Vitalyte’s use in the first responder community has been well-documented over the years. The first report of our electrolyte replacement drink being used in an emergency situation was in 1976 during the Canada-Pacific Mount McKinely Expedition. The team members consumed at minimum a quart a day of “Gookinade” (yes that was our name in 1976) and reported “no muscled soreness” during the expedition. While most of the team was making a camp at 16,000 feet, two of the members went ahead to check out the terrain ahead. The scouts didn’t expect to encounter the serious situation they would stumble upon.
Two climbers had fallen approximately 1600 feet the day before after developing altitude sickness. One of the two climbers had sustained a fractured femur along with other injuries. He was however able to get food and water from his pack. The other climber was in much worse condition. He was comatose from dehydration and exposure to the elements. The Canada-Pacific crew immediately contacted Denali Park headquarters for helicopter assistance. But bad news came through from the rangers. Severe weather was fast approaching and air help would be grounded for 48 hours. All parties knew the climber would not be able to make it another two days without an IV.
Soon another expedition from Boulder, Colo., came across the grave situation. This team saw the Canada-Pacific expedition had “Gookinade” with them and suggested stimulating the swallowing reflux of the hiker by wetting his lips with the drink. They did and within a few hours he regained consciousness and was drinking fluids. When the status of the hiker was reported to emergency response headquarters they asked, “Where did the IV equipment come from?” Because that was the only way in their minds he could have recovered so quickly. Air support arrived 72 hours later and the hiker was able to walk to the helicopter.
Throughout the years we have received more than 500 reports from search and rescue teams, park rangers and EMT’s praising the efficacy of Vitalyte in situations where individuals are suffering from heat exhaustion, exposure and altitude sickness. Vitalyte is used on the front lines to help the men and women of Cal Fire and other fire units stay hydrated and combat the extreme temperatures they endure. Our product is sold at stores in the Grand Canyon as a reminder to hikers and day packers to “stay hydrated” while enjoying the challenging terrain and scenic beauty of this national park.
We are thankful we are able to serve the first responder community, and for over forty five years to have helped those who enjoy the outdoors stay hydrated.