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5 tips to avoid hypothermia when sleeping outdoors

  • Oct 2, 2014

Hypothermia is one of the most dangerous conditions an outdoorsman can encounter when sleeping in the wild, and as the temperatures continue to dip, your risk for contracting hypothermia rises. If you're planning to embark on an outdoor pursuit within the next several months, it's imperative that you become familiar with the condition, how it's prevented and how to recognize its symptoms.

1. Keep your clothes dry
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that your risk for contracting hypothermia drastically increases when exposed to rain, sweat or water in cold weather, as wet clothing can significantly lower your body temperature even further. To avoid this condition, be sure to bring along an extra set of dry clothing when camping so that if you do become unexpectedly drenched, you can warm up with your clean clothes.

2. Stay hydrated
While you should refrain from putting water on your body, it's crucial to keep that H2O pumping inside. Dehydration can further reduce your body's ability to take care of itself, leaving you vulnerable to a wealth of negative health effects, hypothermia included. It's equally important to stock up on snacks that are high in fiber, such as granola bars and trail mix, as these can keep your energy levels high.

3. Layer, layer, layer
It goes without saying that staying warm can prevent hypothermia from forming. The National Institute on Aging reported that the best way to avoid hypothermia is by piling on the layers as opposed to wearing tight clothing, as the latter may lead to constricted veins and decreased blood flow, thus heightening your risk for the condition. Be sure to bring along plenty of jackets and sweatshirts on your journey.

4. Recognize the signs
Hypothermia is marked by several symptoms, including shaking, stumbling, impaired speech and irrational behavior, according to the Appalachian Mountain Club. If you're on an outdoor pursuit and have been exposed to cool temperatures or wet conditions that may cause hypothermia and you're experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it's imperative to take measures that will warm you up immediately, such as adding more layers and shrouding yourself in a dry sleeping bag.

5. Know when to get help
If you're in the woods by yourself, moderate hypothermia can be treated by warming yourself and seeking shelter, but severe cases require immediate medical attention. Use your watch compass to guide you back to civilization and find a medical professional to examine your symptoms.  

With hypothermia being a very serious condition it is best to prepared while sleeping in the outdoors. Familiarize yourself with the steps listed above. The PAW5000-1 would be the perfect tool to help you do so. With a built in barometer it helps predict weather changes so you can stay dry. The thermometer can keep track of the temperature around you. And the compass can help you navigate back to civilization to seek medical attention if needed. Make sure you prepare yourself before your next trip!

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