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  • 4 gallons of water

    OK so in the thread about thermometers and in another thread about year-round scouting, several folks mentioned the importance of getting people to drink a LOT of water - 4 gallons was one figure cited - to reduce the likelihood of heat-related health problems.

    Now teenagers, we all know, are naturally immortal. And they know everything. And it would all be "fine, mom!" if we would just leave them be. Of course they're also tough and presumably have a good bit of camping experience, but they may not have much experience with the kind of heat/humidity they're about to experience in VA.

    Here's the question. Given that teens are naturally impervious (to ill health and to advice) until all of a sudden they aren't - what do smart jambo leaders do to ensure that their kids DON'T overdo it and DO drink enough water (whether 4 gallons, or whatever)? It isn't like the jambo leaders are following the kids around all day, right?


  • #2
    The figures I read once were that a boy should drink 12oz of water AND sports drink per day for every hour of activity during Jambo. I have a health issue that robs my body of sodium quickly, so I usually salt my water, or drink powerade zero to help replenish the minerals lost through sweating -- I rarely drink just plain water.

    One of our council troops decided on camelbaks -- the hose closer to the mouth is more easily used and remembered instead of of a water bottle at the side.

    I've heard the water at Jambo usually has a chemical taste to it? If that's the case, putting in a sports drink powder would hide some of that.

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    • #3
      According to the Jamboree Medical Guide:

      4-6 quarts of water/sports drink per day is recommended during high heat and humidity.

      Drink 4-6 oz every 15-20 minutes during mild to moderate exertion.

      About half of what you drink should be a sports drink to avoid over-hydration and loss of sodium.

      Most commercial sports drinks can be diluted 50% for the ideal electrolytes and carbohydrate balance.

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      • #4
        "Most commercial sports drinks can be diluted 50% for the ideal electrolytes and carbohydrate balance."

        They can also be diluted that much to combat excessive sweetness.

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        • #5
          I used the 4 gallon figure. That was based upon troop policy in SE LA. We had a lot of prior military, as well as reserve military serving as leaders in the troop, and I am assuming that is where it came from as when my JROTC unit did training at NAB Little Creek and MCRD Parris Island, we were constantly told 4 gallons per day by the instructors, corpsmen, and DIs respectively.

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          • #6
            I have run two camporees on a naval base and have had water supplied by the military. They are required to chlorinate every time the tanks are filled. There is also a waiting time after the tanks are refilled and chlorinated so the water can be tested. That is why I alwasy made sure I had extra tanks from the start of the event.

            If the water at Jambo comes from a military tanker truck or trailer, it is most likely chlorinated. This may be the reason for the chemical taste, which doesn't help promote drinking plenty of water.

            Four gallons? Are they serious??

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            • #7
              While I love Camelbaks (or other systems of that type) it is harder to determine if others are actually drinking them, although they have just come up with a water monitor that measures flow rate and consumption that just clips on to the outside of the tube.

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              • #8
                4 gallons over a 24 hour period. In practice that would be about a quart an hour for 16 hours. In my experiences that is easily doable. heck I probably suck down more than that.

                As for taste, I've been told vitamin C tablets sold in nutrition stores will cut the taste. Haven't tried it though.

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                • #9
                  Four gallons is a whole lot. I'm guessing that's a number a logistics guy would use for calculating the total amount of water needed.

                  Four gallons a day is a quart per hour all day long. That's probably the top-end for an adult working in the heat. I've read that your body can only process about a cup of water every 15 minutes, which would make a quart an hour the max.

                  Also remember we're talking total fluid intake. The four slushies and six cokes count.

                  But we need to remember we're not dealing with adults. Average age of the boys in my troop is just over 13. I've got a bunch of kids who don't weigh 100 pounds -- one tips the scale at 60 pounds. If we push four gallons of water through him, he's going to have problems with loss of electrolytes. Trust me on this, my then 12-year-old son fell out on the Presidential Death March at the last jambo due to low sodium.

                  I would stick with the jamboree recommendations.

                  As to Lisa's you-can't-make-them-drink questions. I think we do what we normally do -- educate, motivate, supervise, lecture, bribe, blackmail, threaten, etc., etc. We dealt with similar conditions at summer camp last week (I don't know why they think Jamboree is the hottest place on earth). We had the boys drink at least one Nalgene of water while we were with them. They were hydrated when they left camp.

                  This is why we start preaching to the Webelos before they ever join the troop about taking care of themselves and personal responsibility.

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                  • #10
                    " We dealt with similar conditions at summer camp last week (I don't know why they think Jamboree is the hottest place on earth)."

                    Well it really IS quite different conditions that what many of us are used to. I've spent time in VA in the summers. And although it gets hot and humid here in my little part of the midwest too, it is not like the humidity in VA.

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                    • #11
                      Drinking 4 gallons of water per day may well kill each of your Scouts. It's called water intoxication or hyponatremia. Unfortunately, the symptoms are similar to dehydration. One of the main problems is that much fresh water in your innards causes your sodium levels to drop too low. Main sufferers are marathoners, tri-athletes, anyone with a water bottle constantly in hand.
                      The four or five gallons of water use per day generally refers to total water useage: cooking, washing, drinking, etc
                      U.S.Army says up tp 1 1/2 qts per hour for hard activity such as quick march with full pack. For light duty 1/2 qt per hour, but in any case, no more than 12 qts. per day.
                      For some of the water, substitute sports drinks - which by itself helps, but is not totally sufficient to maintain sodium levels. Add some salty snacks such as pretzels or french fries, but avoid salt tablets.

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                      • #12
                        A piece of advice I heard yesterday from two beach patrol captains was to start hydrating BEFORE you hit the heat. So make sure your Scouts are drinking even while traveling to Jambo in air-conditioned vans, buses, planes or trains.

                        As a summer camp staffer at a mid-Atlantic camp (very hot and humid), we were instructed to make sure the Scouts in our programs drank at least one glass of water before starting. That gave them a baseline of at least seven cups a day (four program sessions + three meals). We all had coolers, cups (disposable waxed paper ones - can be dried and recycled for use in firestarters ) and a steady supply of water and ice. I assume the same mindset and access will apply at Jambo.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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                        • #13
                          air conditioning can also be very dehydrating.

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                          • #14
                            If I use 4 gallons, 3 of them will be for a shower.
                            BDPT00

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                            • #15
                              Eagle 92,

                              I've never heard 4 gallons thru the body.

                              Been to MCRD PISC, AMPIP REF TRNG at Little Creek,Norway (twice), 29 Palms 5 times, Saudi and Kuwait,Camp Ripley Minn and Bridgeport Calif.

                              Mostly what I heard and preached was that you must drink enough so that your urine is as clear as possible. Yellow urine drink more, Dark yellow urine you could be too far gone already.

                              It was easy in the snow because the designated areas told the whole story for a tent team commander.
                              It was harder in the snow because thirst was not a big factor. The cold shuts off your limbs and forces you to expel a perceived excess.Double Whammy. Plus you may not feel thirsty as readily in the cold.

                              And yes most places the water tasted like crap and worse. In Lebanon is was the worst but I saw a lot of Marines get Dysentary(sp?) from food in town.

                              The problem is today we live in an air conditioned environment with by and large not a lot of activity.

                              A Scoutmaster who works as an asphalt paver is going to fair a lot better than a stockbroker in an office. Likewise a kid that works a farm bringing hay and the kid that plays video games all day.

                              One luxury in the field at 29 Palms, Calif was a mid day bag of ice per platoon. Cold water and drink mix always goes down much easier.

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