Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
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When travelling on extremely remote roads, you need to prepare for the worst. This is even more true if you are travelling in a climate where the weather might kill you within days, such as in extreme cold. I've had a car break down once at -35°C. That road in Northern Sweden wasn't as remote as the one in Siberia you describe, as it still had maybe two ...


94

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 ...


64

Use a pencil. They do not freeze and can be easily sharpened. You might also use a grease pencil; they can write on metal, plastic, wet, oily, or waxy surfaces as well. These don't always afford the finest points, so if this is a concern, consider a fine-tipped sharpie, but, Sharpies are still susceptible to cold and wet weather. EDIT: Now that you've ...


55

Edit: It turns out battery-powered heating in clothing actually is used on Mt. Everest: Hotronic makes battery-powered heated insoles that are used by Everest climbers, for example. Battery powered jackets and other types of clothing are also common, but the models I checked only provide warmth for a few hours (e.g. this jacket, which runs 3-10 hours on a ...


49

First, if you go somewhere in a car, take along the clothes necessary to be outside for an extended period. 406 MHz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) All the tragedies have one thing in common: they did not have one of these and/or did not activate it. This is the gold-standard, same as aircraft ELTs and ship EPIRBs and works worldwide on the COSPAS-SARSAT ...


47

I suggest using both the car and the tent together. A car will lose heat fastest through the windows, so use the tent to cover them (and the top). The windows are a thin single layer of glass, while the panels trap a layer of air between the metal outer and a lining that is a better insulator than glass. The panels also block radiative heat loss from the ...


44

Well, I'm from Russia, and I heard that in the most desperate situation like this you can burn your car's tires. The tires are made of oil, so they burn well. Using fire from tires you can use other car parts that burn well, like a seat. This will allow you to last at least for a day and if you're driving a big car, like a semi, you can last several days. ...


43

I have previously used a tape recorder and nowadays, a smartphone or tiny handheld microphone. Then I simply speak my observations and findings in a way I know I will be able to easily tabulate when I am inside once again. If it is too windy to use an outer microphone, usually putting it below clothing layers will do fine. If it's muffled, I later boost the ...


40

Firstly there's the weight issue - as Paparazzi commented, batteries are heavy! Then there's temperature - battery performance drops considerably in the cold And finally reliability - if your electrical circuit goes, you will freeze unless you have properly insulated clothing... so why bother having the batteries at all?


40

To address the issues you're having with audio-based solutions, keep the phone inside your clothing and use a "hands-free" headset (wired). This will stop the phone dying due to a cold battery, which incidentally I've never had trouble with on a range of Android phones. With the right software you should be able to record when the microphone button on the ...


36

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 ...


36

Effectively, it isn't much better to sleep on an air mattress that isn't specifically made to insulate from the ground than on the ground itself although it does make a slight difference. The main takeaway is that you should always avoid sleeping directly on the ground so even a poorly insulated air mattress will be better than nothing. Your friend isn't ...


32

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 ...


31

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 ...


30

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 ...


30

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 ...


28

The general rule I use is if your tent needs to be heated to be comfortable, then you're "doing it wrong" and should have gotten a better tent. There isn't really any weather (especially backpacking, where weight matters more than it does when unpacking from a car) where the correct tent and sleeping equipment can't be made pretty cozy. However, "I told ...


27

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 ...


26

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 ...


26

Gloves or Mittens? All things being equal (fabrics, thickness, and insulation), mittens are warmer than gloves. Mitts trap body heat by keeping your fingers together and reducing evaporative heat loss. In frigid temperatures, a layered mitt system is the best choice for warmth. Layers dry faster than one heavily insulated piece, and let you swap out wet ...


26

When I was hunting, I found that the best way to keep my fingers warm, while still allowing me to free them for delicate manipulation (loading a magazine, etc) was to wear "convertible gloves" - that is, fingerless gloves with a mitten pouch that could be slipped over your fingers when not writing. Additionally, adding a chemical hand-warmer to the mitten ...


25

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 ...


24

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 ...


24

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 ...


24

Diagnosing hypothermia requires a special thermometer, as most over-the-counter thermometers are not accurate below 34.4 °C (93.9 °F). Additionally, local body temperature variations means you need to use a rectal, esophageal or bladder thermometer, which you probably aren't going to want to use in the wild. Even if you had that, there is variation from ...


23

Assuming you're talking about a situation where you're out in the elements (It's the great outdoors after all!), the best method would be to simply store those items close to your body. A pocket inside of your outerwear close to your skin would be best.


22

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 ...


21

I have always learned that when you go to remote areas you should have at least a basic knowledge of car repair and depending on the make of car and the area you go to your knowledge should be good to expert. So your first action should be looking whether you can repair it, with what you have and where you are. If that is not possible, you go to what the ...


20

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 ...


20

Two considerations: Layers should be loose and non-constricting so as to allow good circulation. Too many layers can get tight. Also, day clothes will be damp, even if you think they aren't. Air them before bringing them into your bag if it is cold.


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