Re: surviving cold, a situation
Susan Ganther (susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU)
Wed, 8 Nov 1995 12:12:58 -0500
The danger of telling a shivering person to get into their sleeping bag
to get warm, is that sleeping bags do not generate heat, they only help
us to conserve the heat we generate. If he truly is hypothermic, he is
not going to be able to get warm in that sleeping bag alone. You either
have to put another Scout in the bag with him, or find another way to
warm him before or after putting him in the bag.
Unless he is a very large Scout, you could try finding two compatible
sleeping bags that will zip together (usually if they are the same brand,
they will zip together) and putting 3 Scouts in the double bag, using the
third bag for extra insulation over or under the double bag. This method
also works in the event of a missing or unusable sleeping bag.
The other option I mentioned in another post. I always bring a hot water
bottle on cold weather trips. You can give it to the boy to take into his
bag with him just long enough to bring his core temperature up, than take
it away or it could end up draining his body heat once it loses it's own.
If you don't have something to use for this purpose, give the hypothermic
individual lots of calories in the form of a hot sweet drink if possible,
or whatever else is available if necessary.
Get him to the point where he is no longer shivering before you go back
to bed, especially if the Scout has a low percentage of body fat, he
may simply run out of fuel to keep his metabolism going at a high
enough rate to keep warm.
If he is very fat, this poses a different problem. Poorly vascularized fatty
tissue might be the reason he is having trouble getting warm. The fatty
tissue is colder than the rest of his body and is slow to warm up due to
less blood supply. In this case, just have the Scout run until his heart
is pounding then get him into his sleeping bag. He should not need the
calories to be able to warm up, the increased blood flow should do it,
and his own body fat should be able to provide all the fuel he needs to
keep warm thru the night. Tell him if he gets cold, to run in place
without getting out of his sleeping bag, that will get his blood warmed
up and flowing again. The fatter he is, the longer it will take for all
of his fatty tissues to reach the same temperature as the rest of his
body, so he may not feel as refreshed as his thinner buddies in the
morning, but standing by the fire will not help, because his backside
will be chillin while he warms his front.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City