Tag Archives: hypothermia

Learn To Improvise Insulation

Learn To Improvise Insulation

Learn To Improvise InsulationPracticing survival skills is important for preparedness, and one must always consider the worst possible case scenario. So envision for a moment that you are out for a hike on a beautiful day, and the weather dramatically drops to a sudden cold environment. You weren’t dressed for this, obviously, and have quite the distance between your current location and shelter. You’re worried about your survival… here’s what to do in this situation.

Utilize the natural vegetation around you as insulation, by stuffing it into your clothes and footwear. Look for light, fluffy fibers. Obviously you’re not bothered by fashion or looks, what matters is survival skills. Down from cattails or thistle, dead leaves or grass and even bark fiber will all work wonderful as insulation material to keep you warm.

These survival skills can be practiced in other environments as well. If this emergency situation were to happen in the city, you would simply use newspaper or cardboard for the same insulating effect.

The trick behind emergency insulation is to use material that creates dead air space which will keep your body warm, even better if that warmth can be maintained when getting wet is unavoidable. Maintaining body heat is one of the most important concerns with survival skills, and understanding how to create insulation in an emergency is an important step.

Make an insulated vest

This will require repurposing two old t-shirts. Simply cut off the sleeves and sew the remaining portions together to form a double vest, leaving an opening near the neck which you can use to stuff with cattail down before sewing up the top. In the spring, you’ll want to dump out the old stuffing, wash, and re-stuff but you will have an effective insulated vest for… free.

 

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Snow Covered Evergreens of Idaho

A Guide To Insulation For Warmth

Keeping warm in the cold weather is a critical survival skill. Like any skill, understanding is root to mastering.

To begin with, here are the 5 leading cause of loss of body heat

  1. Radiation is an invisible energy emitted objects, which can be reflected back to the body by a shiny or light-colored surface.
  2. The transfer of heat from one molecule to another is called conduction. When you touch a warm hand to a cold object, for example, the heat will leave your hand and warm the object. To minimize this type of body heat loss, use insulation that contains “dead air space: and thick material.
  3. Convection is a type of body heat loss that happens when the warm layer of air next to the skin is carried away, usually by wind. To prevent this, wear clothing that is dense enough to contain the warm air and prevent the wind from reaching your skin.
  4. When trapped perspiration evaporates, this cools the layer of air next to the skin. The best way to minimize this problem is to have proper ventilation before you sweat.
  5. Respiration is the process where we inhale cold air and exhale warm air, and there’s not much which can be done about that.

Here are some types of insulation to minimize loss of body warmth

Natural Insulation includes down, which comes from the undercoat of waterfowl and is widely regarded as a powerfully effective material for insulation. However, when down gets wet it will lost up to 95% of its’ value and takes a very long time to dry. For that reason, down clothing is not the best option for practicing survival skills.

A better option for natural insulation is wool, which will retain up to 95% of its’ warmth even when wet.

Synthetic insulation options that are effective for practicing survival skills in snowy conditions include: fiber pile, Polarguard, Quallogil, Thinsulate, Softique, and Tex-O-Lite.

Almost all of these types of insulated clothing should be encased in some type of shell (usually nylon or another synthetic material) with wool and Fiberpile being the only exceptions.

Here are some extra tips on insulation:

  1. Be sure to wring out wet clothes as soon as possible, so they will dry quicker. Wet clothes will conduct heat away from your body.
  2. Two light sweaters are better than one heavy sweater, because the layer of air trapped between them will add more insulation.
  3. Remove a few layers of clothing when you begin to swear, to prevent evaporation from cooling the skin.
  4. Up to half of your body warmth can be lost through the head, so be sure to wear a hat!
  5. If you are caught in extremely cold weather conditions, the best survival practice is to stuff your pant legs into your socks, fill your pants with debris that will create dead air space, tuck your shirt into your pants and fill your shirt as well.

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survival-shelter

The Reasons Why You Must Build a Survival Shelter

Why You Need a Survival Shelter

If you are lost in the wilderness and have decided to stay there, your main concern is to discover or build a survival shelter. In general shelter is overlooked, or at best sacrificed on the scale of priorities. In a survival scenario it’s good to keep in mind the Rule of 3:

“You Cannot Survive
Longer Than Three Minutes Without Air
Longer Than Three Hours Without Shelter
Longer Than Three Days Without Water
Longer Than Three Weeks Without Food.”

Without being absolute these pointers are practical guidelines and correctly emphasize the necessity for shelter. Proper protection from weather conditions comes second only to breathing.

