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  1. #1
    Stumblefoot's Avatar
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    Myth: You lose most of your body heat through your head.

    I know while in my hammock that I usually cover my head with a balaclava or wrap a fleece scarf around it to help stay warm. I had always heard that most of my body heat is lost through my head. I read an article that said even the US Army is wrong in their survival manual when they recommend keeping the head covered in cold weather because "you can lose 40% to 45% of body heat from an unprotected head."

    This myth most likely stems from a 50-year-old military study in which participants were exposed to extremely cold temperatures while wearing arctic survival suits that came to their necks. When heat loss was measured, most heat escaped from the head, which was the only part of their bodies not covered. Experts say that if you performed the same study on people wearing only bathing suits, they would not have lost any more heat proportionally from their heads than from any other part of their bodies.

    So the head is not special when it comes to getting cold. Any body part that is exposed to cold weather will cause a drop in body temperature. I guess that's why we have UQ's and TQ's. My bald head still needs some type of covering.

    Comments anyone?

    Don't argue with the alligator until after you cross the river.

  2. #2
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    I don't have any data, but I know we burn lots of calories just by thinking and since calories are a measure related to heat and thinking takes place in the brain and hammockers a great thinkers, we must be producing tremendous amounts of brain heat, right?
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    All I know is that I no longer have any natural insulation on the top of my head, so yeah, it gets cold. The good news is that my eardrums and nasal passages no longer get cold. Apparently, the eardrums and nasal passages must become very sensitive to cold among men as they age since the body decided at some point to relocate all the hair on the top of my head to my ears and nose!

    For the record, aging sucks!
    Trust nobody!

  4. #4
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    I'd tend to agree, Stumblefoot. I liked to sleep with my feet sticking out of the sheets when I was a kid, and my mother always warned me that I was gonna get a cold from it.

    Then on the flip side, there's the quote in Vitamaltz' sig....

    Acer
    It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Formerly known as Acercanto, my trail name is MacGuyver to some, and Pucker Factor to others.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
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    Where is this article?
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

  6. #6
    Stumblefoot's Avatar
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    The article's title was "Poinsettias Are Poisonous, Right? Wrong! - Myths Even Many Doctors Believe". It was in the December 15 issue of Bottom Line Personal.

    Cannibal, I agree with you. Gravity pulls hair downward as you age...ears, nose, and down the back.

    Don't argue with the alligator until after you cross the river.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Coldspring's Avatar
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    I don't think we lose most of our heat there, but if that is the only uncovered area it will be where most of our heat is lost!

    All I know is that even in the summer I usually wear a cheep stocking cap. There are occasionally nights on the rivers that it's so hot and humid I can sleep w/o even a quilt or hat, but usually keep covered with a cap.

    I even wear a beanie or stocking cap around the house in winter. Why waste all that extra on heating costs? It makes a difference.

  8. #8
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    I'm a little surprised that this passed peer review at the British Medical Journal. The authors stated:

    The US Army Field manual for survival recommends covering your head in cold weather because "40 to 45 percent of body heat" is lost through the head. If this were true, humans would be just as cold if they went without trousers as if they went without a hat. But patently this is just not the case.

    That seems like faulty logic to me. My legs are about 34 inches tall. My head is something like 8 inches tall. My legs have a much greater area of exposed skin than my head. Of course I'm going to feel colder when I'm running around with a ski cap, parka, and no pants.

    They concluded by saying that the head was no more an outlet for heat loss than any other part of your body,

    So, if it is cold outside, you should protect your body. But whether you want to keep your head covered or not is up to you.

    That's like saying "You won't lose more heat by leaving your bedroom window open in January than by leaving your living room window open. Therefore, whether you want to keep your bedroom window open in January or not is up to you."

  9. #9
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    I do love that quote. It's from the funniest part of Moby ****. I like to be toasty, but I really like feeling the cold at the tip of my nose to remind me of how toasty I am.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  10. #10
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    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

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