Five Steps to Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
The sweltering Louisiana heat is approaching max capacity, but that doesn’t mean the Gun Talk crew isn’t on the range. The hotter months seem to be our busiest time during the year on the range. With temperatures rising, don’t forget the basics. Here are a few tips on avoiding heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
First off, let’s get some terms out of the way. Heat exhaustion ensues when the body's core temperature is less than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but blood pressure is low, and the heart isn't pumping blood efficiently.
Heat stroke is more severe. It occurs when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The body’s central nervous system glitches and the body loses the ability of its thermoregulatory function.
This is an obvious one but often forgotten. Back when I sported a few marathons, hydration encompassed every thought. I'd meticulously plan each water stop and make damn sure my body kept running at an optimal level. Range time is no different. It's easy to think about drinking water when it's 97-degrees outside. The real problem occurs when you have cloud cover and plenty of shade. Even the slightest cool down tricks our bodies into thinking it’s not thirsty. Heat stroke or exhaustion are scary. Don’t let it sneak up on you.
Pre-pack your water, so you know how much you've consumed. A 36-ounce, or even better, 64-ounce container gives you an idea of how much water you’ve been drinking. Plus, you aren’t left with a bunch of plastic water bottles lying around. Keeping tabs on water consumption is far easier with one jug of water rather than a bunch of half-drank water bottles.
FILL A MAG
For Gun Talk, our plan is simple. If we fill mags, we drink water. It's easy to forget the very basics to hydration when the lead is flying, and cameras are rolling, but this leads to a breakdown of the body. The rule is simple. If you take a break to fill mags, drink eight- to 16-ounces of water.
Have you ever noticed after a day on the range that you didn’t take a leak the entire day? Yeah, not good. If you do answer the call and notice urine that is dark yellow, then it's time to get drinking.
If you're like me, you've done this one before. I take my son out fishing and spend more time worrying about his water consumption than my own. I do the same thing on the range. My time is spent making sure the entire crew's health hasn't slipped into the abyss. Don't forget about YOU!
Muscle cramps, heavy sweating, weakness, confusion, and dizziness are all symptoms of heat exhaustion and should be taken seriously. If you begin experiencing headaches, nausea, or a loss of consciousness, heat stroke could be setting in and should be dealt with immediately.
The body temperature must be lowered as soon as possible, nothing ruins a range day quicker than heat exhaustion or heat stroke. You are out of the game at that point. For those guys and gals out competing in the heat, you should remain hyper-aware of water consumption.
If you notice someone that is in danger speak up and act. Don’t stand by and assume they’re taking care of themselves. Prepare early and stay hydrated throughout the day to lessen the likelihood of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. ~ KJ
If you need a hydration container, click the links below.
Igloo Legacy Stainless Steel Growler (36 Ounce) - $24.99 – CLICK TO BUY
PURE Kids’ Stainless Steel Tumbler - $15.99 – CLICK TO BUY
BuildLife 1 Gallon Water Bottle with time marker - $8.21 - $29.99 – CLICK TO BUY
BUZIO Stainless Steel Water Bottle (64 Ounce) - $29.99 – CLICK TO BUY
RTIC Insulated Jug (One Gallon) - $69.95 – CLICK TO BUY
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.