Hypothermia – When You Are Deathly Cold

Recent conversations with family members and friends have been around the topic of hypothermia. This is a condition when the body’s core temperature drops below 95 degrees,

Most people think hypothermia can only happen in the colder winter months or the transitional months. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, more people suffer from hypothermia in the summer. Weird, huh?

The Outdoor Self Reliance website provides information on how to recognize signs of hypothermia.

In their book “Hypothermia Frostbite and other Cold Injuries” authors Gordon G. Giesbrecht, Ph.d, and Doctor, James A. Wilkerson, write “A mnemonic useful for remembering the early stages of hypothermia is “umbles.” The mildly hypothermic individual:

    • fumbles
    • stumbles
    • tumbles
    • mumbles
    • grumbles

The first three items (fumbles, stumbles, tumbles) reflect impairment of motor function, first fine movements and then gross movements. The last two (mumbles and grumbles) indicates intellectual impairment.”

Hypothermia is a real danger to people out in the woods. Become familiar with the signs so that you can recognize them in yourself and others.

Always carry rain gear and synthetic layers to add to or replace what you are wearing when the weather changes unexpectedly. Always carry an emergency blanket. Emergency blankets weigh just ounces, but can save your life, by redirecting body heat back towards the body.

To sum it up… Always pack so you are prepared.

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