Sugardyne-The Poor Mans Antibiotic

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cold Weather Survival

Cold Weather Survival-I had to re-post this as a hacker deleted it.

Cold kills. That’s a fact. Cold kills via hypothermia. Hypothermia is the term given to the condition when the amount of body heat lost to the environment exceeds the heat produced by the body.

The symptoms of hypothermia include: Shivering, confusion, decreased activity, clumsiness, shallow breathing, and slow heart rate.

Wet cold is defined as cold that goes down to 14 degrees farenheight. In wet cold, the ground freezes at night and thaws out during the day. Dry cold is defined as cold that goes below 14 degrees farenheight and rarely goes above this temperature. Since water freezes at 32 degrees’ farenheight, in dry cold the ground stays frozen all the time. This is important as being wet increases the loss of body heat.

There are 4 basic rules about clothing for cold weather.

keep it-------Clean
wear it-------Loose and in layers
keep it-------Dry

Keep it Clean-Dirt clogs up the air spaces in your clothing and reduce their insulating ability. The same is true for soap, so make sure washed clothes are completely rinsed out.

Avoid Overheating-If you overheat in very cold weather you will sweat. The sweat will then freeze and make you even colder.

Wear it Loose and in layers-This also helps prevent overheating. Wearing several thin layers of clothing can produce a lot more insulation than a single layer of thicker clothing.

Keep it Dry-The previous two rules have a lot to do with this. The human body cools itself to a large extent by a process called evaporative cooling. In everyday terms we call that process sweating. Being wet in a cold environment creates the same effect, even if the liquid is not sweat.

Consider the 50-50-50-50 rule: A normal adult without specialized cold water protective clothing has a 50-50 chance of surviving for 50 minutes in water that is 50 degrees farenheight.

Keep as dry as possible at all cost. One modern way to keep dry when overheating is to wear clothing made of Gore-Tex material. This material has pores in it large enough to let sweat evaporate out, but small enough to keep out water in the form of rain and melted snow.

Wool is another good clothing material for cold weather because it wicks water away from the body to the outside of the clothing. Traditional wool is very scratchy and uncomfortable, however, a modern form of wool called Moreno Wool is a lot more comfortable and has all the benefits of standard wool.

FROSTBITE-Frostbite occurs when body tissue freezes and thaws out. The hands, feet and head are particularly vulnerable to frostbite. For the feet, I suggest socks made out of Moreno Wool. If your feet get wet, this material will wick the moisture away from your skin. These socks are available in the hunting department of your Wal-Mart type establishments and at dedicated outdoor supply stores.

For the hands, gloves are essential. Ideally, the gloves should be waterproof and provide good insulation without having a major effect on manual dexterity, so you can do things like shooting a gun. I like the neoprene gloves as they meet all those criteria.

Protecting your head from the cold is important because 20 percent of your body heat is lost through your head. In cold weather the hat should be considered mandatory. If the cold is severe with high wind, your also going to need to protect your face, ears, and neck from frostbite. If you look at your local Wal-Mart type establishment or in outdoor catalogs catalog’s like Cabella’s you will find garments that you pull over your head. These garments cover everything except your eyes, nose, and mouth. However, in extreme cold with high wind, these areas will have to be covered as well. For gear to cover these areas, look to military supply catalogs like Brigade Quartermaster.

Snowblindness is a factor to consider if your going to be in the cold for long periods in areas where it snows. Snowblindness is caused by light reflecting off of the snow. A pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses will prevent snowblindness. In a pinch, one can cut two small slits in a piece of cardboard or wood and attach it around your head with a piece of string.

Why do so many people die from cold via hypothermia? In his book Survival Psychology, psychologist Dr. John Leach Ph.D. cites the work of J. Bligh to find the reasons. They are:

1. Misfortune-This refers to events like airplanes crashing, boats capsizing, or even failure of home heating equipment. The Lesson: If you are flying over Alaska or boating in Canada, bring along the appropriate protective clothing. If your home is in a region that get’s extremely cold, have a backup method of heating your home AND some very good cold weather clothing that is rated to protect you to the lowest outdoor winter temperature in your area. (The worst case scenario is you might have to leave your home and be in the outdoors).

2. Miscalculation-Inaccurate assessment of one’s situation. For example, you underestimate how cold it is. The Lesson: Get correct information about the weather situation before you go out. For example, your going hunting and you believe, incorrectly, that the temperature is going to 40 degrees farenheight with a 5 mile per hour wind when in reality the temperature is going to 15 degrees farenheight with a 20 mile per hour wind. If you dress for the 40 degrees and 5 mile per hour wind, your going to have problems. If you do not have accurate weather data, you cannot plan and dress accordingly.

3. Misplaced confidence-Inaccurate assessment of one’s ability to survive in cold weather or believing, incorrectly, that if you do get hypothermia there will be someone to come to your rescue. The Lesson: You are not Superman, and Superman will not be there to rescue you. DO NOT OVERESTIMATE YOUR OWN ABILITY, ESPECIALLY WHEN IN COLD WEATHER.

4. Logistic failure-Not bringing adequate cold weather clothing and survival gear with you. The Lesson: This one ties in with # 1,2, and 3. WHEN IN DOUBT, OVERESTIMATE THE SEVERITY OF THE COLD AND BRING MORE GEAR THAN YOU NEED.

5. Individual pathophysiological susceptibility-This refers to individuals who have medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the cold. The Lesson: If you have medical problems like hypothyroidism (low thyroid), heart disease, diabetes, problems with mobility, etc. you are going to be much more vulnerable to the effects of the cold. As such, PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

My state, Alabama, is not usually thought of as a cold state. However, Alabama has some of the largest extremes in temperature in the U.S.A. Summers often reach temperatures of over 100 degrees farenheight, and in winter nighttime temperatures go below 20 degrees farenheight. Some of you have winters much colder than that, but I doubt many of you have temperature ranges that extreme.

I’m often amazed how some people will go out in the middle of winter, say to the store, with nothing but a shirt on. The thought process is something like this: The store is only 3 miles away, I’ll only be out of my car as I walk from the parking lot into the store. What could happen?

In answer to that question, my reply is: “A damn lot!”

What if your car breaks down on a rural road, and your out of cell phone range? What if you have to change a tire? What if the weather changes dramatically for the worst while you are in the store shopping?

My solution to these potential problems is to keep the following items in your car:

1. A light, compact jacket that gives you some rain/snow protection.
2. An emergency space blanket or bag. These are made of metal foil and they reflect heat back to your body. The bags are better than the blankets. Ideally you would have one of each.
3. An emergency poncho for extra weather protection and extra warmth. These are available at Wal-Mart type establishments for around $1.99. Orange is the best color for visibility-choose this color if it is available.
4. 3 disposable Bic type lighters left in the plastic package until needed.
5. 4 boxes of waterproof matches.
6. 1 Zippo type lighter with extra flints and a small can of lighter fluid.
7. Kindling material for starting fires. Cotton balls smeared with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly kept in a nalgane bottle are a good choice.
8. A good flashlight, ideally and LED flashlight, to help you find your way and signal for rescue.
9. A signal mirror-to signal for rescue.
10. A whistle-it’s sound can go much farther than a human voice

The best warning about cold weather survival is this: Don’t get caught with your pants down. Be prepared.

1 comment:

  1. That's a great blog .I really like it.The blog is too good.It has been some time since I visited website with such high quality information. Thank you so much for providing such helpful information.Thanks for sharing.....