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Thread: Hypothermia

  1. #21
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that in cold wet weather, I should hang my hammock and tarp at the earliest possible place, make some tea, change to dry warm clothes, and eat a snack. I'm sure it's easier said than done, since most folks feel that they have to get somewhere in a certain time period, and most likely will try to press on instead. It might be hard to convince my fellow hikers to join me.

    I keep hand warmers in my pack all the time, but they can be hard to open with super cold hands.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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    ~Reason~'s Avatar
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    http://mobile.walmart.com/m/phoenix;...423037910&wl0=
    Sell them at Walmart, no weight, I always keep them with the band aids in my pack.
    ~ʎpuıɔ~
    If you teach a child to reason they'll think for a lifetime.
    Trip report of this years Great Pumpkin Hang, 2014, Cardigan Mt, NH. We had so much fun, we're doing it again! AlexandriaLand Hang&Hike Nov-7-11

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    ~Reason~'s Avatar
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    Oh, and in last ditch situations I've heard to put the hand warmers or warm water bottles on your neck if you have them. Get a little warm blood to your head.
    ~ʎpuıɔ~
    If you teach a child to reason they'll think for a lifetime.
    Trip report of this years Great Pumpkin Hang, 2014, Cardigan Mt, NH. We had so much fun, we're doing it again! AlexandriaLand Hang&Hike Nov-7-11

  4. #24
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    As others have said, hypothermia can occur at any time. The closest I came was a backpacking trip to Dolly Sods, WV. My buddy and I had been out for 2 great days and were camped for our second night. It rained hard that night with the remnants of Hurricane Hugo crossing the Sods. We packed up the next morning and set out for another day. I had on a poncho and some cheap gaiters. My body stayed relatively dry most of the day though my feet were soaked in my old hunting boots. We hiked quite a ways that day and later in the day had to cross a swollen creek which was mid thigh deep. Right after the crossing we set up camp and the air suddenly began to cool. I immediately felt incipient hypothermia setting in so I got in my tent, heated some water for hot tea and dug out my dry, wool sweater. In no time I was fine but I had recognized the earliest symptons and reacted to them.

    I have an aversion to being wet while hiking. In any but the warmest conditions it can spell danger. I've learned over the years that many people don't know how to wear raingear properly. For raingear to function correctly it needs to be shingled like roof shingles. The topmost layer must overlap the layer below and each one lap the following one. The one place that most people mess up is with gaiters. While in snow it's fine for gaiters to be on the outside, when it's raining goodly your outer rain pants should be outside of the gaiters otherwise they'll just send the water inside of the gaiters. Just some food for thought on this topic.

    Glad everyone made it out alright and that helping hands were nearby.
    "There are places in this world that are neither here nor there, neither up nor down, neither real nor imaginary. These are the in-between places, difficult to find and even more challenging to sustain." - Thomas Moore

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    I'm thinking that in cold wet weather, I should hang my hammock and tarp at the earliest possible place, make some tea, change to dry warm clothes, and eat a snack. I'm sure it's easier said than done, since most folks feel that they have to get somewhere in a certain time period, and most likely will try to press on instead. It might be hard to convince my fellow hikers to join me.

    I keep hand warmers in my pack all the time, but they can be hard to open with super cold hands.
    Agreed. So glad you guys got home. I am having a hard time understanding why shelters were not set up. Were packs left at base or did hypo affect the thinking process as well as physical impairment? This is a very important education that each of us should take seriously. I have never been caught so this info is good. Thanks for sharing Ron

  6. #26
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    thank you for this thread.
    Now I am going to go read your trip thread.

    at any rate, a few months ago, someone started a thread re:
    when do you call it quits to hike? or something to that effect.
    What conditions will put your hike off, etc

    I was pretty shocked at some of the answers. I just will plain not go
    in typical Seattle-like weather: wind/rain/cold. I don't have to pretend I'm Andrew Skurka or something.

    I, instead, ask the question, "would a bear be out hiking in this?"
    if the answer is no, re-do your logistics.

