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Ways to Protect Yourself from Hypothermia When Outdoors

The best way to deal with hypothermia is by anticipating it as a real danger and taking measures to prevent it from happening by staying safe.


One of the dangers that people are exposed to in emergency situations outdoors is hypothermia.  Hypothermia happens due to loss of heat by the body. Once the body temperature drops to 3 degrees below the normal, hypothermia sets in. Exposure to cold conditions such as cold air, freezing temperatures and cold water are some of the dangerous situations that could cause hypothermia.If you are out camping, mountain climbing, kayaking or trekking, you can stay safe by taking several safety precautions.


First, you have to assess the weather conditions before going out. Look at weather reports and then make your preparations for the expected weather changes. If the weather looks too risky, it’s safer to postpone your trip to a later date. Beware of night-time temperatures; even if it looks warm during the day, temperatures tend to fall rapidly at night and if you are not prepared with the right clothing, you might be exposed to real danger. Pack a sleeping bag and carry appropriate clothing to keep you warm during overnight camping. Second, before you leave, you have to put emergency plans in place. Things don’t always go as planned. What starts as a normal outdoors activity might end up being an emergency situation. Even for a day time trip, it’s better to exercise caution and carry some warm clothing and an emergency kit in case you get stranded and can’t get back overnight. Let somebody reliable know that you are going on an adventure trip so that in case anything happens, they will send someone for you. Carry your survival gadgets with you as they will come in very handy when you need to call for help or alert rescuers of your position.


Third, how you dress will improve your odds of surviving in cold conditions. You should dress in several layers and the layers should be targeted at protecting sensitive areas in your body that are prone to heat loss. Your neck, head and chest lose heat fast and should be protected with extra clothing. Other areas such as the groin and armpits also get cold faster hence should be sufficiently layered. Dress your hands in warm gloves and your feet in layered socks and boots as this will protect them from frost bite. Make sure you carry extra layers of clothing in case you need them. The material of your clothes also matters a lot. ‘Breathable’ fabrics for instance, are not very good in cold weather as they lose heat faster. Lastly, to protect your survival gear from getting wet, pack it in water proof bags. You could go outdoors well prepared against the cold but if your belongings get wet, you will lose body heat and go into hypothermia. There are many other ways for preventing and dealing with hypothermia but by mastering and exercising the above simple tips, you have a higher chance of surviving in cold conditions. 


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