Friday, February 7, 2020

Protecting Yourself Against The Winter

Finland, Landscape, Winter, Snow, Ice
It is winter here in Alaska where temperatures combined with windchill can drop the temperature down to -50 or colder.  The other day, the temperature dropped to -58 with the windchill temperature and it felt like swords of cold were trying to penetrate my bones through my clothing.

What many people don't realize is that you can suffer frostbite and hypothermia at temperatures that are much warmer.  For instance, if you have a temperature of 0 degrees with a wind going only 15 miles per hour, you end up with a temperature of -19 degrees with the windchill included.  That means it only takes 30 minutes of exposure before you might suffer from frostbite.  In addition, it is quite possible to end up with hypothermia if you are not properly dressed and exposed to cold.

Unfortunately, frost bite can occur quickly.  If you are not aware of it, frost bite happens when skin and the undying tissues freeze.  This can happen in as little as 5 to 10 minutes if the windchill is extremely cold.  Frostbit occurs most often on the fingers, toes, nose, chin, ears, and cheeks.  Although frostbite occurs more often on unprotected skin, it can happen to covered skin if it is not properly covered.

Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself against getting frostbite and hypothermia.  Even if you live in a place where temperatures don't quite get as cold as they do here, you need to follow certain steps to keep yourself warm and protected.

First, layer your clothing rather than trying to wear only one or two heavy things.  If some of the clothing is made out of polypropylene, even better because this material will help draw moisture away from the body.  It is important to wear a hat covered by a hood from a hoodie, or similar garment and top with a hood from your outer jacket because the body looses 40 to 50 percent of heat through the head and neck.

Furthermore, wrap your face with a scarf so your skin is covered and protected from the wind. One should also wear mittens instead of gloves because they protect your hands better.  Mittens allow the fingers to stay together to generate a bit of heat. I wear gloves covered by mittens because it is often difficult to open doors with keys while using them. In addition, one should wear high cut socks made out of natural fibers and worn over a light sock liner designed to draw moisture away from the feet.

If for some reason you get wet, it is imperative to get somewhere warm and dry as soon as possible so you can remove the wet clothing.  If you do not, you could end up with a case of hypothermia and that could lead to possible death.  So don't forget to dress properly for cold temperatures so you are prepared and keep yourself safe.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment