Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion is the opposite of hypothermia—the core body temperature increases, usually as a result of hot and humid conditions, plus a lack of water.
Prevention of Heat Exhaustion
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take frequent breaks if you’re hiking to or from your hunting spot, especially when carrying a large load.
- Dress in layers, and shed layers as physical activity increases.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
- Pale and clammy skin
- Muscle cramps
Treatment of Heat Exhaustion
- Move the victim to a cool place.
- Have the victim lie down and elevate their feet.
- Cool the victim with cold packs or wet cloths. Fan them.
- If the victim is conscious, give them cold water.
- If the victim's condition does not improve within 30 minutes, seek medical help.
Heat stroke should be treated as a medical emergency—it can be fatal.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
- Dry, hot, and flushed skin—dark or purple in color
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Shallow breathing
- High temperature—may be in excess of 106° Fahrenheit
Treatment of Heat Stroke
- Move the victim to a cool place. Remove heavy clothing; light clothing can be left in place.
- Immediately cool the victim by any available means. An effective method is to wrap the victim in wet towels or sheets, and fan the victim. Keep cloths wet with cool water. If ice is available, place ice packs at areas with abundant blood supply (e.g., neck, armpits, and groin). Continue cooling the victim until their body temperature drops to 102° Fahrenheit. Stop at this point to prevent seizures and hypothermia. Keep head and shoulders slightly elevated.
- All heat stroke victims need hospitalization. Seek medical attention as fast as possible. Continue cooling en route.