Are you staying hydrated this winter or are you compromising your health so your bladder doesn’t interrupt your hunting?
Did you know that staying hydrated in the winter is just as important as in warm weather? As a hunter you spend more time outdoors than the majority of people.
That fog escaping from your lips or steaming up your face mask only to freeze later is water vapor escaping your lungs, slowly dehydrating you. Hot showers can strip your skin of natural oils and allow moisture to escape causing dry and itchy skin.
Cold weather studies at the University of New Hampshire * show that winter has an increased risk of dehydration, especially when spending long periods outdoors. Your body simply doesn’t feel thirsty because its focusing on core temperature. Even when you sweat in the winter you don’t feel as thirsty because blood flow is restricted to your extremities and the brain doesn’t trigger the hormones that make us conserve fluid and thirst sensation can be reduced up to 40 percent…40 percent!
The same study indicates that dogs experience the same decrease in thirst so please monitor your hunting dogs water intake and encourage them to drink more as well.
Staying hydrated not only keeps us alert for when that deer steps out but it also allows our body to regulate heat better. You will stay warmer if you stay hydrated. If you don’t stay hydrated it could accelerate hypothermia, a real problem for a hunter that sits all day during the late rut.
Listen to the signals your body is giving you. Use a scent free lotion when you get out of the shower, drink more water, even in the stand. Bring a thermos full of warm water to sip on, this gives you double the benefits, warmth and hydration.
Bring some electrolyte chews with you to supplement the water and charge your body when you finally get to drag that deer out of the woods. I recommend Sqwincher Chews or Clif Shot Bloks (both avalible on Amazon and select stores). If you must conserve bladder space, drink plenty of water when you aren’t hunting, choose water over soda or alcohol the night before hunting. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, bring a bottle of water with you, preferably not a cheap noisy plastic one.
Staying hydrated can allow you to hunt harder, longer even if that means you have to take a pee break.