Hypothermia happens when the body’s core temperature drops to the point where normal functions are impaired. Although most people think of hypothermia as something that only happens in the winter, it’s actually very common to see hikers suffer from it year round. A sudden change in weather is all it takes for someone to fall victim to hypothermia.
Stages of Hypothermia
- Reduce heat loss – If you in the wilderness, one of the first things you need to do is reduce the amount of heat that your body’s losing. Try to insulate your body from the elements by shoving materiel into your clothing. Everything from pine branches and leaves, to dry grass and fibrous plant materials can be used to help insulate yourself from the elements.
- Add Heat: If you have the ability to start a fire, do so immediately. Not only will the fire provide an immediate heat source, but you can also heat up water bottles or warm rocks that can be placed inside your sleeping bag.
- Food & Water – It’s essential to keep adequately hydrated. Keeping yourself hydrated and well feed can actually help maintain your core body temperature.
- Activity – Increase your physical activity by doing things like pushups and jumping jack. If your tucked away in your sleeping bag, wiggle your toes, move your hands and arms, and try to move around as much as possible.