Protecting Against Hypothermia [Guest Post]

Today’s post is from Ryan Larsen of Excursion Outfitters.  With temperatures starting to dip, it’s an opportune moment to go over safety precautions for your fall and winter outdoor experiences.

Frozen grass

Hypothermia is the most common danger in the outdoors

With the summer season coming to an end, the weather is beginning to change as temperatures begin to drop. This time of year proves to be the most dangerous time to go outside and camp. When most people think of dangers in the outdoors, they think of animal attacks or sever injuries due to stumbles. While both of these do happen, the most common danger is hypothermia. During the Fall season, outdoorsmen are accustomed to warmer weather and forget that it is much colder at higher elevations. Mix the dropping temperatures with the increase in rainfall and you have a recipe for hypothermia incidents. Despite the common knowledge of hypothermia, I am still surprised at how unprepared many outdoorsmen are when they visit when they go on extended hikes. Weather can change in the blink of an eye and your situation can go from good to bad to worse in an instant. In order to reduce the chances of catching hypothermia, there are a couple of things you can do.

Don’t ever go hiking without proper safety precautions

One of the most important things you can do to prevent hypothermia is to wear clothes that are well ventilated. It is also important to wear layers of clothing that can be shed or added according to your body temperature. The biggest threat to hypothermia is wetness. It is critical that you avoid getting wet, whether that is sweat, rain, or dew. If you do get wet, it is better to remove the clothing in order to get dry. The colder the weather, the bigger the problem of wetness becomes.

Learn to recognize the signs of hypothermia

Uncontrolled shivering is the first and most obvious symptoms to watch for. Uncontrolled shivering occurs when your body is reacting to the cold by shivering in order to generate heat. While shivering is your body’s way of generating heat, it also consumes a great amount of energy. If shivering occurs over a period of time, your body’s system may begin to shut down. As this begins to occur, signs will include: loss of motor functions, stuttering, and lack of balance. If the victim losses consciousness it is becoming quite severe. If the issue isn’t resolved promptly, death can occur.

Dealing with hypothermia

The best way to combat hypothermia is by heating up the core of the body. While many people are worried about not feeling their limbs, the core of your body is the most important part. If the core of your body stays warm, you body will have the ability to warm the rest of it. The best way to get warm is to remove any wet clothing and get dry. Fires are ideal of warming the body once their dry but huddling up next to another person is also effective.

Author Bio:

Ryan Larsen is an avid outdoors man. His favorite activities include: hiking with his dogs, fishing, and camping. He loves the outdoors so much, he started Excursion Outfitters, a company that specializes in Hiking Clothes.

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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