Today we weren't quite in the desert but still hiking in an area without any trees and lots of heat. It was close to 100 degrees. In the afternoon the wind picked up so our sweat was able to cool us down very well. I'm glad I don't live down here but working in weather like this is a good reminder that we may be put into a situation that we are not familiar with or that we truly don't like!
I don't mind the heat but wearing a couple layers of clothing and carrying my pack wasn't the way I'd like to spend it. Sitting around a swimming pool would be more like it! But work had to be done. Since we were never going to be further than a mile and a half from our trucks we didn't worry too much about overheating. We were away from the trucks for four hours. During this time we walked four miles. We also drank a lot. I was hydrated prior to starting the hike. I didn't carry my camel pack today, instead opting for plastic bottles. During my four hours I drank 5 -20 ounce bottles of water and three 20 ounce Gatorades. 160 ounces total. This is five quarts of liquid or more than one quart per hour. That's less than I should have had but still not too bad.
One of the members of our group bragged that he hydrated himself up and drank five bottles of water prior to heading out to the field. It took us over an hour driving just to get to the project. When we were out there he drank two bottles of water. He was worried that we weren't drinking enough but that he was fine. After we completed the project we drove the hour back to their office. When he got out of the truck both legs cramped. I guess he wasn't so hydrated after all. The rest of us were fine.
We are repeating this trek tomorrow. We will be hiking about a mile away from this project and the weather is supposed to be a little cooler. I'll make sure I drink enough. We talk about needing to store a gallon of water per day for drinking and cooking and a gallon for other needs. That may be fine if we aren’t doing anything but hanging around. Today we didn’t do any real physical work other than walk around in hot weather carrying heavy equipment. In four hours I drank more than a gallon. I wonder how much I would have needed if I was working in the garden or fixing fences or doing other heavy physical activity?