Got the Chills?

I’ve done a lot of camping over the years, in some pretty inclement weather. Cold can kill you, and hypothermia is nothing to ignore. A friend of mine took his girlfriend camping and they got soaked in the rain and then chilled. He was a 3rd year medical student and saw that she was getting hypothermic. Got her wrapped up and made her some hot tea and she came right around.

The coldest camping I’ve ever done was -18 with a -40 windchill. That’ll kill you if you don’t watch out. I holed up in a dry creek bed and turned it into a reflector oven, putting my sleeping bag between my fire and the 8 foot high creek bank. It got so hot I had to lay on top of my bag, but I still was careful about my extremities. I’ve camped in the snow, and in the Colorado mountains when condensation on the tent froze. When I shook the fly in the morning, ice went everywhere. The point is, don’t fool around with cold, and know how to treat hypothermia.

And listen to experienced campers. That cold night in Colorado (10,000 feet) I gave the wife my good -15 rated bag and I took the +15 rated bag. I told her to get in the bag and quickly strip off her clothes so the perspiration trapped in them would get out of the bag. She thought I was nuts and refused to do it, arguing that her clothing would keep her warmer. I stripped down to my underwear and slept comfortably while she froze all night. A great opportunity to say ‘I told you so,’ but desiring to stay married, I didn’t take advantage.

2 comments on “Got the Chills?

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