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Thread: Hypothermia

  1. #51
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoe View Post
    Just wondering, not trying to be smart... are you a doctor? I never heard of this before? Where did you get this info?
    Before I was a backpacker, I was a mountaineer. In that pursuit, hypothermia and frostbite are a more frequent concern. When being stuck waiting out the weather in a tent before pushing on with an ascent, one will note that keeping the kidney area warm will afford a greater hydration limit. In frigid weather, your body will excrete more in order to have less to heat. Warmer kidneys reduces this effect. In essence, when your core gets cooler the equilibrium level of hydration is less.

  2. #52
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoe View Post
    LOL Thanks for the info. This may sound nasty. But since the urine is a warm 98' is there any technique to pee in a container for a source of warmth?
    That's not uncommon for mountaineering. Pee bottles are used for heat until they get cool, then you dump them out.
    There's not a lot of room for modesty in those type of pursuits.
    The there is when one has to "more than urinate" when it is -20 or below. That takes place in a bag in the tent in front of your buddies as well as attempting to do so outside of the tent would create instant flash freezing of exposed areas.

  3. #53
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hangnout View Post
    Quote from this article



    So if you keep your kidneys warm from an external source you are not robbing heat from the body resulting in your body not telling you to get rid of it?

    I am not a doctor but I slept at the Holiday Inn last night and Google helped a little
    If a person is hypothermic, I wouldn't advise using spot heat to keep kidney warm, as keeping hydrated is more important. Rather, if you are merely trying to stay more hydrated and are not hypothermic, warmer kidneys will result in fewer trips to void your bladder.

    My original point wasn't that warm kidneys will relive hypothermia better. It was merely to point out that frequent urination is not necessarily a sign of being fully hydrated in cold conditions.

    I must confess, Hangnout's link made the point much better than my effort.

  4. #54
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoe View Post
    especially if your so cold that your fingers dont work and you cant get a fire started
    The problem with a fire around Wise Shelter is that the area is picked over for firewood by shelter users year round. Dry wood around there is scarce and time consuming to gather.
    The last time the Mt. Rogers hang was actually a hike up to Wise Shelter, most of the group scavenged for wood within several hundred yards of the shelter, and the best that could be mustered was a wet smolder with an occasional flame.

    I've been in enough similar spots that I now carry several Esbits and a couple of pieces of fat wood in my emergency bag along with some cocoa packets and food that will not freeze plus matches, fire steel and a lighter. Perhaps it is overkill, but I consider it an insurance policy.

  5. #55
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    Glad you had enough sense to bail before you got into real trouble.
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  6. #56
    Senior Member DuctTape's Avatar
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    Glad everyone is safe.

    I read through most of the posts and like some others, I had a bout with hypothermia. It was my tenth birthday, end of October about 45*F and rainy. I do not recall too much of the experience except for being miserable at the beginning of the trip.

    Anyway, the only thing I could add that hasn't been said about hypothermia in general is how one's cognitive abilities become impaired even before one enters a hypothermic state. Once someone actually becomes hypothermic, their decision making ability is so off, they will do the opposite of what they should do, which is often nothing. Poor decisions can be made even by the most knowledgeable which can be disastrous. It is important for everyone in the group to be aware of early warning signs of hypothermia (and heatstroke etc...) and act accordingly since the perso's cognitive abilities may be impaired. Once someone enters a hypothermic state they need your help and may even argue with you as they now "feel fine". This is often true in many medical emergencies; you must make the right decision for them as they are incapable of doing so.

    When on solo trips, I am acutely aware of the dangers so I am extra careful to avoid threatening situations and circumstances. I am constantly doing self evaluations of myself before I even begin to make poor choices.

    It's not the cold, it's the wet that will get you.
    Stay dry if you can. Get dry asap.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    The problem with a fire around Wise Shelter is that the area is picked over for firewood by shelter users year round. Dry wood around there is scarce and time consuming to gather.
    The last time the Mt. Rogers hang was actually a hike up to Wise Shelter, most of the group scavenged for wood within several hundred yards of the shelter, and the best that could be mustered was a wet smolder with an occasional flame.

    I've been in enough similar spots that I now carry several Esbits and a couple of pieces of fat wood in my emergency bag along with some cocoa packets and food that will not freeze plus matches, fire steel and a lighter. Perhaps it is overkill, but I consider it an insurance policy.
    Good idea. After our experience, I do not think it is overkill at all.

    However, I don't think those items would have mattered much on that particular day. A better fire-starter might have been a white-gas stove! Actually, multiple attempts to get a fire started were made by non-impaired, experienced people at the campground, including using a Dura-flame log. If the fire was going before the rain and snow started it may have been different, but nothing seemed to work. I really think that, in those conditions with rain changing to very heavy, wet snow, the best thing is to get under shelter and stay dry.

    I ordered a new rain shell with waterproof zips and more base layers last night. Also a cuben pack cover, as my silnylon pack cover did not seem to be waterproof either. I was very thankful on that trip that I use a roll-top dry bag as a pack liner to keep my essentials dry.
    --Scott <><

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  8. #58
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    It is good that you all stuck together and bailed together for mutual support and most importantly decision making.

    Thanks for sharing in thi thread....Someone who read of this event may someday be saved because you shared.

    Pan
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  9. #59
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    Most anything I have thought about adding has already been said. One thing that I think was mentioned but I'll restate it, was concerning rain gear.
    It seams a good idea that it should be washed & retreated every so often, following recommendations for that type of rain gear.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctari View Post
    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!!
    You did the right thing my friend. Everyone always second guesses things. Anymore I am usually the first one to call it if things don't feel right. Always better to call it and get a good story then take a chance just to "tough it out". To put it another way, no need to prove anything.

    I am still flying solo or with one person more than not. Maybe one thing to take away is to over prepare next time. For me going ultra light is fine on a pleasant summer day, but I tend to over do it in the winter.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

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