Hot weather bushcrafting

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,658
1,620
McBride, BC
Thing is, the public tends to think of salt as no more or less than table salt = sodium chloride.
The bigger picture are the others, the potassium, calcium, magnesium and so on.

All of these things get lost, you can't stockpile any of them. They all need to be added.
Trendy name is electrolytes. My electrolyte packs look like a heaping teaspoon of dirty table salt.
Ask your pharmacist.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
We get plenty of electrolytes through our food, plenty enough for the odd over hydration/ super sweating event.

For longer stints of those it is not a bad idea to get replacement. I personally prefer the tablets.

Our bodies can take lack ( lower than optimal level) of vitamins/ minerals for days or a week or so without damage.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,658
1,620
McBride, BC
Assuming that everybody is always in excellent health to begin with.
Assuming that it isn't 35C over night and 45C every day in the wind.

I'm as guilty as anybody for compromising camping food menus for diversity.
Put a half dozen salt packs in the first aid kit and just remember where they are.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrEd

BrokenDoll

Member
Jul 4, 2018
12
8
Berkshire
Spent 2 nights camping in a wood in Somerset at the weekend. Tent was pitched in 2/3 shade and experienced no problem with heat despite the searing (for the UK!) temperature. Way too dry to risk a fire (not that it was needed for heat, just for ambience) so no wood gathering was required - cooking was done on a small 1 ring gas stove. Took loads of water with us but still needed to stock up on more before the weekend was out.

Anything requiring exertion was done in the morning (before 9 or 10am) or late evening if we still had the energy. Lounging around or a bit of sightseeing (aka visiting local hostelries) was the order of the day apart from that.

For the first time ever I forgot to take insect repellent ... and for the first time ever I didn't get bitten once :laugh: (though I did find an earwig nestled deep in my hair when I got home). Not sure if the heat had knackered the bugs too much to attack me or if I've just become less juicy with age :sour:

It was pretty warm throughout the night so we unzipped the sleeping bags and just used them as covers.

It was far more enjoyable than I thought it would be, I was expecting to dissolve into a pool of sweat by 8am but the tree cover really helped.

EDITED TO ADD: We froze a number of the water bottles and used them to keep food cool on the first day. They had defrosted by the next morning but were still cold so were nice and refreshing to drink.
 
Last edited:

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,708
988
63
Florida
Assuming that everybody is always in excellent health to begin with.
Assuming that it isn't 35C over night and 45C every day in the wind.....
Sounds like a Las Vegas summer. Never had a problem living there (and working in that heat) for 5 years. But you're right, I was young and healthy then
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robson Valley

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,833
1,446
55
W.Sussex
Kinda what I meant earlier when I said electrolyte replacement supplements aren't really needed with modern diets. We eat enough salty stuff just because we like it and it's available cheaply.
Magnesium and Potassium are quite important. My electrolyte fizzy tablets contain zero Sodium. Last couple of nights I’ve been getting leg cramps in bed. The solution sorts it out.

Icy cold watermelon has been very welcome, as coconut water. A Coleman 70 litre coolbox kept cold by several frozen bottle of water worked a treat. Still had ice cubes in bags after 3 days, so the box was a great investment. Bit like the Igloos, but way cheaper.
 
Last edited:

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,350
544
Canada
Does it tell you what the Mg, K etc. dosages are on your electrolyte, Nice?

I was looking around for some salt/rehydration packs (usually I just take the tablets) and found there's great variation in things, but also stuff like Stevia .. which tastes like rechewed bubblegum
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,833
1,446
55
W.Sussex
Does it tell you what the Mg, K etc. dosages are on your electrolyte, Nice?

I was looking around for some salt/rehydration packs (usually I just take the tablets) and found there's great variation in things, but also stuff like Stevia .. which tastes like rechewed bubblegum
Yup, but having just got the loupe out to read it all properly, they do contain Sodium. They’re the SiS Go tablets, google lists the ingredients. Sweetener is sucralose. I’d rather no artificial sweeteners at all, in anything, but sugar has been demonised, so they’re everywhere.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/science-in-sport-go-hydro-tablets-20-tabs/
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,708
988
63
Florida
I take daily supplements (vitamins and minerals) but not really for electrolyte replacement. Mg and potassium are both in the list of included supplements on one of the supplemental pills (a generic equivalent of Centrum) That said, those two particular ingredients aren't part of the reason I take them. Rather I was recommended to take a daily supplement of several others on the list and the once daily multi-vitamin is the easiest way. Even then I still need a few other separate supplements but if my goal was to raise potassium levels I'd just eat a banana a day. To be honest, I pretty much do that just because I like bananas anyway. This time of year I eat watermelon almost daily too although not usually iced (it never makes it to the fridge after being cut. LOL)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Nice65

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,658
1,620
McBride, BC
Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. With others, you need these things every day.
You can't stockpile any of them. We need steady intake. Even stress will cause ( not fiction = fact) you to shed what you need.
All kinds of meds trigger loss. Hot weather triggers loss.

