Heat Stroke on the Appalachian Trail

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening situation. It is dangerous because the body produces more heat than it can release.


The two most prevalant symptoms are a body temperature reaching 105-106 degrees and changes in mental state. Other symptoms include: a sense of warmth, hot, red and dry skin, difficulty breathing, elevated or lowered blood pressure, confusion, headache, reduced or absent sweating, extremely rapid pulse, dizziness and nausea.


Heat exhaustion is a medical emergency. Call 911 or seek medical help if possible. It is imperative that the body temperature lowers immediately. Get out of the sun and immerse the victim in a cold body of water, a stream, lake or pond. Spray cold water on the body or place a cold water compress on the skin and continue to do so until the body temperature returns to normal.

About the Author Steve Burge:
Steve Burge was the original founder of AppalachianTrail.com. He was a teacher for many years before starting a web development firm.
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