    If I haven't seen wildlife strolling along, they're hiding somewhere for a reason.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In some mysterious way woods have never
    seemed to me to be static things.
    In physical terms, I move through them;
    yet in metaphysical ones,
    they seem to move through me. -
    John Fowles


    GA --> ME '12

  7. #27

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    I'm glad everyone is more or less OK. It sounds like folks had a real learning experience.

    A couple of things are sticking with me from what I have read.

    Washing Goretex - not using a proper detergent is a s bad as using the wrong one. The problem is the oils from skin and dirt that get trapped in the pores rendering them either blocked or acting as a surfactant and letting the water through. Wash with the right stuff or forget "waterproof breathable" as it won't be.

    Cold wet camping - if somebody had a hot tarp or hot tent setup with a pack stove a lot of your problems would have been manageable. It provides a warming hut as well as a way to dry clothes better than any other setup short of a heated cabin. It does not need to weigh a ton and can be shared as group gear.

    Short rant - conditions like that are a lot easier to deal with if using a self contained naptha stove. Minimal fuss and fast hot water can make a big difference. Soup or cocoa mix are also good to have.
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  8. #28
    Senior Member ninjahamockman's Avatar
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    Yeah it sucks to have hypo

    Main thing you want to do is always have a replacement. When your in the wilderness sometimes getting wet is almost as bad as getting injured if you do not have replacements. I almost got hypoed at zions pushed myself to almost exhastion to. Got wet had a hard time maintaing my body temp. My body was so busy burning fat to keep me warm I was getting exhasted. Snacks always help and some hot coco (Don't drink coffe or tea Mormon). Have to also keep yourself moving and warm never take a rest or it could be permanent.
    Bacon and Camping makes me happy.

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  9. #29
    Senior Member Doctari's Avatar
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    I would like to add / reiterate: IF we didn't have a bail out option, we could have survived. Dave was warmer with having rapidly changed to dry clothing. We had at least 3 stoves between us, I carry 4 days of food almost always & did this trip. We DID have some dry gear left & I had at least 2 hot packs. I know I had 4 days of fuel with me, water was very handy (it was running off the roof of the shelter )
    MY concern for me, I have difficulty sensing cold, if I'm shivering, I'm in trouble as that is a late sign for me.
    Today It occurred to me, & I expected it as we were leaving the Wise: Regret! I know deep in my heart that making a decision to get to help. Help that was a short & easy (plus easy to follow, well known to me) trail was the right thing to do!
    What helped me in the past (this is my 3rd bout with the hypo) I had a plan, it wasn't a great plan, but reliable. If not sure I can get warm and STAY WARM, and I can get to help, do so. If I can't get to help EASILY (short hike on easy(ish) terrain, do something to Get and STAY warm!
    As pointed out, getting warm was mostly within our grasp, had food, fuel & water. I'm not sure of my insulation at the temp drop we experienced plus I could tell I wasn't thinking clearly. So, the "A" plan was put into effect, at least in my mind, then Scott voiced his thoughts somewhat along the lines "I wonder if we should leave?" Dave felt he was fine, but supported us (Thanks again Dave!!) So we Ran for the barn so to speak.

    My take away, & this is the second time it saved me: When you have Hypothermia, you can NOT think, or at least do not have the flexibility to change a preset plan. You Can follow a plan, but if that plan is "I MUST make it to point X!" & point X is many &/or hard miles away, you may die. I nearly did 8 years ago trying to get to point X, some fellow hikers stopped me & got me warm & in shelter. That's when I came up with my plan. I am always thinking of it when hiking. Maybe not consciously, but I'm on the trail, the Hypothermia plan is near by so to speak.
    After that time 8 years ago, I hit similar conditions, 4 years later, wasn't nearly hypothermic but put the plan in place anyway: Set up shelter, ate & drank, took a nap. Funny thing about that nap, lasted 14 hours.
    Wasn't thinking this trip, but it all worked out! Since 4 years ago, I have hiked for extended periods in hard cold rain, this time I got caught with the proverbial pants down. Still had a great time, don't regret 1 second of it, , , , but would do it different next time.
    I would willingly hike anywhere, anytime in any conditions with WV, Bonsaihiker & Chickadee!!
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    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  10. #30

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    Glad you can still share with us

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