The great outdoors—full of adventure and just waiting to be explored—what could possibly go wrong, right? Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few hazards. While people often focus on bears, poisonous snakes and other wildlife, it’s far more common to suffer from basic ailments.
The often ignored illnesses and issues that are far more common have more to do with being unprepared. Read on for the list of four risks that people overlook, but shouldn’t.
Worthy of a number one spot on this list, dehydration is a risk everyone knows about and yet, so many people still suffer the effects. Especially troublesome in the summer, in low-humidity environments and when engaging in physical activity, dehydration is a major problem for outdoor adventurers. It’s imperative to drink enough water and carry it with you, but there are plenty of other tips on preventing dehydration.
This ailment usually sets in at about 8,000 feet of elevation and is characterized by a throbbing headache, queasy stomach, dizziness and feelings of exhaustion. At its worst, altitude sickness can become extreme, effecting the brain and lungs, in that case it can be deadly and it’s imperative that those affected get to a lower altitude and seek medical help.
The most serious result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures, heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain if not treated. It’s usually partnered with dehydration and leads to a body temperature of 105 degrees or more. It can also cause a throbbing headache, muscle weakness, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, shallow breath, seizures and unconsciousness. Older people and outdoor athletes are at the highest risk. Drinking water, wearing sunscreen and avoiding the hottest part of the day (noon to three) are a few of the best ways to prevent heat stroke.
Even an issue in the summer months, hypothermia is too often dismissed as something that only happens in movies. This ailment is a major issue because it’s not taken seriously and because people don’t know that it’s happening when it does set in. Marked by shivering, loss of motor skills and impaired judgement, hypothermia is best avoiding by bringing along warm clothes and continuously moving.