When you’re out and about in the harsh conditions of the Top End of Australia, it’s pretty easy to feel hot and bothered. Add to that a bout of dehydration and it will make you feel not only more uncomfortable; it can be dangerous to your health, and even fatal in extreme cases.
Signs of dehydration include; dry or sticky mouth, dark yellow urine, headache, muscle cramps, feeling dizzy, rapid heartbeat or breathing, fainting, diarrhea and vomiting, amongst others.
So, don’t let a case of dehydration get in the way of a wonderful travelling experience; follow the tips below to make sure you’re not left parched while on tour.
Drink plenty of H2O
It goes without saying that you need to make sure you’re drinking enough water to avoid dehydration, and to replace the water you lose naturally through sweating. But how much water is enough? The typical standards say around two litres a day for adults, but when you’re active in hotter climates, your water intake requirements could be more than double that. To keep your fluids up, be sure to have a large water bottle on you at all times, we recommend at least 750ml capacity. You'll also need a place to fill up regularly, like a large water cooler in your vehicle for top ups on the go.
A further measure when it's really hot is to add electrolytes, like Hydralyte to your water bottle to replenish some of what you are losing through sweat.
Eat water-rich foods
Even though straight-up water is the best source of H2O, you can also increase your water intake by eating foods like watermelon, cucumber, oranges, apples and tomatoes.
Beverages like coffee, tea, alcohol and soft drinks act as diuretics (which means they make you go to the toilet more), causing you to lose water at a faster rate. If you know you have a big day of touring out in the hot sun, it’s best to avoid these types of drinks and stick to plain ol’ water.
Check your meds
Just like the drinks we just mentioned, some medications can act as diuretics. But before you toss the pills, have a chat with your doctor about whether any of your medications may speed up the process of dehydration and seek out their advice on how to best manage your water intake when travelling to the Top End.
Keep your cool
Scheduling strenuous outdoor activities for the coolest part of the day will help you avoid dehydration, the mornings are particularly good as well as late-afternoons. Then in the hotter parts of the day activities that are in the shade or cool you down are ideal. Luckily, there’s no shortage of swimming spots, art galleries and cultural centres throughout the Top End, which means you can still tick plenty of sights and experiences off the travel bucket list while keeping cool.
We hope you found these general tips useful and please remember if you are feeling signs of dehydration please let someone know. Safe travels :)