Don't dehydrate this winter

posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in Tips & Safety

Dehydration seems like a summer problem, but it is common in winter weather, too. In fact, dehydration is more likely to catch you unawares in the winter because you don't notice yourself sweating. But you're not just perspiring or urinating more on a cold day, you're also losing moisture through your lungs into cold, dry air (that's the cloud of breath on a chilly day).

Dehydration can cause deizziness and confusion, and according to U.S. Army scientists, can reduce resistance to cold weather injuries.

Keep drinking. According to the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, it is vital to drink plenty of water in cold weather. Don't eat snow instead. It can irritate the lining of your mouth and lower body temperature.

A handy Army tip: water in a canteen or bottle freezes from the top down, so carry it upside down.

Pay close attention to horses and livestock - they are prone to winter dehydration, too.

*As printed in the Homestead publication. Winter 2017 / Volume 16 / Issue 5 / Page 31 / Bits & Pieces