Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Sun, 8 Oct 1995 19:04:32 GMT
In re dehydration, Jeff Menaker wrote:
>little urination, and dark yellow when there is
>one should drink a lot when engaged in physical activity to avoid
This is part of the story. To abstract from what we were taught in Navy
Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) School in 1981:
The body's thirst mechanism is notoriously unreliable, especially in
hot, dry weather and in very cold weather. The best way to monitor
one's level of hydration is to monitor the color of one's urine.
"By the time you feel thirsty, you're two quarts low."
If the urine stream is clear, or nearly so, one is sufficiently
hydrated. If it starts trending towards a decided yellow color,
one is underhydrated. If it becomes dark yellow, one is severely
dehydrated. Finally, if the urine stream is orange or brown, the
kidneys are dumping protein and one is in great danger of permanent
kidney damage, if not outright death.
If one is not urinating, that is a danger signal in and of itself.
My troop is located in southern California. We do much camping in
desert and subdesert terrain. Severe dehydration in the course of a
weekend may happen, and severe dehydration during summer camp is a
common occurence. I ensure that my Scouts know about checking the
color of their urine, and hydrating when it starts to become darker
as a preventive measure against dehydration.
Headache, chills, fever and vomiting can accompany dehydration. They
can mimic influenza. If a Scout has any of these, have him drink some
water as a first step. It does no harm, and it ameliorates these
conditions if dehydration is the root cause of them.
While it is possible to overhydrate, it is exceedingly difficult.
As a result of our Scouts knowing how to monitor their own level of
hydration, my troop is fortunate enough not to have had any severe
dehydration cases on any of our outings.
The key to treating dehydration is preventive education. It is far
better to hydrate often during the day in small increments than to
give large amounts of water to a person who is prostrated from severe
dehydration. "Be Prepared."
Disclaimer: I am not a physician, and my information is 14 years old.
Perhaps one of the physicians who reads SCOUTS-L would be kind enough
to verify or amplify upon the information I have submitted to this
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 852, Camarillo, CA
Ventura County Council, Boy Scouts of America
National Woodbadge 416-18, Philmont, 1973
"I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City