As the first extreme heat week has reached the Hudson Valley for 2024, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released an earnest warning for those planning to embrace the great outdoors.

Parts of New York State, including the Hudson Valley, are currently experiencing the brutally hot effects of a "heat dome." This essentially means hot air is trapped in one spot for an extended period of time, likely days, causing temperatures to reach uncomfortable heights.

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As a result of these temperatures, the DEC is warning hikers to follow extra precautions before hitting the trails.

Warning to Hikers During New York Heat Dome

The DEC shared information about items hikers should be sure to bring with them during this week's extreme heat.

In terms of water, the DEC recommends bringing at least 2 liters of water along on a hike, which is approximately 4.4 extra pounds of weight. The weight that is well worth bringing as dehydration can lead to some pretty intense and even life-threatening repercussions.

Earlier this week, warnings were shared regarding heat-related injuries to look out for, which included heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke.

The DEC is also reminding hikers to take frequent breaks and snacks along their hike. Aim for salty snacks to replenish lost electrolytes. Salty snacks and electrolytes can actually help the body retain water.

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It is also advised that hikers not bring their sets on hikes during these periods of extreme heat. It's hard to gauge just how exhausted your furry friend may be, so to be safe, keep them in a cool place.

What to Do If You Feel Ill During Hiking in Extreme Heat

Heat-related injuries and illnesses have a range of severity.

If you begin to feel heavy cramping in your legs, you may be experiencing heat cramps. It's best to take a break, massage the painful muscle, and try to take in more electrolytes.

If you begin feeling thirsty, weak and are sweating a lot, you may be experiencing heat exhaustion. The National Weather Service recommends taking a break in a cool area, loosening up clothing, and sipping on water. Monitor your symptoms. You can call 1-833-NYS-RANGERS (1-833-697-7264) to notify the DEC of your injury or illness.

If you don't begin to feel any better after taking these measures, you may be on your way to heat stroke. Common symptoms of heat stroke include feeling dizzy, confused, nauseous, and experiencing a throbbing headache. Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 if you begin to suspect you or someone you're hiking with is experiencing a heat stroke.

Stay safe out there hikers!

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