Summer is now in full swing and it’s getting hotter everyday. We have to take special precautions when we are outside on the range. Always make sure you are aware of the expected forecast for your area. Take plenty of water and a sports drink or two, especially if you can’t buy it at the range. Freezing your drinks at home when they are ½ to ¾ full helps, then on range day, take them out and add water to the bottles before you leave for the range. This way you don’t need to bring an ice chest and the drinks stay cool.

Take several snacks with you and/or something for lunch if you are going to be there past noon. It is always good to have something light to eat. Don’t eat a bunch of greasy food before you shoot. You will perform better if you aren’t sluggish from eating. Eat a small amount of what you brought more often. Jerky is a good range food because it keeps well in your range bag (just don’t forget to take it out or you will have a nice science experiment to show the kids). Apples and bananas are easy to throw in your bag and work well as snacks. See the note above for making sure you take out any uneaten fruit. From experience, a forgotten banana will have dire consequences for your range bag if left in long enough

Now that you have your plan, don’t forget to execute it! Continual hydration while on the range is the best plan. You may not realize you are in danger until it’s too late. Know the signs for heat exhaustion and heat stroke and stay safe on the range:

Heat Exhaustion:

  • headache
  • low-grade fever
  • nausea or vomiting
  • increased thirst
  • generalized weakness
  • muscle ache or cramping

Heat Stroke:

  • confusion due to lack of blood flow to the brain
  • reddened dry skin
  • lack of sweat
  • organ failure
  • convulsions or seizure

If someone shows danger signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Move the person out of the heat and place them in a cool environment.
  • Place cold water on the individual.
  • Have the person drink cool water or a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage.
  • Remove tight or heavy clothing.
  • Take the individual’s temperature if a thermometer is readily available.
  • Call for assistance if needed and monitor the individual closely.