This recent cold snap in the Northeast got us thinking about how dangerous it can be to spend too much time in cold weather. But what happens if you’re forced to? Here at Patriot Surplus, we have a variety of warm and durable winter gear items to help you brave the cold this winter season. But you need more than just the right outdoor winter gear. You also need to know how to keep your wits about you when cold weather strikes.
The first thing you need to know is that there are many health hazards that come along with the cold weather. We’re not just talking about a red runny nose, either. You should know how to recognize and treat, frostnip, frostbite and hypothermia. Some of these cold weather-induced maladies can be fatal in very extreme cases.
Frostbite is recognized when the skin begins to turn gray or white and takes on a waxy texture—it may even look frozen. Frostnip involves white patches of skin that are numb. Other symptoms can include blistering, swelling, and deep pain the rewarming process.
Important tip: DO NOT pour hot water on frostbitten body parts or expose frostbitten skin to heaters, fireplaces, etc. as these heat sources can actually cause tissue damage. Instead, get out of the cold, warm the entire body, remove any wet clothing and replace with dry. Seek professional medical help when dealing with frostbite at any point! Wrap affected areas, keep warm and wait. To gradually warm frostnip affected fingers, put them on your stomach or under your armpits. The key to dealing with frostbite or frostnip (its precursor), is to rewarm the affected areas slowly while avoiding rubbing. Again – seek professional medical help if you’re experiencing frostbite.
Hypothermia is indicated by drops in body temperature, uncontrolled shivering,confusion and delusion. When your body drops below 95 degrees F, it becomes incredibly dangerous and damaging for your body’s systems. To treat, the first step is to get out of the cold, then, gradually warm the body back up, starting with your trunk – not your hands and feet. Remove wet clothing and replace with dry. Wrap your body in blankets – do not take a hot bath or hot shower, as the shock can cause arrhythmia. Seek medical attention.
The key in these cold weather survival concerns is preparation.
Wearing the right clothing is one of the most important things when it comes to the cold. Your goal should be to cover as much exposed skin as possible—from head to toe. Layer your clothing. Wool is a great insulator, and you can find the ideal wool garments right here at Patriot Surplus. Make sure you start off with base layers that can wick moisture away from the body while also preserving body heat. Proper footwear, outerwear, and accessories are going to be key – you need to keep your body warm and dry.
Bonus tip: Try to have a change of dry clothes ready at any given moment during the cold weather. This is one of the most important things you can do.