Looking for a way to tell if you’re drinking enough water during this summer’s Scouting adventures?
Monitoring the color of your pee is a great way to tell if you’re getting enough fluids. And getting enough fluids is a great way to stave off dehydration.
What is dehydration?
As the summer days get long and hot, you risk losing more water than you’re taking in. When you sweat or breathe out more fluid than you take in, that’s dehydration.
Signs of dehydration include:
- Increased thirst (It’s said that if you’re thirsty, it’s already too late. You’re already dehydrated.)
- Headaches or muscle cramps
- Tiredness or weakness
- Dry skin and lips
- Confusion or dizziness
- Dark urine and/or decreased urine production
What’s the ‘proper’ urine color?
We know that a “happy mountaineer always pees clear” and “an unhappy fellow always pees yellow.”
But yellow comes in many shades, so which should concern you?
Your best bet is to consult the urine color chart below. It’s also found on page 138 of the Scouts BSA Handbook or page 237 of the Fieldbook.
What to do if you’re dehydrated
Other than the obvious — drinking plenty of fluids — a dehydrated person should rest in a shady place or air-conditioned vehicle or building.
Of course, food is fuel, too, so make sure you’re eating plenty of energy-dense food throughout your adventures.