Saturday, April 4, 2009

5 Methods of Heat Loss...

When I say my prayers at night...I often say "I am thankful for this warm...dry bed". It is never a vain repetition because I say it with complete sincerity every time. All it takes to get my mind to that place of gratitude is a moment of thinking back to a snow campout I went on as a Boy Scout in my youth.

The short story is...I went on a snow campout with the only camping gear I had...which was rated for the summer. We played in the snow until we were cold and wet and then made our snow shelter when it got dark. I slept in a summer sleeping bag directly on the the entrance to the shelter where the cold air spilled in. I didn't sleep all night...I just shook...and prayed for the morning. Now...if half conscious delirium counts for sleep...I did do that.

When morning finally hands were so frozen that I couldn't grab the tab on a cup-a-soup to open it. I'm sure that I was on the cusp of hypothermia. When we left...I found some relief in the comfort of the cab of a van with the heater on.

Then when I arrived at my home...I had never been so grateful for a warm shower (that was painful)...and then a warm...dry bed.

Looking back at that experience...knowing what I know now...I didn't have to be that miserable. I was losing body heat through all 5 methods that one can!! By limiting the ways that I was losing the heat...I could have had a much more bearable night.

Ron Hood is a survival educator that I follow. I have watched many of his videos and have learned much. In this video he educates on the 5 methods of heat loss. One might say..."But I don't really go camping much so it doesn't apply to me"...but this isn't just for's for staying warm anytime. This is a great thing to know if you are driven from your home because of a disaster. People in crisis situations often think that the first thing to do is to look for food....but you can die a whole lot faster from exposure (hot or cold) than going without food.

I sometimes quiz my children on these 5 methods while they eat their breakfast in the morning! That may sound nuts...but hey...maybe it will one day save their lives...or lessen their suffering...or the suffering of someone they teach it to. Heck...I sure would have appreciated this info from a Scout leader...or someone!! Take the time to learn the 5 heat loss may save your life. (The next step is to learn how to make an emergency shelter)

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