Too Hot to Handle

November 8, 2021
Although the first snowfall has hit the Adirondacks, my current “Adirondoc” column is on heat illnesses.  It seemed timely because there has been an increasing number of reports of serious and fatal heat injury occurring among otherwise healthy users of the outdoors.  The most recent was the horrible deaths, in California, of a young couple, their child, and their dog.
The reasons for this increase are not clear, but I have little doubt that recent dramatic weather changes, consequent to global climate change, is a contributor.  Lovers of the outdoors must become vocal advocates for climate science; we must also remember that most heat illnesses begin with dehydration.  Checking for water availability and planning accordingly must be a routine part of trek planning, especially in new areas.