I’m off to the Spanish desert, how do I keep my cool?
Your legal questions
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.