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Bert's PSA on Heat Exhaustion

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New video up

 

There is not a bit of humor in this one. 

I foolishly attempted this cache by myself. The film starts after I had alread bushwhacked .35 miles through the heavy reeds. I was FTF on a series of 6 caches earlier in the same area that kept me in the sun for over 3 hours and had been caching since 8am in another area. Although I had been drinking water, the extreme heat and humidity and lack of air movement in the reeds, rapidly depleted my electrolytes and I was nauseous and quite ill until 10 pm. It was 4pm when I shot this video and I was a half mile from my Jeep with another 300 feet of bush-whacking to get to the road.

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Posted · Report post

You didn't take along enough Brawndo?

 

Seriously, that is why I save caches like that for wintertime.  Heat related illnesses are no joke and the older you get, the less able your body is to cope with the heat.

Baytown Bert and cachestacker like this

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Of all the times I've overheated, this was the worst.  I should have went to the emergency room.

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This is one of those times when you should punch yourself in the face Bert.

All kinds of things wrong here. Namely: alone and too little water.

That said, I've done the same thing so I have no room to talk.

The spry brain does tend to write checks that the "experienced" body cannot cover ;)

Very glad you're okay my friend!

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Heat related casualties are a definite threat to the 'force'.

We all need to be more aware while caching in austere environments.....

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At least you didn't stoop to drinking swamp water like some cachers I've heard of... <cough>5erskr<cough>.

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@BaytownBert: What time were you out there? Just curious to give you kudos to think along the lines: "While I'm doing ____, baytownbert was enduring ridiculous reeds & heat".

 

It was good to watch though, because you've said so many lines that I know I have:

"ok ___ feet"

"I hope it's not behind me now"

"I didn't come all this way to not find it!"

 

I checked out the page & it looks like it was small, which begs the question:

Why, after all that work would someone put something small out there?!" Torture I say!!  :uglystupid2:

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The video, unlike my others, is totally unscripted and candid.  the other Small containers are actually largish vitamin bottles.  I was in the area over three hours, but only an hour of it on this area.

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I have been there and done that and I highly recommend to the *noobs* to take BB's video as cautionary advice.  I did 27 element series caches by myself (last year), did not realize how far I got from the car, ran out of water 2 miles from the car.  When I finally made it to the car, I drank the hot Gatorade I had, but it tasted like heaven, went to get to huge 87 ozs of tea/water from Jack in the Box and the manager was very concerned for me.  Went home, took a bath, laid down, my muscles cramped, I got up and fainted.  IT WAS THAT BAD.  Always, always air on the side of caution, I wish I had done that, but I wanted to finish a certain area and did not take into account I did not have enough water with me or HOW BAD THE HEAT REALLY WAS.  And I took about 3 gallons, one camel back that held 1.5 and 1 gallon worth of Gatorade, with .5 in my vehicle.  When your brain starts telling you to go back or do not attempt...listen!!  

 

Glad you are OK Bert.  O0  O0

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I have a lot of survival training and I say that honestly.  I was a Hunter Education Instructor for the State of Texas for 5 years and have hiked and camped all over the USA and Thailand... and I still routinely ignore the warning signs of heat exhaustion, pushing through to a place I should never go.  I once hiked 16 miles in late July in Brazos Bend State Park and it was so over the top, I was crumbling in the front seat of my car on the way home before I was leaving the Park.  Yesterday was hands down, the worst it has ever been.  I literally saw stars for 4 hours.  How I drove from Anahuac to my house was worse than drunk driving and I should have pulled over.  Today, I drove around Houston, grabbing 19 and I was very careful to only get the ones that wouldn't tax my system, but I still felt the side effects of over-doing it yesterday.  For all my bravado, it was almost a curtain call yesterday and like Kenny said, I should punch myself in the face.

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Don't we all overdo it sometimes?

 

I'm glad you're OK Bert, and thank you for putting the warning out there once again, in all it's honesty & openness.

Especially for the new cachers, or the ones from overseas (like myself) it's very easy to underestimate the force of the Texas sun & humidity.

 

Always, always, always take enough fluids with you, and preferably not just water. I've seen people succumb to lack of electrolytes/sugar/salt even though they had water with them. And always remember to keep some extra fluids in your vehicle, that way even if you run out while out hiking/biking/kayaking you have some (although probably very hot at that time) kind of back-up.

 

And last but certainly not least: getting to your destination is ONLY HALF the distance you travel, never forget about the return to your point of origin!

georeyna likes this

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Bert, like you, I have no excuse for the times that I have pushed it too far. One of my three roles at work is as safety manager, and I heavily contributed to our company's heat illness prevention policy and procedures. However, did that stop me from waaaayy overdoing it last summer down in George Bush Park? No, of course it didn't. It's the "who cuts the barber's hair?" syndrome at work. Too often, those who know even more than many others about something fall prey to the very thing they teach, evangelize, push, etc. I have a new policy now. I just stay away from Muddy Buddy's hides. Lol. Just kidding. I take much more into account than just how much water I have or have drank. I look at food intake, electrolytes, amount of sleep I've had (I don't usually get much), humidity level, breeze, environment, etc.

