The Mountain Walker Guide
Continuing our guidance on winter travel to the mountain regions, this week, we will focus on hydration during winter travel, why it is important and some tips on how to keep our bodies hydrated.
It is generally accepted that the human body is composed of nearly 70% water. Hence, maintaining proper water balance in our bodies is very important. During summers, it is relatively easy to drink plenty of water to maintain that balance; however, it becomes a bit difficult in winter since we don’t feel as thirsty or feel the need to drink water as regularly as in the summer.
This brief but important guide on Hydration During Winter travel should help those travelling to cold mountain regions in winter.
Some major points why water intake in winters is important include:
- Body uses a lot of water to regulate the body temperature since it has to work extra in cold weather.
- Winters are cold and dry, hence, we don’t get much moisture from the environment.
- Because of the warm clothing we wear to prevent the cold from seeping in, the body loses water through perspiration.
- Water helps to acclimatise and fight against cold and flu and also in digestion (food intake gets higher in cold weather).
- In cold climate, we urinate more than usual.
A few simple and helpful points on how to keep the water inflow and outflow high in winters will enable you to improve Hydration during winter travel:
- Drink lukewarm water, since cold or normal-temperature water (especially when it’s very cold) is difficult to drink and can cause throat irritation.
- Drink fluids in other forms, like green tea, soups, juices, etc.
- Eat food and fruits which are high in water content, like apple, green vegetables, strawberry, etc.
- Wear layered and breathable clothing so as to reduce water loss due to perspiration.
- Aerated drinks, caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body, therefore exercise your judgment when partaking
There are other reasons and tips on hydration, but these are a few common and major ones. Make sure you have enough water stocked for the road travel.
Don’t think that reducing water intake will reduce the frequency of urinating. This laziness has more ill-effects than benefits. Try drinking less water or fluid, but more frequently. My favourite advise is to have 3-4 sips of water every 15 minutes.
Proper Hydration during winter travel will not only help you to acclimatise and adapt to the environment, it will also prevent you from falling sick and make the entire vacation enjoyable so that when we get back home we are healthy, fit and refreshed.