I live in the Pacific Northwest, and consider myself gifted because I live in the wettest place in the continental United States. Most people might not like rain, but rain is water, and everyone and everything needs water. That’s why as I sit here listening to the drumming of the shower on the roof outside, I’ve decided to write something about one of the most basic and needed essentials for all life.
The Obvious: First off, you obviously would die without water. But there’s a total difference between dying of thirst, and just being dehydrated. Many people are actually dehydrated more than they would have actually expected. Though everyone is different, most people should have at least six to eight cups of water (eight ounces each) a day. A lot of people, though, choose soda or sugary drinks over water when they get thirsty, and this is not only unhealthy, but it doesn’t satisfy thirst nearly as effectively as plain water would.
Our Bodies: The human body contains a lot of weight, and in fact, more than half of a body’s weight is water. Up until recently, doctors had thought that our bodies were only about 20% water, but they now know that that number is closer to about 72%. Oh, and did you know that our brains are also 80% h2o? The human body needs water to survive because every single cell that is living and dying in your body, and all of the organs, need water to live and keep you going.
Sickness and Headaches: Being dehydrated isn’t fun. It feels really gross actually, and can make you “ill” in a sense. You know you’re dehydrated if you have any of the following symptoms: headaches, fatigue, vertigo, dry mouth, dark urine. People need to drink lots of water, that’s safe to say, but it’s extremely important that if you’re already sick from the flu or another virus, to get lots of fluids and h2o, otherwise you can be more susceptible to bacteria and other foreign invasions.
A True and Tragic Story: In the scorching desert of Utah, Dave Buschow found himself weak and dehydrated. He was fatigued, suffering from vertigo, and was so delirious, that he thought a tree was a human. It wasn’t until ten grueling hours snaked their way by under the baking sun, that Buschow met a horrible fate on his second day in the desert. He died without water in weather that was at least 100 degrees.
Buschow shouldn’t have died, because though maybe someone wandering around in the wilderness couldn’t have helped meeting such a cruel end, this 29-year-old man had been hiking with several other people. In fact, not all of these individuals were just hikers, but a few were experienced guides who made a living teaching others how to survive in the wild. Of course, this didn’t really work out for Buschow.
Originally, the guides of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School were taking Bushcow and the others up to a cave where a pool water sat just for them. No water was given before hand; that would have counted as cheating in the course, which had cost the participants each over three grand. I personally would have chosen “cheating” over death, especially because the guides had been carrying water in case an emergency struck. I suppose to them, someone constantly stumbling around and talking trees isn’t an emergency. Oh, did I mention that hallucinating is also one of the symptoms of dehydration? I’m not an “expert nature survivor,” however, I would recommend offering someone water if you see them in the desert attempting to have a conversation with a plant.
Always Bring Water: Wherever you go, whatever you do, bring a bottle of water. After several occasions in my life of not finding myself without water while I was in a hurry or busy on the go, and then ending up feeling sick or having a headache, I know now that it’s best just to grab a bottle in case, and now I’m never without one. Always keep your family hydrated, too, (this would include any animals in the household) and it’s probably best to stash away a few large jugs of water in the house in case something were to happen that would leave you stranded without running water.
In my health class, I always learned to eat before you’re hungry, and to stay healthy and fit, the same rule applies to drinking as well.
Global Healing Center