Safety Tips for Canyoning
Do not wait until you are hungry or thirsty to refuel. The loss of electrolytes and exceed two quarts per hour if you are canyoning during the hottest part of the day. Even if you become slightly dehydrated the less efficient your body will be able to react as you heat up. It is recommended to drink one-half to one quart of fluid that has electrolytes every hour when hiking in heat with high humidity. Eat salty snacks every time you take a drink.
If you are canyoning during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, and you are in direct sunlight, take breaks under shade. Another good tip is if you are near water, to soak yourself down and travel wet during the heat of the day. It is better to start early morning and complete your trip late afternoon. Always bring a lightweight flash light in case you get side tracked of the time.
Know the 4-H’s
Heat Exhaustion…a person can lose up to two quarts of water per hour due to intense sweating. Symptoms include cool-moist skin, cramps, headaches, pale face, nausea/vomiting! Treatment includes drinking water with electrolytes, rest in shade for at least 45 minutes and soak the body’s clothing to cool off.
Heat Stroke…your body loses its ability to regulate body heat. Symptoms include confusion, dry skin, flushed face, high body temperature, poor judgment, weak and rapid pulse. Heat exhaustion can quickly turn into heat stroke, if left unattended! Treatment – cool the victim immediately; immerse the victim in cold water if at all possible or pour water over the victim. Move the victim to shade and remove all excessive clothing. Get the victim to the hospital as soon as possible.
Hyponatremia or water intoxication is when a person loses too much salt by drinking too much water. Symptons include confusion, frequent urination, nausea/vomiting and may appear to be intoxicated. If left unattended, seizures may occur. Treatment includes having the victim eat salty foods and slowly drink fluid with electrolytes, rest in shade. If victim’s mental alertness decreases, get to hospital as soon as possible.
Hypothermia is when the victim can’t get warm, due to exhaustion and exposure to cold, wet windy conditions. Symptoms include careless attitude, poor muscle control, uncontrolled shivering, and having a case of the “umbles” (fumbling, grumbling, mumbling, and stumbling). Treatment includes replacing the wet clothing with dry ones and drinking warm sugary liquids protect the victim from wind, rain and cold.