How does your Winter Wisdom stack up? Answer the questions and check the answers below.
1. In cold, wet, windy weather a good choice for outer clothing would be:
a. Goose down insulation b. Wool c. A synthetic fleece
2. When cold-weather activities require physical exertion, layering is the best approach.
3. Hot coffee laced with brandy is a quick cure when chills set in.
4. In extremely cold weather, one of the most important items is a warm...
a. Pair of gloves b. Coat c. Hat
5. If you're caught out in frigid weather, a snow cave can save your life.
6. Dehydration is a common physical problem in cold weather.
7. Frostbite is most similar to:
a. A bruise b. A burn c. A scrape
8. Hypothermia results from frostbite.
9. First-aid for frostbite includes vigorously rubbing affected areas.
10. It's below freezing and your feet get wet crossing a stream. You should...
a. Head for a camp immediately b. Build a fire and get dry c. Walk briskly until your feet are dry.
1. B. Wool. Goosedown loses its loft and warmth when wet, and most synthetic fleeces offer poor wind resistance. Down can be covered with waterproof materials, of course, and fleece can be backed with a windproof liner -- but natural wool retains warmth when wet and, if close-woven, offers good wind resistance.
2. True. Trapped perspiration and overheating while walking or climbing is the enemy, and the way to defeat it is to wear multiple layers, removing outer clothing while exercising and putting them back on while stationary.
3. Absolutely False. Any warmth offered by alcohol is a false warmth. Alcohol and caffeine (and, for that matter, nicotine) adversely affect circulation, so they are poor choices for treating chills or cold injuries.
4. C. Hat. A tremendous amount of heat loss takes place from the head and neck. A well-insulated hat goes a long way toward keeping the whole body warm. A smart trick is a muffler or even a bandanna tied around the neck.
5. True. Packed snow is a superb insulator, and getting out of the wind is the first key to survival. Ordinary wax candles should be a part of any cold-weather emergency kit, and a single candle provides amazing warmth in a snug snow cave. Caution: Make absolutely certain you keep a well-packed breathing hole open.
6. True. In cold weather, people tend not to feel thirsty, and dehydration can be a severe problem -- just as severe as in extreme heat, and just as dangerous. Concentrate on drinking plenty of fluid whether you feel thirsty or not. Eating snow is only a partial answer, for it takes surprising quantities of snow to offer significant amounts of water.
7. B. Burn. Frostbite and burns are very similar, including the degrees to which they occur. Treatment is also similar, except that gradual, never sudden, warming is essential for the frostbite-affected area.
8. False. Hypothermia is a subnormal body core temperature -- and weather need not be freezing for it to occur. Without adequate clothing, or when combined with dampness and wind chill, hypothermia is very possible with temperatures in the 50° F range.
9. False. Frostbite is freezing of the affected area. While rubbing may bring back circulation to chilled hands, feet, or face before frostbite actually sets in, it will only cause more tissue damage if actual frostbite has occurred.
10. B. Build a fire and get dry as quickly as possible. Wet feet in freezing weather are an invitation to frostbite.