  • Enhance Morale. A survival shelter helps to give you and your fellows a more positive mood and a good night’s sleep.
  • Offer Protection from Animals. Despite the fact that animals aren’t usually dangerous, you wouldn’t like them running over you while sleeping.
  • Prevent Insect Bites. Nasty flying bugs such as mosquitoes and black flies, in big amounts, might drive you nuts, degrading your outdoor experience.
  • Protect from Sun and Slow Down Thirst. A shelter protection decreases the water usage and lowers the risk of heat illnesses and dehydration. You can build a cooling shelter in the sand on a beach or desert or perhaps be offered by a tree.
  • Shelter from Rain or Snow. Staying wet can make you actually feel cold and can result in hypothermia and feeling hopeless.
  • Make You Stay Warm. A shelter assists you to preserve your body heat, decreasing the consequence of wind and air currents. Body heat isn’t lost as quickly by the body in motionless air.

To sum up: a survival shelter gives you protection. Defense against climate and wildlife. Without having a shelter chances are you’ll freeze in cold weather, fall victim to heat illness in hot climate or become meal for a predator. Shelter may come in a variety of types, for instance caverns, trees or man-made constructions.

The kind of survival shelter to construct varies according to the gear and materials accessible, the season of the year, as well as the duration of the stay. Using the available materials, a good solid shelter may be built during any time of year and under any circumstances.
Your ease and ability to construct a survival shelter will be based upon your effort and skill at improvising a framework using the obtainable materials. In future posts I’ll describe an array of survival shelters, with various degrees of required skills, for virtually any period of the year.


fires-structures

Top 4 Fire Structures

There are several methods that you should consider for laying a fire.

Tepee Method

To prepare a fire utilizing this method you should place the tinder and then the kindling and firewood in a conical structure. Light the tinder. The outer layer of logs will fall in feeding the fire. This approach is perfectly for using with wet wood.

Lean-to Method

Push a green stick directly into ground at a 30 degree angle. Point the tip of the stick wind. Place tinder deep within the lean-to stick. Position bits of kindling against the stick. Light the tinder. Be sure that you add more kindling as the kindling catches fire from the tinder.

Cross-Ditch

Scratch a cross in the earth. The cross really should be about 30 centimeters in dimensions. Dig the cross not less than 7 centimeters deep. Set a wad of tinder in the center of the cross. Making a pyramid of kindling above the tinder. The shallow ditch consent air to sweep under the tinder to supply a vital draft for the fire.

Pyramid

Position small branches or logs parallel on the soil. Next, place a layer of small wood steadily across the logs. Add three or four more layer of branches or logs. Each layer should be slightly smaller than the one below it. a starter fire directly on the top of the pyramid. The starter fire will ignite the logs below as the fire burns. This will offer you with a fire that will burn down and won’t absolutely need any thought throughout the night.

 


 

Thermal Body

Heat loss mechanisms

Most people know that the normal temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 degrees Celsius. But many of us don’t properly understand what it takes for our bodies to maintain this constant temperature. To survive in a cold climate when you are out in the wild, it helps to understand how the body loses heat.

Heat is produced by metabolism of food. If you’re hungry, you will not be able to create as much heat as when you stay well fed. When it’s cold out, you need to eat more food to stay warm and satisfied, because your body uses more energy just to maintain body temperature. And when you aren’t able to just stop by the grocery store for a snack, this form of heat regulation is a whole different challenge.

Anytime the temperature of your environment is lower than the temperature of your body, you will be losing heat and your body will be working to keep your body temperature at a normal level. While most of us can avoid hypothermia because we’re not out in the wild for long periods of time, and we can go home when we want to, it is not uncommon for even the most experienced hikers and backpackers do underestimate the importance of staying warm, sometimes when it is too late.

Learning About Heat Loss

We lose heat through conduction, convection, evaporation, radiation, and respiration. You can’t avoid respiration, also known as breathing, so you will always lose a little bit of heat in that way when you are out in the cold. But there are things you can do to avoid the other four ways you lose body heat.

Evaporation

Evaporative heat loss is what occurs when the wetness in your clothing evaporates, drawing heat away from your body. Waterproof clothing is critical, but so is ventilation and avoiding sweating by staying cool to begin with – which may seem counterintuitive. If your clothing gets sweaty and you have spares, change into your dry clothes before you get cold.

Conduction and Convection

These are two fancy words for pretty simple concepts. Conduction refers to the way heat is transferred from you to cold surfaces you are touching. If you sleep on the ground without enough padding, you will conduct heat to the ground much more quickly than if you increase the padding.

Convection refers to the way that warm air rises and moves away from you. If you wear the right clothing, you will be trapping the air you have warmed with your body instead of letting it get away.

Radiation

Heat radiates away from your body the way that a campfire radiates heat. Radiation is the least of your worries, because it takes a very cold environment to cause you to radiate a dangerous amount of heat – well below zero.

Finding ways to stay dry, keep your body warm, and avoid transferring heat away from you are all very important. Knowing what to wear, what to do when you are cold, and how to avoid getting cold can save your life.