Tuesday, December 13, 2016
It's easy to get dehydrated in the cold of a northern winter. Even though I'm aware of the problem, I let it happen to me. Saturday, my lovely wife and I hit the ground running. We had a busy day with no down time to speak of. By late afternoon I was starting to feel a bit wonky. Pushed through it, finished my errands and got home by early evening.
Only then did it occur to me that I'd only had a cup of coffee to drink all day. Then I drank 5 glasses of water in a row and felt much much better. Except for feeling like an idiot. I know it's necessary to keep drinking when it's cold, even though you don't feel thirsty. Heck, I even wrote a blog about it years ago.
Cold dry winter air just sucks the moisture out of a person's body. If you are doing work outside in those conditions it's even worse. Dehydration is a serious concern for winter hikers, but anyone doing outside activities can fall victim to it.
You don't even have to work outside to get dehydrated. During cold weather home humidity can plummet. Good humidifiers can prevent that, and make your house feel warmer too. The humidity in my house was fine until temperatures dropped to sub zero temperatures. Normally a big kettle of water on the woodstove provides enough moisture. I've had to add a second kettle and a big roasting pan full of water.
Another thing I do is hang laundry on an inside line. Why run the dryer to expel that valuable moisture out of the house? We normally do the laundry in the evening. The clothes dries overnight and we pick it up in the morning. That way if we have company during the day they don't have to look at it hanging in my kitchen.
It's easier to remember to drink when it's hot and sunny outside. Who wants to drink ice cold water when it's freezing out? I like to keep a big jug of room temperature water in the winter. It goes down better when it's not freezing your fillings.
I'm lucky I remembered to drink before I got really sick. Just because a person knows better doesn't mean they always do the right thing.