1) Dress Right: wear light colors to reflect heat and wear heat-specific technical layers. Cotton is acceptable in many environments but is not safe in environments where extreme temperatures are likely (i.e., mountains, deserts, high plains).
2) Practice in Heat: Your body adapts to the environment you train in. Build up your heat tolerance and refine your nutrition, hydration, and gear strategy by training in the heat of the day.
3) Pre-hydrate: On event day, drink 1 bottle of water (10-14 fl oz) when you wake up and one 45-60 minutes before your event. Don’t overdo it! The day before your event, drink 20-30 fl oz more of water than you usually do. This helps you improve your heat tolerance and delay dehydration.
4) Hydrate During the Event: Drink one bottle (10-14 fl oz) of water every 45-60 minutes during the event. Every 1-2 hours, rehydrate with a sports drink supplement--like tabs, powders, or even Gatorade--to balance electrolyte levels to prevent cramping and other negative performance effects. Plan your gear accordingly.
5) Eat Before You’re Hungry: Heat may reduce your appetite, but your body still needs fuel to perform. Eat every 45-60 minutes before you feel hungry to ensure you are giving your body the energy it needs to perform.
If you experience signs of heat or dehydration issues, ask the event EMT to evaluate you. If you are doing a self-supported event, find shade, take off extra layers of clothes, and find the fastest and safest way to civilization. No event is worth your health! 4 things to look out for include:
1) Your sweating slows down a lot or stops
2) You are fuzzy-headed or dizzy
3) You are having extreme thirst (too thirsty or not thirsty at all)
4) Your fingers become numb, splotchy, pale, or blue.