I’m off to the Span­ish desert, how do I keep my cool?

Your le­gal ques­tions

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

By Chris Scott, Sa­hara ex­pert and au­thor of The Ad­ven­ture Mo­tor­cy­cle Hand­book

De­hy­dra­tion kicks in once 2% of our wa­ter vol­ume has been lost, and by the time you feel thirsty you are al­ready there. Go over that and it’s se­vere headaches. Go to 15% and it’s or­gan fail­ure. So here’s how to keep cool. Dark colours ab­sorb heat, light colour suits re­flect it. Keep your boots on, oth­er­wise the ground and en­gine will heat your feet and swell them up. A hel­met pro­vides in­su­la­tion against hot air and pro­tects from the sun. Soak a scarf with wa­ter and wrap it around your neck to mi­cro chill the blood pass­ing through the carotid artery in your neck on its way to the brain. Use re­hy­dra­tion tablets and drink fre­quently. Rest in the shade and know where wa­ter or help might lie ahead. How­ever, ex­pos­ing your skin to air that’s hot­ter than your body tem­per­a­ture (37°C) will in­crease your body tem­per­a­ture and make you feel worse. Rid­ing in a T-shirt will cause the layer of per­spi­ra­tion on your skin to evap­o­rate faster than your body can pro­duce it. Then you will sweat more to com­pen­sate and de­hy­drate even faster, you’ll feel bet­ter up to the point when you pass out. So, wear a soak­ing wet T-shirt un­der your jacket and seal all the vents and cuffs and you’ll be amazed at the dif­fer­ence it makes.

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