Hypothermia is the result of losing more heat than your body produces. It can have serious health consequences, even death. While wearing protective clothing plays a large part in reducing your risk of hypothermia (See Layering Made Easy), producing heat is the key to preventing hypothermia.
To keep your “furnace” in good working condition, you must regularly fuel it with food and water. Proper hydration and light snacks are essential to keep your body working well under pressure from cold weather.
When you’re active outdoors in the winter, there are a couple of ways your body can become dehydrated:
- Cold, dry air leads to losing water through your breath
- Physical activity leads to sweating
What’s the fix? Drinking water!
We don’t feel as thirsty in cold weather as we do on hot summer days. Plus, standing still in the cold and drinking cold water can seem counterproductive. That’s why we have a few tips for how to help you stay hydrated during your favourite wintertime outdoor activities:
- Always have a bottle of water handy
- Drink small amounts every 10 to 15 minutes
- Use insulated bottles (hydration pack tubing freezes quickly)
- Consider packing a hot beverage in a thermos (hot chocolate, broth, tea, etc.)
- Avoid drinking alcohol (it lowers your body temperature)
Check out Rando Quebec to learn how best to stay hydrated on your hikes.