HOW HEAT WORKS

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Advice -

If you pick up a water bot­tle or open a metal gate on a cold day, you lose a lot of heat quickly. That’s called con­duc­tion; where cold things pull heat away on con­tact. We most of­ten feel that through the soles of our feet in cold boots or if we sit on a cold rock.

More cru­cial to out­door cloth­ing are the other three types of heat trans­fer: ra­di­a­tion, con­vec­tion and evap­o­ra­tion. Your en­tire body is con­stantly

ra­di­at­ing heat. You are lit­er­ally a ra­di­a­tor giv­ing off waves of en­ergy which will warm the air and cloth­ing around you. Then comes con­vec­tion, which is ra­di­a­tion’s part­ner in crime. As you heat the air mol­e­cules near your skin, they move and are re­placed by un­heated mol­e­cules. If there’s air-flow over your skin, this hap­pens more quickly and you lose much more heat – that’s called wind­chill. And lastly there’s our old friend

evap­o­ra­tion – the one which sweat­ing re­lies on – which is hap­pen­ing all the time. The ba­sic process of liq­uid re­turn­ing to its gaseous state. Even sit­ting there read­ing Coun­try Walk­ing you’ll be sweat­ing a lit­tle bit.

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