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54

When talking about fresh, dry clothes then it's not true. More layers definitely equals warmer! As pointed out in the comments if you really go to extremes then more layers doesn't necessarily equal warmer, but to get to that point you have to really cram yourself in the bag so there's no insulating air between the layers. You could also make yourself so ...


23

Another option is to keep your water bottle inside your jacket and use your body heat to prevent the water from freezing. Many mountaineering jackets have internal elasticated mesh pockets for this purpose. Alternatively, I find I can just put the water bottle inside my jacket and use the waist belt of my rucksack to prevent the bottle from falling down ...


20

Possibly. the reason this is a consideration is best way to stay warm is with loose layers (multiple depending on the temp) that trap air pockets close to the body that are heated BY the body. if you are in your birthday suit you will trap a decent larger pocket of air around you. BUT a single sleeping bag will NOT keep you warm this way. if you go this ...


19

Yes, it is definitely doable. -20°C is only -4°F. The real question is whether it is doable by you at the level of discomfort and hassle you are willing to put up with. Only you can answer that. At best we can point out what the hassles and discomforts will be. First, your fear of dying of cold in your sleep is silly. You'd have to do something ...


19

I'm answering my own question to share some knowledge. First, cold toes/fingers is serious. You start feeling discomfort, then a little pain, then you stop feeling them and forget about them, then you get them amputated. So you should constantly check if you can still feel toes and fingers, and if not, start to warm them up. Second, I find most effective ...


18

This was tested and “busted” on MythBusters: Turns out, just one alcoholic drink could make you feel warmer, but it actually lowers your core body temperature. How does alcohol employ this rule of opposites? Alcohol may make your skin feel warm, but this apparent heat wave is deceptive. A nip or two actually causes your blood vessels to ...


16

Keep active. Bring a good hat. While your body can reduce blood flow to fingers and toes to prevent the core from getting cold, for obvious reasons it doesn't want to reduce blood flow to your head. Thus, it's important to keep your head warm. Eat sufficiently. Your body needs a lot of energy to stay warm. Don't deny it that energy. Mix food with readily ...


16

First off, weigh up whether it's worth crossing said river. I know this question is about if you "have" to cross it, but bear in mind that falling in is a real danger and if you do, hypothermia can onset very quickly and be deadly. It depends on the situation - if we're talking about a shallow, wade-able body of water that's not much more than a stream I'd ...


15

There are two important keys to keeping warm in sub-zero temperatures, keeping dry and dressing in layers. Getting wet by any means, including sweat will make you miserably uncomfortable. It is also obviously a lot harder to get dry once you are wet in a cold environment. As most people are aware the extremities are the hardest parts of the body to keep ...


15

So if you're completely out of your expected element, have no emergency blanket or shelter, then there are a few options to provide some additional protection from the cold. Get out of the wind. The wind makes things that much more miserable. If you can, get into an area protected from the wind. Find some insulation. Stuff leaves loosely between clothing ...


15

I cannot answer directly if you are risking your life or not, however, it is quite possible to tent in -20C weather, given appropriate preparations and gear. Condensation, possible wind and snow-load are a few of the environmental factors to consider in your preparations and gear selection. The condensation one is critical, as damp gear (in general) loses ...


14

It is much better to avoid frostbite than to treat it. You can easily lose fingers and toes to frostbite. When you are camping in the winter, you cannot go into the lodge and warm up like you do snow skiing. You should really pay attention to frostbite. If it is much below freezing and you have numb fingers or toes, you should take some kind of action. If ...


14

I am not a doctor, so I can only repeat what I think I understood from lectures by those that do have medical training. I'm pretty sure I remember Dr Murray Hamlett (I highly recommend attending one of his lectures, if he's still doing them. He is not only a leader and pioneer in cold weather medicine, but also a very good and engaging speaker.) saying to ...


13

I hadn't seen any of these but a quick Google does indeed seem to bring up a few! From a quick glance around, though this isn't an authoritative answer, it seems that 5 season tents are specifically designed for the harshness of Arctic-like climates, rather than a 4 season tent being designed more for your average winter in non-arctic conditions. I guess in ...


13

I think capacitive gloves are your best bet. Basically, they are gloves with something that allows the screen to close a circuit with your body (your hands) and that makes the screen work. I've provided some links to reviews, but the bottom line is this: at the temperature you're describing (around 0 degrees Celsius) they will probably do the job reasonably ...


