Hypothermia is the number one killer
of outdoor recreationists. It occurs when the body temperature
is lowered and unable to produce heat. Signs include shivering,
slow or slurred speech, fumbling or immobile fingers, stumbling,
sleepiness, and exhaustion. Should someone in your group start
to show signs, get them into a warm environment by removing all
wet clothing. Do not let them drink anything containing caffeine
or alcohol, and do not let them sleep until all signs are gone.
Utilize layering techniques to wick away moisture while retaining
body warmth. Check the weather reports before entering the wilderness.
Always bring rain gear.
Humans, wild animals, and some domestic animals
carry giardiasis organisms. They are spread by improper
disposal of human and animal feces. Bury all feces at least 8
inches deep and at least 100 feet from water. Don't let your
dogs or other domestic animals defecate in or near water supplies.
Bring your own bottled water or a water treatment container such
as HEALTH SHIELD, which is a scoop-and-drink system.
Signs include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, fatigue, and
loss of weight. Treatment by a physician is the only way to kill
Heat-related illness occurs when
your body is unable to cool itself, causing muscle cramping, and
heat stroke may set in. Temperatures during heat stroke will rise
as high as 105-107°, and death can result if the core temperature
is not rapidly reduced.
Signs include dehydration, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness, weakness,
Remedy is to remove the person from the heat, cool with wet towels
or clothing, rest, and give ½ glass of water or approximately
4 oz. every half hour.
Do not give salt tablets, sodas or juices containing high levels
of sugar, caffeine or alcohol. Monitor activity to avoid exertion.
Lightning can occur from big, white,
puffy clouds that will turn into thunderstorms. Always check weather
reports. Avoid tall trees, high ridges and seek cover in a valley
or ravine, crouch down with only your feet touching the ground.
Ticks are everywhere there is vegetation.
At higher elevations they are rare, but during abnormal heat they
will be around. Prevention is best. Wear long sleeved shirts and
pants tucked into your socks. Spray your clothes with repellent
that contains DEET. To remove a tick, place tweezers as close to
the tick's head then gently pull the tick out. Also, you can soak
the tick with cooking oil for a couple days (swab on with cotton
ball) and it will back out as it can no longer breathe.
Feeding wildlife is not in their
best interest. People food is not designed for bears, squirrels,
and deer, even though it is very tempting. When an animal is unable
to digest something, it remains in the stomach. The animals feel
full and eventually will starve. Please remember, most animals
become aggressive when they realize humans provide food.
Bears deserve respect, not garbage. Secure
your food and trash properly at all times. Go to the website
below for more information.