Heat is no joke

As a field biologist, working outside in all variety of weather conditions comes with the occupation. The past few years I have been working in some extreme heat for field work. I have worked/lived outside in 37C/100F+ temperatures for days/weeks at a time. Every season I have worked that has a new/aspiring field biologist, there has been some sort of issue in relation to heat or cold. It is so easy to not drink enough water in the heat. It catches up on you really fast, too. No matter how much it is stressed there is always one that over heats or just doesn't drink enough water. It is much better to hydrate and be sweaty or have to urinate than it is to deal with what happens when you stop sweating.

One of the worst experiences I've had working outside in the heat early in my career had more to do with what I did after I left the field: I took a hot shower. I came in from a long day in high heat and in a tick filled area. My usual treatment for tick heavy days was a hot shower. This day I took that hot shower and then pretty much passed out shortly after. I didn't even eat dinner. The next day I was sluggish and felt hung over. I learned my lesson that day. I also learned about trying to keep my body acclimated to the temperatures to the point where the heat doesn't bother me as much as it could. I tend to avoid use of air conditioning, especially during the field season. It honestly makes life much easier. Once acclimated to temperatures the high heat doesn't seem so bad.

I have also experienced the not sweating in the heat once. I managed to catch it myself and get myself into cooler area so I could hydrate and cool off. I won't lie, it was a scary experience when I realized what was going on. It was all because I was working an event and hadn't gotten a drink in awhile. I know much better now to not put that off no matter how busy I am.

This post inspired by a field n00b almost getting to the point of heat stroke in the field.

Current mood: #hydratingweasel


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