12

Please don't drink alcohol to stay warm. It may make you feel slightly warmer temporarily, but it isn't actually helping you. According to my favourite volume on Wilderness Medicine (page 156), a small nip won't hurt you if you already have a cold-induced injury. However, it is strongly correlated with cold-induced injury, due to the cognitive impairment ...


11

I have used both the Pro version of YakTrax as well as the normal version that lacks the velcro strap across the forefoot. They are amazingly well engineered, durable and perform as advertised. On ice, hard snow and frozen trails, they provide excellent footing. Of course - if you are walking on a dry smooth surface like marble or stone, the grip isn't as ...


11

Overshoes When the boots' warmth is not enough, you can use overshoes. Basically, it's nothing more than a sack made of cloth , which you put over your boot and fasten somehow: This helps you in two ways: It creates an air pocket around your boot, reducing heat loss. The snow now melts not on your boot, but on the overshoe, drastically increasing the ...


11

Adding to Steeds self-answer. Other ways to warm up fingers and toes: Wiggle your fingers and toes vigorously (while walking, while sitting) - circulation is aided by muscle movement. Sprint (if you have the extra energy) When not using them, ball your hands up inside your gloves (remove your fingers from the glove fingers and make a fist inside the ...


10

There is one more important technique you can use that I was taught in New Zealand, where you have to cross rivers all the time. If you have a group of people (at least 3), you can greatly enhance safety by forming a chain in the following way: Position the strongest person upstream, the second-strongest person downstream and the weakest person in the ...


10

You could do a lot worse than strip them and get in a sleeping bag with them, and indeed this used to be instructed as standard first aid for hypothermia. However, as far as I'm aware this has now changed and the recommended approach is to construct a 1 person thermal burrito / hyper-wrap. It's done as follows (content taken from the alpine institute blog!) ...


10

I think you mean "light" the fuel. "Lighten" means to reduce it's weight. It seems you want to ignite it. The basic problem is that the vapor pressure of ethanol goes down significantly with cold. Keep in mind that liquid doesn't actually burn, it's the gas the liquid gives off combining with atmospheric oxygen that actually burns. If you have a fuel ...


9

My experience tell me this: sleep naked always if there's no sign of a possible avalanche. I've been in many high altitude expeditions in three Continents and have explored many vertical and horizontal caves and underground systems. Sleeping bags are best when they're good. Don't try to get a cheap offer and trade it for your safety or comfort. In ...


9

I generally sleep naked in my sleeping bag. Ive slept nights where I went to sleep in my clothes, and then woke up because my feet were freezing in the middle of the night, so I took off my clothes and when back to bed, and then woke up at dawn toasty warm. And nights where I didn't do that in the same exact conditions, and suffered the night. And these are ...


9

Only in contrived or extreme examples does wearing less clothing about your body in fact make you warmer when camping. The areas where I might consider it warmer to not wear clothing inside a sleeping bag are: Insufficient ground insulation when sleeping on solid ice or where you have no other viable insulation. In this case, it might make more sense to ...


9

Here's my attempt to make a truly thorough answer to the question of cold-weather clothing. Honestly many chapters of books have been written about this subject, so it is hard to give a specific answer for a specific case. First - Generally agreed upon principles: There are three things that impact hypothermia - wind, wet, and cold. Given the right ...


9

The guidance given to first responders from the Public Safety Training Academy is as follows: Talk - Can you talk them out? Reach - Are they close enough for you to reach, with a branch if necessary? Throw - Do you have a rope or anything you can throw? This can include flotation devices - even if you don't have a rope this increases the likelihood of ...


8

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 ...


8

Another point which hasn't been brought up yet is shelter. Have a look at these types of shelter which you can sometimes build: Quinzhee Igloo Trench (Just dig a trench in the snow and cover it with a tarp. Also, dig another trench inside the sleeping trench to let the colder air sink there instead of where you sleep.) You can also add insulation by ...


8

Eat something with high energy content. If it's warm, even better, but as Freedom of the Hills explains, the warmth is merely a psychological factor, what really warms you up is the energy in the food. Chocolate is great for this. Put the hypothermic person into a sleeping bag together with another, hopefully warm, person. On short trips where you don't ...



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