Summer or winter, dehydration is a deadly game in all desert southwest cities. Win the dehydration challenge any time of year in Las Vegas, Nevada or Phoenix, Arizona.
How Much Water is Enough Water?
Kidshealth.org says dehydration is easy to prevent by simply drinking lots of water. There are other liquid choices, but water is natural and calorie free. About 70% of the human body contains water, so when water is consumed it replaces what is lost.
Cities in the desert have unique weather issues making dehydration a special concern. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recommendations for surviving dry desert conditions are to drink a total of about one gallon of water per person, per day for average activity in non-summer months. When the desert heat rises, the BLM recommends about two gallons of water daily for each person.
However, there is no water drinking rule. There is liquid in some of the food eaten, so that counts too. More water is better than less for certain situations like in a very dry environment, doing strenuous activity or if feeling ill.
When is it Time to Drink?
There are several important points to remember about timing of drinking water in desert cities like Las Vegas or Phoenix: Don’t drink the whole gallon at once. Spread it out through the day so the body can continue to be refreshed throughout the duration of awake and sleeping hours.
Waiting for the feeling of thirst is a big mistake. The first sign of dehydration is feeling thirsty. It is always time to take a drink of water. Make a habit of drinking at regular intervals all day to avoid dehydration.
Dehydration does not occur just when outdoors. It is always time to drink water, whether indoors or out exploring the city. Keep a few jugs of water indoors and in the vehicle trunk at all times, so it is always easy to access. Carry a small bottle in a purse or a large pocket. Watch for water fountains to replenish the bottle as it is emptied.
When dining in both Phoenix and Las Vegas, a server may offer to sell a bottle of water, but customers can always request a glass of water. I have never been refused a free glass of water in a southwest American desert city. The local Salvation Army offers eleven free water stations across the Phoenix area during the hottest days of summer, too.
It is not uncommon to see people in malls, restaurants or other public place carrying around their own water bottles in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Locals, like myself, always have water ready and drink it. Visitors should do what locals do.
Conserves Sweat Not Water
Wear light colored and loose fitting clothes in desert cities. Long sleeves and pants or skirts help hold perspiration rather than exposing skin directly to desert sun and dry desert air. These clothing choices and wide brimmed hats help keep body temperature down in the severe desert heat.
The more the skin is exposed to sun and dry air, the more moisture is lost. As tempting as it may be to remove a hat or shirt, don’t do it.
Visiting desert cities like Las Vegas or Phoenix can be an exciting adventure or a fatal disaster. Even native southwest U.S. dwellers suffer consequences of being careless. Understanding a human body’s special needs in desert conditions keeps dehydration a non-issue. Common sense saves lives.
Activities in the desert should be done at a slower pace than elsewhere. For every hour walked, about 10 minutes rest is recommended. The dry environment takes a quiet and quick toll on the human body, so take it easy. If active during the hottest part of the day, take extra rests. Very strenuous activities are best done during the cooler parts of the day before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
According to Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management, desert ground temperature can be up to 30 degrees hotter than the air. It is wise to not sit directly on the ground.
Other notable causes of dehydration which often are overlooked include salt, alcoholic beverages and smoking. If consuming these products, make sure to drink more water to lessen dehydration potential.
The Bottom Line
The activity does not matter, whether it is walking the mall, playing golf, or sitting and gambling in a casino. Dehydration is a danger indoors and outdoors in the desert southwest cities. Always keep water on hand and drink it at regular intervals throughout the day. Preventing dehydration is much easier than curing, and it only takes a good habit of drinking water to stay healthy in desert cities.
This article is for informational purposes only and makes no medical claims or promises.