Cold Weather Survival
Cold Weather Survival
Cold weather survival is extraordinarily important. Hypothermia kills more people outdoors than any other survival circumstance, even more than dehydration and overheating. When you know you are trekking out into an area that can have freezing temperatures, you need to be prepared. Preventing hypothermia before it starts is critical. Here are some precautionary steps you can take to prevent this deadly condition.
Clothing is extremely important when it comes to the cold. One solid layer does not warm your body as well as several loose layers do. Some clothing choices are more obvious. Water resistant and fast drying boots are important, especially if you may pass through some water or a stream. A hat and gloves that are warm prevents rapid heat loss from these areas. A less obvious precaution is wearing undergarments made of synthetic materials. These will repel moisture better than say, cotton.
Staying dry may keep you alive. Have you considered Gore-Tex socks? Your feet are one of the most important areas to keep dry. These socks should be brought with you, to ensure moisture does not touch your feet. Pants and a shirt that repel moisture are also very important. Make sure you keep an extra set of clothes with you to change into in case yours become wet. One important thing to consider is you need to keep spare clothes in a sealed bag that does not allow moisture into it.
Be Aware of the Signs
Stay alert and be aware of the signs of mild hypothermia. These signs can go unnoticed by even those experiencing them. Some symptoms include shivering, pain from the cold, numb or extremely cold hands and feet, and disorientation. When you experience these symptoms, you need to let your body do its job and rewarm itself. To help this happen, perform some light exercise, but not to the point of perspiration. Drink a warm drink, replace any wet or damp clothes, and find shelter. If you are in heavy snow with no shelter in sight, build a snow trench. You should also build a fire immediately.
These steps could potentially prevent you from having a mild case of hypothermia or even a severe one. Stay warm and dry to stay alive. Stay safe, be prepared, and always know your limits. Cold weather survival can be more difficult, but it is among the most important survival knowledge to have.