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How can I recognize symptoms of hypothermia on myself and other people I camp with?

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I would prefer if the question was worded "…if someone is suffering from…" the current question makes it sound like you're asking how to tell if someone is predisposed to hypothermia. – Stephen Paulger Jan 25 '12 at 9:56
@StephenPaulger I edited the title, thanks for the suggestion. – Jasper Jan 25 '12 at 10:29
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Here are the basic signs of Hypothermia

  • Shivering. May start off mildly and go severe
  • General apathy and sudden exhaustion
  • Losing coordination (can't tie a knot, etc)
  • Loss of concentration
  • Sudden irrational behavior
  • Unable to speak correctly (slurred speech, dropping words)

Edit per comments

  • Final stages: Shivering can stop and subject can feel too warm and removing clothing
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I've found that you can catch the apathy (usually they stop joining in on conversation), loss of co-ordination and concentration as pretty good indicators before shivering - make them eat something (a chocolate bar or something energy-packed) and, if possible, get another layer on them - keep an eye on them in case they progress further, but everyone I've done this with has bounced back enough to get them off the hill and into a warm hostel. – HorusKol Jan 25 '12 at 9:58
Summed up by saying to watch for the "-umbles": stumble, mumble, fumble. – Lost Jan 25 '12 at 10:13
Also worth pointing out that in the final stages the shivering can stop and the subject can feel too warm and start tearing off clothes - don't assume it's a good sign if shivering stops! – berry120 Jan 25 '12 at 17:06
Precursors: Goosebumps, Blue lips/hands – Shawn Jan 28 '12 at 20:17

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