You’ve been planning your Holy Land tour for a long time and you’ll making your long awaited summer pilgrimage to Israel. You’ve packed your sunscreen, walking sandals and hat as well as all the appropriately cool clothing – after all the last thing you want is to be dressed too warmly when you are outside hiking around.
But what most people under pack – is water! And a bout of dehydration can truly ruin a trip.
What is dehydration? Dehydration occurs when the body looses so much salt and sugar it can no longer retain water causing a potentially dangerous physical condition that, in its most serious state, can be deadly. Symptoms include dizziness, blurred vision, quick heart beat, vomiting, headache, shivers, and exhaustion. Keeping your body filled with water, salt and sugar will keep you feeling strong and help you stay hydrated.
Travelujah has prepared 10 tips for you to help keep you safe from the summer sizzle. We highly recommend you read each of these so that you can be properly equipped for backpacking in Israel or hiking in and around Israel.
1) Wear a hat – Not only is direct sun bad for you but it can cause sunstroke. Keep your head covered will keep you cool and provide protection from the sun.
2) When to hike in Israel – There is a reason why the local population takes a rest between 2 and 4 pm – that is when the suns rays are the hottest. You should do your hiking in the early morning hours or alternatiavely, after 5 pm in the afternoon. Thankfully we have light until 8:00 pm so its quite easy to hike in Israel during the late afternoon hours.
3) Drink a lot! At a minimum, you should be drinking four liters of water. If your hike is especially difficult you need to be drinking more. You don’t need to be thirstyto drink!
4) Carry iodine or water purification pills -make sure your hiking route has springs or other water sources along the way in case you need more water.
5) Don’t forget to eat – As your body sweats it releases salts which need to be replaced therefore packing salty snack foods like nuts, dried fruit, granola bars and trail mix is highly recommended.
6) Keep your clothing loose and on – You might think you are staying cooler by removing your shirt you’re your clothes provide protection from the sun and heat. Loose fitting clothes are the rule.
7) Have emergency numbers with you (100 for police, 101 for ambulances, 102 is fire)
8) Take a first aide kit Along with your other medical necessities make sure your first aide kit includes a salt pouch as well as sugar with lemon juice. Mixing 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar and 1 cup of lemon or orange juice into a 1.5 liter bottle of water can offer critical relief.
9) Recognize the symptoms of dehydration – Symptoms include dizziness, blurred vision, quick heart beat, vomiting, headache, shivers, exhaustion. If you or anyone in your party starts to get a headache at night, or any other symptom – begin treatment by providing liquids slowly, using a wet towel, removing excess clothing, and rest.
10) Beware and be aware! – Dehydration is serious so make sure you stay alert. Keep close tabs on how you are feeling and stay informed as to how those around you are feeling.
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Elisa L. Moed is the founder and CEO of Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on Holy Land tours. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.