In terms of sustaining the human body, nothing is more essential than water. The body can go for long periods of time without large quantities of calories; however, it cannot survive for long without water and dehydration effects come on quickly.
Our bodies can readily adapt to emergency situations and it can even use up its emergency stores of glucose, protein and fat to ensure that your organs are working even if you’re not eating very well. However, if there’s no water, it can just choose to shut down, system by system, until lethal dehydration occurs.
The human body is more than 60% water and requires the “elixir of life” for proper thermoregulation and other physiological functions.
What happens when you don’t find water fast enough in the wilderness?
There are many factors that come into play when it comes to determining a person’s level of dehydration. Stress, fatigue, heat/cold exposure – these are just some of the dehydration effects that will predict the speed at which you lose water.
Below are some common signs of dehydration:
How much water does a person lose on the average?
If water is a scarce resource, you may want to conserve water in your body by moving about in the evening or by taking small, frequent sips from your canister of water.
If you spend the whole day walking and working in a very hot environment, you may begin to suffer from symptoms of dehydration and hyperthermia.
How will you know if you’re dehydrated?
If your urine is almost colorless and is of a good volume, you’re well hydrated and you can safely perform rigorous activities even in warm weather.
However, if the color of your urine is dark yellow to almost tea-colored, you’re already dehydrated. The general recommendation in this situation is to drink water immediately to bring your body’s moisture level up.
If you don’t urinate for 10 to 12 hours straight, your body is probably in an emergency state because it is dehydrated. You’re not producing much urine because your body is desperately holding on to the water that is available to it.
If you only have very limited water, you have to exert extra effort in conserving this precious resource. Here are some expert survival tips:
Your muscles need glucose primarily so stick to carbohydrate sources for the short-term. Carbohydrates do not require a lot of moisture to break down and are perfect for scarce water scenarios.