Freezing temperatures are extremely dangerous, and here are the 3 most dangerous cold-weather threats and how to avoid them. Knowing and preparing for these potentialities is your greatest ally in these situations, so read along and gain some survival knowledge.
Frostnip is the precursor to frostbite. If you can catch this in the early stages and rewarm the body part that is at risk you can completely recover from it. Real problems emerge when you do not rewarm these areas. Your armpits are usually the warmest part of your body, so if your fingers and hands start to develop frostnip jam them into your underarms. Fingers and toes are the most susceptible body parts, so be vigilant. This is also a great reason to carry hand/foot warmers with you to fight the spread of frostbite in your digits.
Hypothermia is as life-threatening a condition that you can possibly get. It builds slowly, gradually getting more severe until you cannot possibly deny its advance. The beginning stages of hypothermia are shivering and a lack of coordination. These are extremely common symptoms in below-freezing conditions. These happen when you’re in the cold for a couple of minutes trying to unlock your car in the morning before work. That is why the advance of hypothermia is even more dangerous. In a low-temperature survival situation, you must remain vigilant of these symptoms and their progression. You are used to shivering in cold weather, but in a survival, situation do not take anything for granted or too lightly. These symptoms progress into slurred speech, low energy, inexplicable heat, weak pulse, and your shivering stops. These are even more dangerous symptoms, as they make you feel like you are out of the woods and “getting over” your hypothermia. You do not “get over” hypothermia this easy, especially when still exposed to weather. It is impossible to fully recover from the most severe symptoms of hypothermia, so prevention is your most important tool.
Getting wet is possibly the most dangerous thing you could do when temperatures drop below freezing. The wind bites harder, hypothermia sets in sooner, and you will perish if you do not take immediate action. Remove all wet clothes immediately after you mistakenly get wet and replace them with dry ones. You are going to need to get your body temp back up to a healthy level fast. Try running in place, jumping jacks, or some other form of calisthenics to warm yourself back up. Your core body temperature will drop faster when you are wet than naked. You will not be able to avoid hypothermia if wet in freezing temperatures. After you replace your clothes, start building a fire immediately. Use this fire to also melt and warm some water so you can drink it to raise your core body temperature faster. Every second counts in these situations, so do not waste a moment.
These are the 3 most dangerous cold-weather threats and how to avoid them. Use this knowledge the next time you are stuck in one of these situations and these tips might just save your life.