Home > Hiking hints > Health & safety > Hypo(er)thermia
Symptoms to watch for ...
Wet, wind and cold can cause hypothermia and it can happen very quickly. Exhaustion, stumbling, uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, loss of memory and drowsiness are some of the symptoms. Hypothermia can kill!
The following points can assist to avoid hypothermia:
- Stay dry : put on rain-gear before you get wet
- Strip off wet clothing and put on dry clothes
- Beware of wind - it whips heat away from skin, and cools wet clothes
- Wear a warm cap to avoid heat loss
- Have warm, sweet drinks
- Seek shelter while you still have energy, but try to stay near the path.
Hyperthermia (heat exhaustion)
Hot weather, insufficient liquid and exhaustion can cause hyperthermia or heat exhaustion. Exhaustion, stumbling, dizziness, headaches and impaired vision are some of the symptoms.
The following points can assist to avoid hyperthermia:
- Hike in the cool of morning and evening
- Rest in the shade during midday
- Wear a sun hat with a wide brim to protect the back of your neck
- Drink at least 150 ml (one cup) of water an hour
- Wear cool, cotton-type clothing.