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[ft-l] Cold weather hiking questions
Hypothermia Symptoms - All of the symptoms listed are fine, but the first
is the first time that you feel cold, before any other of the symptoms. Most
folks that get in trouble with hypothermia, got into trouble because they
waited for the symptoms. By the time you or someone else sees the symptoms,
you are in trouble. All of the symptoms mean you are already in trouble.
When you first feel chilled or cold is the time to address the problem, not
when you are cold. Waiting for the Umbles or bumbles, or shivering is the
equivalent of deciding you don't want to pick up a red hot poker after you
have a second degree burn.
At the first sign of feeling cold act, add anouther layer. Get dry and warm,
do what you need to do to get warm before you are hypothermic. I often see
people on these lists recommending walking faster when you get cold. This
isn't the best idea, because it's only good while you are maintaining the
pace, and only while your body has the excess energy to produce more heat.
The faster pace also means more energy depletion, perspiration and
dehydration, so when you stop or slow down you are in more trouble than you
were before you picked up the pace. The pick up the pace idea only make
sense if you are within a half or mile or so of a heated shelter, not when
you are camping.
Most folks that deal with cold often know, don't let your self get wet and
cold. If you do act immediately, even if you think you are close to a
shelter (you may be wrong or you could receive an injury). Slow down, add
more layers, eat, and if necessary stop and get warm.
Most important of all you sleeping bag should never be part of you system to
stay warm. Sleeping bags are for sleeping in, and if you need all of your
clothing to sleep comfortably in it, it's not bag enough for the time of
year you are out.