WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — With all of the heat and humidity central Kentucky has been getting lately, it's essential to stay cool and hydrated when you're outside. Members of the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team say they know it's something more people need to keep in mind.
Drinking plenty of water is essential when venturing out on a hot day, or any day, and many people do that. However, Drew Stevens with the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team says more people are dehydrated on a daily basis than we may think.
"According to the New York Medical Center Cornell study, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated," said Stevens. "While many people drink eight servings of hydrating beverages per day, that is often offset by the consumption of things like caffeine, alcohol, a diet high in sodium that actually work to dehydrate you."
The search and rescue team has seen the adverse side effects of not being hydrated enough on the trails.
"Most folks when they come out here to hike, they're already dehydrated before they even hit the trail," said Stevens. "Some of the symptoms of dehydration include fatigue and weakness. When you start experiencing those symptoms, you become more likely to make that error that could lead you to becoming lost or to make that misstep that could contribute to injury."
So, before you head out, Stevens says, make sure you're already hydrated. Then not only bring some water, bring enough for everyone in your group. Also, take some back-ups.
"You want to bring a way to purify water as a backup in an emergency because sometimes you're out in the woods longer than you plan to be there," said Stevens. "For instance, something like water purification tablets. They take up less room than a couple batteries. Or something like [a] mini filter. That's about the size of maybe a multi-tool or a larger maker."
These items will help you safely drink from a natural water source if your water supply runs out.
"Preparation is the key to hydration," said Stevens.
It's also the key to staying safe and enjoying the summer.