American Survival Guide - - NEW PRODUCTS -

Hy­pother­mia can take a bad sit­u­a­tion and make it se­verely worse. It is caused when the body’s core tem­per­a­ture falls be­low 95.0 de­grees (F). Dur­ing any kind of win­ter sur­vival sce­nario, it is vi­tal to keep your body’s core tem­per­a­ture as close to nor­mal as pos­si­ble.


Dur­ing mild hy­pother­mia, you will be­gin to shiver, and mild con­fu­sion will be­gin to set in. You will find it hard to fo­cus on any­thing but the cold. At this stage, it is a good idea to do some kind of mild cal­is­then­ics and fix a warm drink to help bring up your tem­per­a­ture.


Dur­ing mod­er­ate hy­pother­mia, the shiv­er­ing will ei­ther stop or be­come vi­o­lent, and your con­fu­sion will in­ten­sify, caus­ing you to be un­able to make de­ci­sions or fo­cus. You will be­gin to ex­pe­ri­ence mus­cle mis-co­or­di­na­tion, and your move­ments will be­come slowed and la­bored. It is im­por­tant at this stage to have a fire go­ing and con­tinue with cal­is­then­ics and warm drinks.


In the on­set of se­vere hy­pother­mia, your psy­cho­log­i­cal sys­tems will fur­ther de­crease proper func­tion, along with your heart rate, res­pi­ra­tory rate and blood pres­sure.

In cases of se­vere hy­pother­mia, due to in­creased dis­ori­en­ta­tion and con­fu­sion, vic­tims have of­ten ex­pe­ri­enced para­dox­i­cal un­dress­ing. Due to a mal­func­tion in the hy­po­thal­a­mus, which reg­u­lates the body’s tem­per­a­ture or the re­lax­ation of mus­cles con­tract­ing pe­riph­eral blood ves­sels, al­low­ing warm blood to flow to cold ex­trem­i­ties, vic­tims take their clothes off be­cause they feel hot. Some also ex­pe­ri­ence ter­mi­nal bur­row­ing, a self-pro­tec­tive be­hav­ior where the mind seeks to bur­row to safety like a hi­ber­nat­ing an­i­mal.


When in a win­ter sur­vival sit­u­a­tion, we feel it is im­por­tant to keep all our warm gear on and work hard to get our shel­ter and fire es­tab­lished. How­ever, this can of­ten lead to in­creased heat loss due to over­heat­ing and sweat­ing.

It is im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to your body when work­ing to es­tab­lish a camp. If you are feel­ing too hot and are show­ing the early signs of per­spi­ra­tion, open your coat a lit­tle and slow down your pace. If you feel you are get­ting too cold, pick up the pace. It is a fine line, but it is im­por­tant to keep track of your body’s tem­per­a­ture and keep it reg­u­lated. It is eas­ier to keep hy­pother­mia at bay than it is to fight it once it sets in.

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