What is Heat Stroke?

Once heat exhaustion has gone untreated, the afflicted person will begin experiencing symptoms of heat stroke. Heat stroke is not something that should be taken lightly, as it can quickly lead to irreversible injuries and death.

Heat stroke is one of the deadliest dangers of hiking, especially in hot climates. While most hikers will notice signs of heat exhaustion and either seek treatment or treat themselves, sometimes that is not the case. For example, when hikers get lost during their journey, they may not be able to avoid heat stroke as their water supply dwindles and their access to shade decreases. This is a terrifying and deadly situation that one too many people find themselves in while exploring the hot, red rock landscapes of the west. To avoid this fate, hikers will want to be familiar with their surroundings and be able to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion.

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What is Heat Exhaustion?

Before full-blown heat stroke hits, heat exhaustion will be experienced. Heat exhaustion is something that many people have experienced, whether they know it or not. Any time people are out in the heat for an extended time, they are at risk for heat exhaustion. Concerts, amusement parks, and other outdoor venues often have emergency personnel available, and most of the people they treat are seeking help for heat exhaustion.

A combination of the heat and the sun can dehydrate people much quicker than they are used to. On a normal day, a few glasses of water may be enough to stay hydrated, but when out in the heat, water intake will need to be doubled, or even tripled, to ward off heat exhaustion. When heat exhaustion strikes, individuals will often feel lethargic, dizzy, nauseous, and a slew of other symptoms. If any of these or any concerning symptoms occur, it’s imperative that the affected person receives proper treatment for heat exhaustion. Left untreated, heat exhaustion will quickly develop into heat stroke.