Hydration Travel Tips

The unfortunate death of the British television doctor Michael Mosely from apparent dehydration during a solo hike on a Greek island has brought the need to remain hydrated when going out in a hot climate into focus. I saw Michael Mosely give a talk about the Fast 800 diet he designed in 2019 and had watched many of his television shows and read some of his books, which gave the events a much deeper sense of personal sadness for me.

It is important to point out, this death was not a one-off freak occurrence. It is surprisingly common for hiking tourists to perish in this way. In fact, in the first half of June 2024, 8 tourists hailing from the USA, France, the Netherlands and the UK have either been found dead or gone missing whilst hiking in the Greek islands during high temperatures.

I hope that with these hydration travel tips you might be able to overcome any risk of a happy trip turning into a nightmare.  

Do Not Underestimate the Risks of Walking or Hiking in the Heat

Going for a hike rarely feels like a particularly dangerous thing to do, even on a hot day. I am not saying you should avoid hiking. It is an excellent thing to do for your physical and mental health.

However, you have to treat the weather and terrain with the appropriate amount of respect. This is where people can easily get caught out. If it is an especially hot day consider a different activity or only a very short hike.  Always drink beforehand and bring extra water, regardless of the weather or the length of hike.  

Stay Connected

Ideally, do not go for a hike alone. There are still risks when hiking in pairs or groups and casualties are still possible, but a disproportionate number of hiking deaths occur when the hiker is alone. Being in a group means you are less likely to get lost and if one person starts to struggle the others can help.

It is also important to take a phone. Dr Michael Mosely failed to do this. With a phone you can call for help and, if necessary, you can also be tracked.

Is the Tap Water Safe?

If you live in a wealthy nation, you are probably used to being able to drink straight from the tap, but across much of the world you need to buy pre-bottled water. Make sure you are aware of the tap water quality in the country or region you are travelling to.

If you cannot drink out of the tap buy a lot of bottled water – more than you would expect to drink. Bottled water tends to be cheap in these countries and it is much better to have more than you can drink than to ever go without. This tip is not just for hikers, but for all travelers.

Here is a link to information about where you can and can’t drink straight from the tap.

Consider a Hydration Pack

Whilst re-usable water bottles are a must for any trip. If you are planning to go hiking, especially in a hot country, it is a good idea to go a step further and take a hydration pack with you.

A hydration pack can typically carry a lot more water than you could squeeze into a re-usable bottle. It will make staying hydrated and safe natural. Hydration packs are probably the most underrated companion you can take with you on any trip.  

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