 

Buddy, I'm glad you're okay. Get Blindzman to tell you about his trip to the emergency room if you haven't heard that story already.

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Blindzman went to the emergency room after doing "Baytown Bert's a cryin' cache."  LOL

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Bert's post really deserved it's own thread.

 

Don't forget about pre-hydration as well.

 

Sometimes I do better when I wear a long sleeve shirt reducing exposure to the sun. 

green-eyed and Baytown Bert like this

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Thanks Jason.  You know, I like to pump a bit of hyperbole into my adventures and its all in good fun, but my experience the other day basically hurt me for a number of days to come.  Kind of like getting a bad sunburn.  the next time you are exposed, it takes no time before you are right back where you were when it got you.  Kenny and others summed it up nicely, or rather, appropriately - heck, many of us have did what I did and fortunately, we pulled it off.  When we read about 5ersker and Blindzman falling out doing my tribute/challenge cache (Baytown Bert's a cryin'), we look at it with curiousity and swear we are smarter than that, but the truth is, we are and we will routinely ignore the warning signs and go anyway.

 

I remember the first time I met you and Nebulus703 and I were doing the God-awful Alphabet series in GBP and you pulled up and told us your knee wouldn't allow you to continue.  First off, I had no idea what esteemed company we were in, but you offered to shuttle us back after we were done and to this day, I realize not only what a sacrifice it was, but how much we needed it after bushwhacking through 9 feet elephant grass to the very end.  The effects of my actions the other day didn't sink it until AFTER I exited the brush and I am not ashamed to admit it.  On top of that, if folks will take my video serious and the words I wrote, then I may have just saved a life.

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A scary time, Bert, glad you're OK and recovering. Been there, done that,

spent a few days in a hospital room after passing out on a HS football field during two a days.

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This looks like one I'll have to go try this coming weekend.  Alone that is.   Last time I tried a cache like this I got separated from my caching buddy,  lost all my water.  phone and gps almost died and my caching buddy ended up in the ER.   Better to go alone.

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If you approach these two fresh, you shouldn't run into the problems I did... maybe.  Just don't try them at the end of a long day in the sun.

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Thanks Bert for posting this.  It is good for us noobs to hear from someone we *admire* and learn that even they make mistakes.  I know you have gotten a lot more caches than I have so it is easy for me to listen to you.  Your message was truly a PSA and it was heard.  thank you!

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You should have your own cable show. I suffered some serious water dehydration going for a FTF Trophy cache. I did find it but paid the price of have to sit down even though the car was only 100 feet away. I even pasted a pond with water it in and was tempted but thought better of it. It was 104 degrees that day and luckily there was a convenience store nearby so I could get some Gatorade.

Edited by SockPuppet
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I got pretty worn out and overheated doing Bert's Brawndo series in the middle of summer: 

 

I'm more of a wintertime guy and tend to hibernate in the AC in the summertime, so I'm sure I wasn't as acclimated as I could have been.

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Brazos Bend Endurance Series was voted "Most Physically Challenging Series" 2009 by the Houston Geocaching Society.  Brazos Bend State Park is 30 miles south of Houston, Texas.  We are doing in June with a temperature 90+ degrees and high humidity.

http://youtu.be/a6Xd9KaYiUE

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Bert, my friend, I am so glad you're ok! Next time, give me a ring. I'll head over to your side of town to work some of those romote caches, don't do those alone!

 

Saying that, I cached on Stone Mountain (GA) today for a little over three hours, solo. While my water held out as I hiked to the top, it was hot and I barely made it with any.  I asked if tennis shoes were ok or should I grab my hiking boots, how a bout a stick?  Oh no, tennies and no stick is fine - weeeeell, that's only if you stick to the people path, which of course I didn't.

Instead of pretty much going straight up, which should have taken 30 minutes, I went around and up a bit, around and up a bit.... caching my way.  After about two hours, the heat was getting to me - stopped sweating, headache, stars - so I started to take breaks often as there alone with not a sole around. Slipped once, bout gave a me a heart attack, and kept making my way.  I'm almost to the top and  WHAT THE?!  a fence. CRUD!    Apparently I'm not the first needing to get on the other side as I found a section that was pushed down with rocks next to it to allow you to step over.  After about another 15 mintues, I was at the top.  Needless to say, I filled my water bottle twice and then proceeded to take the skytram down.   I'm beat, just ate and am going to read for a bit before I hit the sack early before heading out to my next adventure.     My knucklehead day, should have gone with the gut; hiking boots, stick and camelbak.

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