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Beware Of Toxins While Off-Roading!

It’s no secret that off-roading presents a series of potential dangers. Naturally, you have the common concerns - such as your vehicle breaking down or running into various other issues. However, at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive, we’ve encountered another problem that a lot of off-roaders neglect: toxins. 

Depending on where you’re exploring, toxins may be present in many forms. As the name suggests, they can be potentially dangerous and toxic for the human body. In some cases, certain toxins might cause health problems that require emergency assistance right away. But, you also get some that are more mild and may just result in things like rashes or minor pain. 

Needless to say, you need to be aware of toxins when off-roading in your truck. Here’s everything you need to know about the subject matter, helping you be better prepared: 

Why are toxins dangerous?

Toxins can affect the body in a number of different ways. Your reaction may differ to someone else's depending on the toxin and your body. Generally speaking, the effects get worse the more a toxin is in your system. So, someone may only expose themselves to a tiny bit of a toxin, while someone else may end up with way more in their system and experience worse side effects. 

A whole range of things can happen when a toxin is in your system, such as: 

  • Diarrhea 
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Gas
  • Rashes/hives on your body
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting

Again, the symptoms you face may vary based on your body’s response to the toxin - and the toxin itself. 

The above things range from mild to moderate, but there are more severe reactions a body can have to toxins. This includes the following:

  • Anaphylactic Shock
  • Vascular Shock

Anaphylactic shock is generally seen as a reaction to allergens. This can be the case if you are exposed to certain toxins while off-roading, and it leads to a shutdown of your respiratory system. Without an epipen handy, you may struggle to breathe and the risk of death is high. 

Vascular shock refers to a significant drop in the volume of blood in your body. This can sometimes be the case when you suffer a dip in blood pressure. If you have a severe reaction to a toxin, it can lead to excessive vomiting or diarrhea that leads to vascular shock.

How do you encounter toxins while off-roading? 

If you are setting off on an adventure in your modified 4x4 truck, you need to learn how you come in contact with various toxins. 

Fundamentally, there are all sorts of things that can carry toxins and make them enter your body: 

  • Bee stings
  • Bug bites
  • Certain plants
  • Snakes
  • Scorpion stings
  • Food products
  • Water
  • Carbon monoxide

Each of these things can present themselves when you’re on an off-road adventure. Typically, they will either enter your system through one of four means: 

  • Ingestion - you consume toxins through food products or contaminated water while on your trip
  • Injection - toxins are injected into your body by bugs or animals through bites/stings
  • Inhalation - you inhale toxins (like carbon monoxide) through appliances in your truck, such as a space heater
  • Absorption - toxins are absorbed by your body through contact with things that excreet them into your skin - such as poisonous plants

How do you avoid toxins?

Some toxins are harder to avoid than others. Toxins that are injected by animals and bugs are difficult to prevent as bugs are likely to land on your body no matter what. There are some bug sprays and products you can apply to your skin to try and keep them away. Likewise, when camping overnight, consider using a fire or a bright light away from your campt to draw the bugs away from you. 

Having a suitable vehicle can also help you avoid common toxins. If you have a custom build that’s sheltered, you should avoid toxins while driving by keeping bugs at bay. 

Educating yourself on what you can or can’t eat while camping will also help you avoid ingesting toxins. Bringing your own food - and checking that it’s in-date - can stop you from eating things or scavenging for food around you. Having a portable water filtration system can also be extremely useful to clean stream water. 

Covering your body when walking through overgrown areas can stop toxins being absorbed in your system, and you should also use updated appliances that don’t generate CO. Instead of an old-fashioned space heater, bring an electric one powered by solar energy. 

It’s also very important to have a well-stocked first aid kit that includes antihistamines, creams for rashes/bites, pain killers, and diarrhea/nausea medication.

The bottom line is that toxins are a danger when you’re off-roading. Being aware of them is the first step in ensuring you’re protected, allowing you to have a better trip.

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