It’s Summer

And about now the last thing inexperienced people in the open will be worrying about is HYPOTHERMIA. One word, WRONG!

I am always amazed by the resistance to the statement that more people will die of hypothermia in the summer than the lack of food (although food is fuel for the body).

Hypothermia is caused by wind, rain / wet, and temperatures under 20 Celsius.

You lose body heat by evaporation and/or direct contact with cold water.
And you don’t need to lose a lot of your core body temperature to endanger yourself.
For example:-
Normal core body temperature around 98.6 F (37 C).
Hypothermia kicks in as your CORE body temperature falls around
91.4F (33 C) 85.2F (30 C)

Most soaking wet clothing has almost no insulation qualities so your body temperature is ‘wicked away’ as the water (which might just be excessive sweat) does its work.
Evaporation of liquids causes a further drop in temperature.
Add a bit of wind and the passage of air over that wet clothing speeds up evaporation.
Thus your clothing cools further still and you lose heat quicker.

Generally conductive heat loss accounts for only about 2% of overall loss.
However, with wet clothes the loss is increased 5 x to 10% of your overall loss.
Wet feet lose heat 25 x faster than dry. (My reason for carrying loads of socks).

Summer temperatures in an average UK summer hover around lows of 46 F (8 C) for both day and night. The table below shows the temperature drop Ambient / Wind speed.

Now imagine you in the wind with wet clothing, in summer, for hours on end.
It’s easy to see how chilled down you’ll get.

It’s not something that is confined to survival.
Consider working outside.
Exposed to the weather, even with the right clothing, too hot makes sweat, wind is the norm, and as for wet? Ever noticed how it always rains just as you’re hot, sweaty, tired, and taking a break?

Survival Rules.
Get under cover, out of the weather, wind, cold, and wet.
Light a fire or turn a heater on to control the ambient heat,
Get out of any wet clothes into something dry.
Warm yourself slowly while downing warm drinks.
Feeling warm is NOT the same AS BEING warm.
Don’t rush this process, and don’t put on damp clothing.

As for what clothing to wear?
Ditch your jeans and other natural fibers EXCEPT for wool.
I’m not usually a fan of man-made fabrics BUT they will wick moisture away from your body better than cottons. Drying those fabrics is easier.
Just ponder that small camp fires are low efficiency diffuse heating sources.
Especially if you are running a Dakota Hole fire.
Waterproof boots are good IF THEY BREATH. If they don’t your feet will sweat.
Once wet, as said, Wet feet lose heat 25 x faster than dry.
Trench / immersion foot / fungal infections anyone?

Summer or winter the acronym COLD applies.
Clean clothes, kept in good order.
Overheating, a simple statement, DON’T! Do this by,
Layering your clothing removing or replacing layers to stay at a comfortable temperature,
Stay Dry, above all STAY DRY! Sweat kills, but being wet through kills faster.

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