It is important to prevent heat stroke while logging. The best pieces of timber are usually miles away from any medical help. This is a good reason to learn how to prevent sun stroke and how to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke. Here are ways you can prevent heat exhaustion in the woods.
Time Required: Mere Minutes
- Get an Early Start
Work during the coolest part of the day. The lowest temperatures of the day are typically in the early morning hours. Make it your goal to be at the job site at first light ready to work. You can get a lot done during this time period, without having to worry to much about getting heat stroke.
- Drink Lots of Fluids
Bring a cooler to work with you fully stocked with ice, water, and drinks that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes help your body stay hydrated, and the cool temperature of the drinks can help bring your core temperature down. Avoid carbonated beverages. Caffeine and carbonation in soda pop can actually dehydrate your body.
- Take Frequent Breaks
Many loggers think it is weak, or a sign of laziness to take frequent breaks. While this may be true during most of the year, when it is hot outside it is smart to take breaks often. Find a shady place away from any logging activities, remove your chainsaw chaps, helmet, and any other heat trapping gear and allow your body to cool down for at least 15 minutes. Do this at least 3 times per day, and as often as every hour when there are heat advisories in effect.
- Dress Lightly
Wear lightly colored, light weight material clothing. T-shirts are fine, but I prefer to wear the light weight cotton/polyester button up shirts. They are thinner and more durable than T-shirts. Skip the blue jeans, instead where the lighter weight uniform type work pants. They are often more durable than jeans anyway.
- Work Smart
Don't do loggers hurdles. Jumping over a felled tree or log is not only unsafe, but you will exert energy and produce extra body heat. Logging is hard work all on it's own, no need to wear yourself out on unnecessary activities. Look for ways to do your work smarter, with less physical exertion. You will get more work done and be less fatigued at the end of the day.
- Go Home Early
Sometimes it is just to hot and humid to work. It doesn't mean you are lazy if you go home early on a really hot day. Think about all the work you will miss if you get sick from heat exhaustion. It is better to lose a few hours of work, then to lose several days recovering from heat stroke.
- Recognize the Symptoms
Pay attention to your body. If you start to get dizzy, have a hard time breathing, or you stop sweating it is time to call it quits for the day. You may in fact be having a heat stroke at this point, especially if you have stopped sweating and your skin starts to turn red. Get some medical attention immediately if you see these signs, it could be fatal if you don't.