If you are like me, drinking enough water each day can be a chore. These 10 tips to stay hydrated while snowmobiling may help.
Drinking becomes even more of a challenge when you are bundled in layers of gear, on a snowmobile, in single digit temperatures. Not to mention how difficult the logistics of stopping to urinate can be, especially for us women.
In cold weather, one’s thirst sensation decreases by up to 40%*. In warm weather, there are more obvious indicators of the need to hydrate, such as feeling hot, and fluid losses from sweating.
While on a snowmobile, we don’t always feel warm or notice sweat. Ever notice your breath box filter or balaclava is soaking wet? These are fluid losses from breathing, putting riders that don’t feel thirsty, at higher risk for dehydration.
Like many of you, I love nothing more than a 100+ mile day of riding, however, consider frequent breaks to stop, sip, and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.
10 Tips to Staying hydrated While Snowmobiling
- Take breaks at trail junctions or viewpoints.
- Drink water. An electrolyte beverage may be needed for longer, more active rides.
- Avoid caffeine in large amounts (coffee, energy drinks) during or before riding. If you want a warm beverage, try decaf coffee or tea.
- Avoid alcohol. If drinking the night before, alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
- To avoid freezing, wrap non-insulated water bottles in your spare socks or clothing.
- To avoid freezing, pack insulated water bottles filled with hot water.
- If considering a water bladder system (like a Camelbak), purchase one with an insulated hose, fill with warm water, and continually sip to prevent the hose from freezing.
- Pack snacks with a high-water content, like fruit.
- Dress warm in moisture-wicking fabrics like wool.
- Identify gas stations or convenience stores along your route (check the search feature on the NHSA Map app).
Signs of Dehydration
- Muscle cramps
- Dark colored urine
- Infrequent urination
- Confusion (in severe cases)
*Kenefick et al. Thirst sensations and AVP responses at rest and during exercise-cold exposure. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2004 Sept. PMID: 15354034.