practice with each season. This time of year they'll be more aligned with water activities where a quick swim is always possible. I avoid outdoor meals that require cooking or heating.
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
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Canada
It turns out that your body is rather rubbish at signalling the situation here

Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

By the time you have a dry throat, you are already dehydrated. Drink 2-3L per day just to keep your kidneys running properly, and much much more if you are exercising in the warm.

If you are worried about losing electrolytes hiking or whatever exertion-wise in the heat, take along a banana and some gatorade :lol::) Definitely drink when you don't want to. It can get bad, dehydration, if you don't stay on top of it. But the worst part is becoming headachy, irritable and bad tempered, making lousy decisions and essentially not realizing that these are symptoms of deydration, all of which are readily fixed by slurping down a litre of water even when your throat isn't yet parched

Your pee should be clear as crystal, not yellow, and it shouldn't really smell of anything. Asking a lot, right ? :lol::)
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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That's not solid advice, boys.

Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration. If you are worried about losing electrolytes hiking or whatever exertion-wise in heat, take along banana and some gatorade :lol::) Definitely drink when you don't want to. It can get bad, dehydration, if you don't stay on top of it. But the worst part is becoming headachy, irritable and bad tempered and making lousy decisions, which is readily fixed by slurping down a litre of water even when your throat isn't yet parched
If that were true, every animal except man would be dehydrated and likely die of it. Yet nature says differently.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,300
518
Canada
It would (probably has made) an interesting study. I mean, how would you find out if an animal felt thirsty before it drank? Or, if it kept drinking past the point of thirst? Or, if it was adhering to a policy of drinking whenever it saw the opportunity, thirsty or not.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,568
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I've carried electrolyte packs in the past. They taste terrible. Plus things as simple as Saltadex.
It's active transport uptake so sugars are essential to move the salts.
I carry far more water than I will ever need for myself, that's the easy part.
Your body tells you more things about dehydration than simply thirst. Learn those.
 

MrEd

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Feb 18, 2010
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I still cover up to protect from sun

I wear a hat

I don’t worry so much about fire, and don’t carry my stove but carry 2 extra water bottles and hydration powder. I avoid open fires ‘for the sake of it’ in very hot weather as they can spread to easily.

I avoid being out in the middle of the day

I still take a jacket and some layers as in the shade or the night it can get quite cool still

Otherwise, shorts.....
 

MrEd

Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
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It turns out that your body is rather rubbish at signalling the situation here

Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

By the time you have a dry throat, you are already dehydrated. Drink 2-3L per day just to keep your kidneys running properly, and much much more if you are exercising in the warm.

If you are worried about losing electrolytes hiking or whatever exertion-wise in the heat, take along a banana and some gatorade :lol::) Definitely drink when you don't want to. It can get bad, dehydration, if you don't stay on top of it. But the worst part is becoming headachy, irritable and bad tempered, making lousy decisions and essentially not realizing that these are symptoms of deydration, all of which are readily fixed by slurping down a litre of water even when your throat isn't yet parched

Your pee should be clear as crystal, not yellow, and it shouldn't really smell of anything. Asking a lot, right ? :lol::)
I go on my hydration status by the colour of my urine and the frequency.

Dark urine and feel thirsty and your already well into dehydration.

Even in the office at work I drink 2l of water a day + tea etc, and up the water to 3 litres in the summer.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,568
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McBride, BC
Rotten rainy kitchen day today.
Still, I estimate that by bed time, I'll have consumed at least 2 liters of coffee, maybe a soda,
glass of red with supper and so on.

In the long term, I can judge my hydration level very easily by the thickness of my fingers
and the lacings of my shoes! I can't use thirst as any useful index..
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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It would (probably has made) an interesting study. I mean, how would you find out if an animal felt thirsty before it drank? Or, if it kept drinking past the point of thirst? Or, if it was adhering to a policy of drinking whenever it saw the opportunity, thirsty or not.
Easy actually. I was a farmer and rancher. "Opportunity" was a constant. Yet they only drank once or twice a day (and not always that) and not only survived, but thrived. That said, you also mentioned how do we know whether they "kept drinking past the point of thirst." I suspect they do; just like we keep eating past the point of hunger. After all, it takes the brain a few minutes to catch up.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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.....I still take a jacket and some layers as in the shade or the night it can get quite cool still........
Depends on where you are I suppose. Our nightly lows are comfortable now (72f/22.2c) but further into the summer nightly lows will still hot enough to make sleep difficult outdoors.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
It turns out that your body is rather rubbish at signalling the situation here

Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

By the time you have a dry throat, you are already dehydrated. Drink 2-3L per day just to keep your kidneys running properly, and much much more if you are exercising in the warm.

If you are worried about losing electrolytes hiking or whatever exertion-wise in the heat, take along a banana and some gatorade :lol::) Definitely drink when you don't want to. It can get bad, dehydration, if you don't stay on top of it. But the worst part is becoming headachy, irritable and bad tempered, making lousy decisions and essentially not realizing that these are symptoms of deydration, all of which are readily fixed by slurping down a litre of water even when your throat isn't yet parched

Your pee should be clear as crystal, not yellow, and it shouldn't really smell of anything. Asking a lot, right ? :lol::)
Wrong info. Drinking when you are not thirsty will remove the elrctrolytes, as the kidneys will work hard to remove the excess water, and some needed electrolytes will pass through the kidneys even if you are getting low on them.

Food is sufficient in electrolytes in normal cases, but if you sweat excessively, or leach them out by overdrinking, you might need extra.
Table salt is a good electrolyte booster, as it contains the two we lose most, Sodium and Chloride.

Drinking excessive water is dangerous. Todays trend to slurp water at all times stems from the faulty idea that we have to drink several liters of water a day.
Companies that package tap water into plastic bottles do everything they can to keep this myth going around.