Medical & Safety Alerts
Hypothermia is the lowering
of the body's core temperature to a level which
impairs normal muscle and brain activities. It is
serious and can be fatal.
Hypothermia is generally
brought on by exposure to cold, and is greatly
accelerated by wet and windy conditions, which are
common to the mountains. Under these conditions,
hypothermia can develop at temperatures as high as
50 degrees F(10 degrees C).
Preparation is the best
prevention for hypothermia. Always carry adequate
equipment for rapid weather changes, including rain
gear, extra clothing for layering, a hat, and
Watch for these symptoms
of hypothermia in yourself and members of your
If these signs
appear begin immediate treatment. Eliminate exposure
to cold and wet conditions, move out of the wind,
add layers of warm, dry clothing, and begin to
re-warm the individual by administering warm,
Ultraviolet radiation is more intense at
high elevation. It is much easier to get severely
sunburned at high elevation than at sea level.
Protect your skin with long sleeves and
pants, a hat, and frequent applications of
sunscreen. Protect your eyes with sunglasses. Keep a
watchful eye on infants and children as even slight
redness can indicate sunburn.
The low humidity and high winds common at
high elevation can quickly dry out your body.
Dehydration can increase your risk of
fatigue, hypothermia, and altitude sickness.
Drinking plenty of water is the best protection
against dehydration. It's best to take regular small
drinks, even if you don't feel particularly thirsty,
than to wait until you are "dying of
thirst" and then drinking a lot of water all at
once. Hydration systems are really handy, and can
help you overcome the temptation to keep going
without a drink for too long.
Trek Wilderness Gear for high quality hydration
Giardia is a parasitic protozoan found
throughout the mountain west in lakes, streams, and
possibly snow. It also lives in the digestive system
of wildlife, livestock, and humans.
In cyst form, giardia enters surface water
when animals or humans defecate in or near water.
Within one to two weeks after ingestion, giardia can
cause diarrhea, cramps, bloating, and weight loss.
Giardiasis requires treatment by a physician.
To prevent giardiasis, boil all untreated
water for three to five minutes to kill giardia
cysts and other harmful microorganisms.