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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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August 14, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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August 14, 1997
 

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Outdoors / f Operation Game Thief." 1-800-992-3030 Operation Cal- Tip: 1-800-952-5400 llqllqllqi[1 p ni, qtUrs/tby,Agv tll,,  097ff by Ed Tomch/n According to Geoff Schneider, Nevada Division of Wildlife Information Officer, thousands of acres of land on the Nellis Air cies allows for the continuation 0fdesert birn sheep hunting on 40 square miles of land in and near Stonewall Mountain in Nye County, which is within the boundaries of the Nellis Air Force Bombing Range. Hunters are allowed access for a three-week period (Nov. 8 - 29) and Nellis AFB has agreed to restrict air operations in the Stonewall area during this period. The agreement requires bighorn hunters accessing the range to attend an Air Force briefing which will provide access Fishing Report by Geoff Schneidcr Nevada Division of Wildlife LAKE MEAD - Striped bass fishing continues to gain momentum with boaters finding good action for fish that am feeding on the lake's surface, according to the Nevada Divi- sion of Wildlife. Stripers are working the surface throughout the day. Top water lures such as Sassy Shad and Zara Spooks am catching the fish. Some of the better fishing is being found at Pumphonse Cove, Saddle Island and Black Island. If a storm approaches, boaters should immediately head to safe harbor. LAKE MOHAVE - Windy weather has been keeping boaters off of the lake. Some boaters have been taking fish by drifting anchovies around Cottonwood Cove. WAYNE E. KIRCH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA - Largemonth bass fishing is good at Adams-McGill Reservoir. The upper portions of Adams-McGill, Cold Springs and Haymeadow reservoirs will be open to fishing beginning Saturday, August 16. EAGLE VALLEY AND ECHO CANYON RESER- VOIRS - Fishing is poor because of murky water conditions caused by the flood. Desert heat's a killer by Ed Tomchin We are in the middle of another of our desert summers. Hospitals, emergency rooms and rescue squads are being overloaded with calls for heat exhaustion and other heat related illnesses. Newcomers to our part of the country need to become aware of the debilitating effect desert heat can have, and what to do about it. Most of Southern Nevada's deserts are arid, barren regions incapable of supporting human life because they lack fresh water. When the military trains their men for desert operations, they are required to undergo a full two weeks of acclimatiza- tion to assure the soldiers survival in desert terrain. So don't think you can simply go out into the summer desert without preparation and expect to do fine. You may wind up killing yourself. Water is the most basic need to human life, but even more so in a desert. Without it. we cannot function effectively for more than a few hours, nor survive for more than a day. Nor can you depend on your thirst as a gauge of your need for water. Under desert conditions, hikers and campers generally do not replace their body water sufficiently or rapidly enough, even when wateris readily available. Depending on thirst to tell you when to stop and take a drink is a poor indicator of dehydration. Many people in a hot environment will exhibit what is called "voluntary dehydra- tion" which means they maintain them- selves about 1.5 quarts below their ideal hydration status with little sense of being thirsty. Heat stress, which severely degrades mental performance, can occur anywhere in the southwest, even in the middle of a city if you are working or playing out of doors. Normally, excess body heat is carried off through several mechanisms. However, when the air temperature is above skin temperature, which it is virttially all sum- mer long here in the southwest, evaporation of body sweat is the on!y mechanism available by which to lose excess body heat. There is a delicate balance to maintain, because as you sweat, water must be consumed to replace that which is lost. You must continually rehydrate your body as you cool off by sweating. If your body fluids which are lost through sweating are not replaced, dehydration results, which adds to heat stress and eventually leads to severe disabilities. It is important to note that shedding excess heat through sweating does not mean that you are always wet. In fact, the greatest amount of sweating occurs when you feel dry. When humidity (the water content of the air) is high, you sweat and it gathers on your skin, making you feel wet and clammy. However, when the humidity is low, as it generally is in Southern Nevada, your sweat evaporates as your body pro- duces it. So you feel dry and fail to notice how much fluid you are losing in this manner. The safest practice is to assume that you are losing body fluids by sweating, and replace them regularly by drinking large volumes of water. There are several heat-induced illnesses and injuries which result from heat stress, including heat rash, sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat rash is a skin rash most commonly found on clothed areas of the body. While the rash itself is of little consequence other than being annoying, it can impair your bodies ability to lose heat for many days after its disappearance. You can avoid heat rash by practicing good hygiene. Wash regularly and change clothes often. Do not wear the same clothing for more than a day, and it does not hurt to change twice a day. Sunburn is an actual burning of your epidermal layer of skin as a result of over-exposure to the sun and will severely impair