Winter’s Bite

The cold can be a bitter rival when you have no safe harbor and this is for homeless people as well as those enjoying the wilderness. Even for a mild winter hypothermia, frostbite, and pneumonia can put you down when you thought you were fine.

Here are some of the basics and some tips when dealing with the cold.

Portland 19The possibly biggest thing to worry about is staying dry as the winter brings down precipitation in various forms. Steam, snow, rain, and fog are some of the most common example and with a hard chill it can come back to haunt in multiple ways.

When you get wet it will be under conditions, that will as soon as it happens, make it so much worse. Adding weight to whatever moistened it could be the difference of making a nice wool sweater a scratchy, chilling, gripping maw that you have to escape from often shivering all the while.

Most tents will have outer coverings that are water resistant, but will have pieces that retain temperature. It is important to make sure you do not get cold water in your shelter whether it be a tent or just a covered sleeping bag, getting water in it may lead it to getting much heavier, so you will have more difficulty carrying it, or if it is cold enough for that water to freeze may damage it or even cause mold, and it can cause more damage to your lungs long term.

What happens if you get wet? Your clothes follow the function I set earlier for your shelter, but be ware your body is more capable of fighting the cold. Shivers are a sign where the body will try to make its own heat through subconscious processes, and this makes it much more difficult to stop if you already fatigued through hunger or effort. You will find that shivering will take it out of you faster. Deciding to go light, remove your glove only to find that hypothermia trying to have a party with frostbite doing the tap dance on your digits

Cover your hands and feet with as many layers as comfortable without losing movement and if you need to then double up on layers. The last thing you need is to take a chance because frostbite will come in the extremities first and work its way in, if you need more heat consider taking one of the hand warmers and putting them between the layers, I would wear two pairs of wool socks and when it was really bad I would get some hand heaters between them. All this can be boiled down to a proactive defense because it is much easier to keep warm then it is to get warm.

First and best option is always logically, but if there is none than being stealthy will be needed. Get a large mass of land without police presence or find a corner of a building that will work especially you get drenched to bad because liquid is not your friend in any cold situation when it is freezing, being wet may be signing your own death warrant. When you are in the forest or in the caves try to stay covered without keeping your back to the structure because you can lose a lot of heat that way. Stay dry, stay alive, water ,and other fluids can freeze on living flesh. That could be you reader, don’t

TL:DR: Stay dry, Stay covered, Dress in layers, Pack smart, Cover your extremities, Don’t over do it.

Stay warm and stay strong.

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