Dehydrated? Know What Color Your Pee Is

Yes, I know… Las Vegas has dry heat.  However, hot is hot, and with dry heat, you can dehydrate faster than you realize.  Dehydration can kill you… So, knowing what color your urine can save your life!


Its summer in Las Vegas. That means it’s going to be hot outside. Real Hot! If you plan to walk the Las Vegas Strip or take a hike in one of our National Parks in this heat, it’s important to know what color your pee is. Seriously.  I’m betting you are wondering why I said that.   Glad you asked…

The color of your urine will tell you (or the rescuers) just how dehydrated you are.  If you didn’t know, Las Vegas is located smack dab in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and in the summertime, it gets really hot, really fast.  Not only do we have high heat, but we also have very low humidity levels.  That can mean you can become dehydrated faster than you realize.  Knowing the color of your urine can help you determine your level of hydration.

In other words: Stay Hydrated!

Want to go for a hike?  Hike in the early hours of the day. Dress in layers and wear breathable (cotton) clothing. Take water. Lots of water with you.  Take more water than you think you will need in case you are delayed, trapped, or need to help a fellow hiker who did not prepare for the elements. As well, drink a sports drink to help balance out the electrolytes.  Plus, you need to carry a salty snack with you.

cooling towels for hiking in the desert

Keep Wet, Keep Cool

In the summer, in the canyons or on a tour, I am always carrying several Cooling Towels.  Keep them wet, wrap them around your neck.  As well, don’t be afraid to share with others who may not have been as prepared as you are.  Cooling towels will help keep your body temperature under control. They are cheap and so easy to carry with you.

Water, Water, and More Water

camelbak will keep you wet with water

Carry Water with you. I recommend you get a  Camelbaks/water bladders. It’s like a backpack but filled with water. If you need to use plastic bottles (eek!) don’t forget to carry them out with you when empty.  “Pack out what you pack in” . Take the trash you created with you.  Want some brownie points?? Be a good steward of the lands and pick up some of the trash left by others. It will make you feel good and help keep our parks a little cleaner.

National Park Water Stations

Bottle Filling Stations

On some of the more popular trails in the National Parks, they are installing refill stations.  If your trail or park has one, please use it!  This helps keep the amount of litter down.  I often travel with a refillable water bottle.  It’s become my best friend when riding around town or out walking the trails.  My Favorite Water Bottle is the Thermoflask

Pack Out What You Pack In!

Let me repeat myself.  If you are going to carry disposable bottles of water (and other packaged goods) into the National Parks with you, take them back out with you.  My absolute pet peeve when hiking is finding trash,  or watching others who empty a plastic water bottle and leave it on the trail or in a tree.  Why do that?  Why can’t you use it and take it back out with you??  You brought it in full. You can carry it out empty!

The best part is that now it’s not full, which means it will be smaller when you pack it out compared to when you packed it in. So take it out with you!!  When I see some idiot liter the trails, I just want to bury their lazy ass in the desert!! SO don’t do it!!

So What Color is Your Pee?

So now we get to the reason for this post.  The important part of safe hiking and hydration.  When outside in the heat for any reason;  you need to know your health status. Are you nearing the point of dehydration?  Are you past the safety point?  To know that answer, you need to check the color of your pee. It’s that simple!

How Hydrated Are You?

Image Courtesy of NPS

Health Tip:  If you are feeling the need to drink water, you are already dehydrated and need to stop, get into the shade and drink water. Drink a sports drink to help balance out the lost electrolytes. Enjoy a salty snack and just relax.

Don’t ruin a wonderful trip to the beautiful desert. Don’t make your next stop a trip to the emergency room.  Save a Park Ranger some time and not need to be rescued.  Stay aware, stay healthy, and stay focused.  Know what color your pee is and keep it bright and pure by drinking plenty of water!!

(Originally posted Jul 19, 2019)

The New National Park Fees

As some of you may already know, The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced that on June 1, most seven-day vehicle passes to enter national parks will be increased by five dollars.  Most other fees will stay the same.

It Could Have Been Worse

Back in October, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed the idea of more than doubling peak-season admission at 17 popular parks to $70, and maybe even adding a surge pricing for the top 5 national parks.  The response to that plan was, shall we say,  highly negative.  People took to social media and the internet calling for everything but a revolution.  Some were wise enough to figure out that this was a proposal, an idea to start the conversation.  The Department of Interior was putting it out there to get feedback.

The original public comment period for the new proposal was to only be thirty days, but they needed to extend it to 60 days due to the overwhelming feedback they received. And even after that ended, they still received feedback from people all over the world as well as from Congress and other government bodies.  A lot of people love our national treasures!

Grand Canyon North Rim

Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim

After much speculation and uneducated hysteria created by mainstream media and social media groups proclaiming this was a political move byPresidentt trump to gut the National Parks, it was finally announced last week,  that entrance fees at those 117 parks that charge a fee will go up on average of $5.00.

Not bad compared to what it could have been.  It won’t solve the problems generated by all the years of National Park mismanagement and playing political correctness, instead of focusing on their core mission.  But it is a start in the right direction and best of all, it won’t stop people from coming to see America’s greatest idea!

Most National Parks Are Still Free

Remember, we have 417 National Parks, Monuments, and Cultural/historical Centers. Only 117 of them charge an entrance fee. Meaning 2/3 of them are still FREE. 

More good news? The cost of the America The Beautiful Annual Park Pass and the Senior Lifetime Park Pass will stay at $80. Plus, Every Kid in a Park Program is still accepting 4th-grade students to sign up for their FREE annual park pass that gets the entire family into a park for free.

Free Park Pass to 4th Grade Students

Hey fourth graders! See America’s natural wonders and historic sites for free.

Getting The Parks Back in Shape

Starting in 2015, the National Park Services started a campaign to celebrate the NPS’s 100 anniversary in 2016.  To some, it seems like the marketing campaign went exceedingly well. Maybe even too good!  It woke a lot of people up to just what is in our own backyard and crowds started to appear at parks and monuments where there weren’t any before.  This put a strain on an already over worked system and one that was also dealing with major internal crises as well.

The Parks need help. Lots of it. They currently have a backlog of over $11 billion in needed upgrades, repairs and restoration projects to keep everything open and functioning as it should.  The new fee increase will bring in an additional $60 million to the National Park Service with 80% of the fee collected staying at the park it was collected at.

Interior Secretary Zinke is also working closely with Congress on proposed bipartisan legislation to use revenue derived from energy produced on federal lands and waters to establish a special fund within the Treasury specifically for addressing restoration within the national parks. It’s a start!

  • National Park entrance fees to increase an average of $5 on June 1, 2018
  • Only 117 of the 417 National Parks/Monuments/Cultural/Historical Centers charge an entrance fee
  • America The Beautiful annual pass stays at $80
  • Senior lifetime pass stays at $80
  • National Park Passes information

Go Visit a National Park for Free

Go Visit a National Park

On April 21, its National Park Fee Free Day.  All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone!

Want to go visit a national park near you?  Go to, put in your zip code and a list of National Parks, Monuments, and Historical sites will pop up with maps, directions, and information on what there is to see and do there.

National Parks Near Las Vegas

    • Red Rock National Conservation Area – technically not a national park, but they accept the National Park Pass!
    • Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
    • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
    • Death Valley National Park
    • Zion National Park
    • Bryce Canyon National Park
    • Cedar Breaks National Monument
    • Grand Canyon National Park
    • See the entire list here


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