Extreme weather conditions can create dangerous situations for hunters. Proper precautions can greatly reduce your risk of injury or even death. Keep in mind that weather conditions can change quickly. Take appropriate clothing and equipment for the worst possible conditions.
Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing your core body temperature to fall. Hypothermia is often induced by cold, wet conditions, such as rain, snow, sleet, or immersion in water.
Moisture from perspiration, humidity, and dew or rain on bushes and trees also can soak your clothing over time, putting you at risk in cold weather. Wet or damp clothes will draw heat out of your body more rapidly than cold air. Wind lowers your body temperature as it evaporates moisture from your body. Resting against cold surfaces also will draw heat from your body.
Prevention of Hypothermia
- Hypothermia can be prevented by dressing properly, by avoiding potentially dangerous weather conditions, and by drying out as quickly as possible when you get wet.
- High-calorie foods, such as chocolate, peanuts, or raisins, provide quick energy that helps your body produce heat.
- Stay hydrated—drink plenty of water.
Symptoms of Hypothermia
- Uncontrolled shivering—usually the first obvious symptom, but ceases as hypothermia progresses
- Slow, slurred speech
- Memory loss
- Irrational behavior, such as removing clothing
- Lack of body movement
- Unconsciousness, which could lead to death
Hypothermia is the number one cause of outdoor fatalities.