your bodies ability to lose heat. Extreme sunburn can cause second and third degree burns, and in some cases, death. Avoid sunburn by covering your skin with light-weight clothing and a sunscreen appropriate for the strong desert sun. Heat cramps, another debilitating result of heat stress, are due to excessive salt and water losses. These losses in turn cause muscle cramps in the abdomen, legs, and arms. They most often*occur in people who are not acclimatized to the severe summer desert heat. You can avoid beat cramps by maintaining proper nutrition and hydration. Heat exhaustion results in fatigue, nausea, dizziness, faint- ing, vomiting, mild changes in mental function (i.e., disorien- tation, irritability), and elevated body temperature. Heat stroke includes all of these symptoms, but is more severe and can be fatal. A heat or sunstroke victim will be very hot, disoriemed and possibly unconscious. You can avoid both heat exhaustion and heat stroke by making sure you maintain regular cycles of work and rest, and by consuming adequate amounts of water or electrolytes. The key to preventing heat illness is knowledge of desert conditions and the measures necessary to prevent heat illness. Adjust your activity and rest schedules and water consumption according to conditions. Remember that heat stress and dehy- dration can accumulate in the body over several days before causing heat illness. ACCLIMATIZATION: Maintaining your physical fitness is one of the primary keys to building a resistance to heat illness. Don't go jumping out into a severe desert environment without acclimatizing yourself for at least three to five days, which entails at least two hours per day of carefully supervised exercise in the heat, gradually increasing your exercise inten- sity each day. During the first two days of heat exposure, light recreational activities such as softball or volleyball are appropriate. By the third day short jogs at a leisurely pace are advisable. It is important to remember that the process of heat acclimatization does NOT reduce your water requirements. It actu- ally increases them due an increase in the  amount of sweating you do, which en- hances the evaporative cooling process of your body. Increased sweating requires additional water consumption. Note that during the first few days of heat acclimatization your sweat will be very salty, so taking salt tablets is neces- sary to replace what you are losing. How- ever, after you have become acclimatized, your salt loss is reduced and the need to replenish it becomes diminished. The importance of drinking large quan- tities of water cannot be emphasized enough. The amount of water required to replace that lost to sweating may exceed your body's ability to absorb fluid, which is about 1.5 quarts per hour, so do not try to exceed this amount. Rather, cut back on the amount of energy you are expending. A good rule in the desert is to carry water in your belly, not in your canteen. An important method of monitoring your hydration status (i.e., your need for water) isto note the color and volume ofyr urine. Dark yellow urine and infrequent urination are t,o excellent indicators that your fluid consumption should be increased. You can prevent dangerous increases in your body tempera- ture by reducing your pace and increasing rest periods. Plan to do your hiking or working in the early morning or cool evening hours whenever possible. Avoid expending energy during the heat of the day. If at all possible, work and rest in the shade. Do not rest on the ground, which can be 30 to 50 degrees hotter than the air. Either elevate yourself above the ground, or dig out a hollow. Cooler ground is just inches below the surface and a shaded, shallow trench will provide a cool resting spot. The use of appropriate clothing (i.e., loose fitting, light colored shirts and pants) cannot be exaggerated. Hats or beadcloths are imperative in the desert sun. Keep your clothing clean. Whenever possible, wash your clothing and air or sun dry it. Change socks two or three times a day. The prolonged use of sweaty socks can lead to severe foot injury such as blisters and open wounds. The accumulation of sweat in your hiking shoes can be reduced by wearing socks that are absorptive and thick enough to "wick" moisture away from your feet tOward the top of the boot where evaporation can carry it away. Wearing thin polyester socks next to the skin under the heavier socks can also help prevent blisters. FIRST AID: Signs of overheating include the inability to function, a red or flushed face, confusion or disorientation, and fainting. It is always better to take care of a problem early. When in doubt, treat it as a heat illness. Immediately get into the shade and remove any heavy clothing. If you are alert and not vomiting, slowly drink water. You will probably need at least 3 quarts over the next two hours. The water should be cool but not cold. Wet your skin or don a wet T-shirt. Fan your body. If possible, immerse yourself in cool water. This is the best way to reduce body temperature. Drink fiquids that contain some added salt or electrolytes for heat cramps. Drink no more ttam 1.5 quarts per hour of either slightly salted water (one or two teaspoons of table salt per quart), or a rehydration solution such as a commercial glncose/electrolyte beverages (sports drinks). Seek medical help as soon as possible. However, by following the above suggestions, you can easily avoid experiencing any heat related illnesses, and your summers in the desert can be a pleasant experience. These suggestions apply not only to those hiking or camping in the desert, but also to those who work outdoors in the r. Pay heed, keep yourself in good shape, and you won't wind up needing emergency services or those of the undertaker.