Good big dose of peanut butter is better than a banana in terms of the quantity of potassium delivered.
So have a PB & banana sandwich!

I found my electrolyte packets. Even Aspartame as a sweetener. 1 tsp real sugar hides all of the tastes.
People get sick and shed lots of minerals in dehydration which has nothing at all to do with the weather.
Blood volume drops and they are in trouble.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Nature is fantastic. Our food, if eaten as intended, will provide what we need if we behave as nature intended.

Our food contains much more than needed of the electrolytes, but we wee it out normally. In heat we sweat it out more, so less in urine.

But, we need to behave as we should. No running marathons in heat, but walking slowly and shading ourselves.

Remember any tv program about an African tribe, or Aussie Aboriginies?

They walk slow. Rest in shade mid day.


Peanut butter and banana sandwich? Insult to my European tastebuds!
:)

Also, remember, 2 or 3 days outside in the heat will be fine without any additional electrolyte intake. Eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty and enjoy the nice weather!
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
My physiology is geared towards the cold/arctic. Always has been. I do not feel cold easily.
As I live in a hot country ( Maritime Tropical) this makes my life ‘interesting’.
I spend most of my life in AC environment, indoors, but as I like gardening and also am rebuilding two cars at the moment (outdoors, in shade) i spend at least one or two hours a day outdoors in the heat.
In the weekends up to 8 hours outside.

My way to cope with the heat is to try to be in shade as much as I can. To wrap a wet tshirt around head. To wear long sleeved cotton t shirts.
Drink a little bit often.
By habit I do not salt my food. I eat normally a varied diet, think vegetarian with added meat and fish. Meat = muscle meat plus liver, kidneys, tripe, blood.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,350
544
Canada
Re. Potassium.

Luckily, I like most of the high potassium foods quite a lot, but I can go a period where I don't eat any of them, not even potato chips.

Potassium supplements in pill form here are, by law, only allowed to be 100mg which, in RDA terms is nothing at all.

So, there is potassium chloride. Often used as a salt substitute and a little bit provides a quite high percentage of RDA.

Do we have an opinion on this as an option for running up electrolyte packs? (Noting its cheapness and ready availability) :)

I am a big fan of the very minimalist FAK, but electrolye replacement seems a sane addition and probably as frequently useable as sun tan lotion, bugspray and Afterbite
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,658
1,620
McBride, BC
What's considered to be the "normal range" of values for blood electrolytes?
I'll be finding out where I fit in, next week.
One known side effect of several meds is a promotion of electrolyte loss.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I hope your MD tells you that you need to increase your alcohol intake and start smoking Marijuana .

As you know, a joint a day keeps Ms Death away....

Does your MD know your blood electrolytes before you were put on the meds?

If not, testing is of a lesser value. If you were towards the liwer accepted value before and now have the same level, you are perfect. If your level was towards the high end of the scsle, and now is in the middle, you are losing that electrolyte..
I hope you understand my fragmented Inglis....
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,350
544
Canada
I'll be learning some K+ and Mg++ dose numbers quite soon and will report.
The RDAs are easy enough to find and are remarkably constant I have thought, given the nature of the 'net. The dosages are easy enough to sort out too from the packaging .. just reminding oneself of the difference between mg and mcg :lol: and whatever it is that an International Unit turns out to be.

Some questions arise around absorption, I think.

Some years ago I did a bunch of research into vitamin and mineral RDAs after having a conversation with a friend my age who'd had a lot of his intestine removed in his twenties. He has to monitor quite closely his intake of all sorts of things and it was he who told me about potassium and sodium depletion leading to clanky muscles, lack of focus and feckless irritability. I just thought that was my personality. But, no! He let me know of the benefits of potato chips.

Anyway, those RDAs remain the same and the information about their dietary sources does too. What I find as issues are: 1) possible variations in absorption between dietary and supplemental sources and 2) getting into a routine of eating which gives you the vitamins and minerals in close to RDA doses, but which doesn't become tedious.

Some multivitamin manufacturers (Rainbow Light eg) make big claims about the comprehensiveness of their dosage.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Vitamins and other supplements are difficult for the body to absorb, hence the fairly high levels in them.

Some people have extra difficulties absorbing one or more of the nutrients.
Everybody should have a comprehensive check of the levels from time to time.

If you have good levels, it is pointless to eat those tablets, all you achieve is to get very expensive urine!

If you are low, you need to look into your diet brfore you start taking supplements.
Today we have access to the best foodstuff during the human history and there are no excuses to eat a nutritionally perfect diet!.