Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wet and Cold vs. Dry and Cold

Water has approximately 20 times more heat conducting capacity than air. Conduction is also the most effective means of transferring heat. What do these simple facts mean? During cold weather, wet will be your enemy! This is especially true if you wind up in a situation where you are both cold and wet. If you are trying to stay warm and retain the most body heat possible, it is fairly obvious that being dry and cold will always be your best choice.

Remember the acronym C.O.L.D. and you will be able to optimize your ability to stay warm and dry in a winter environment.

C - Clean. Keep your clothing clean. Dirt and perspiration can reduce the ability of your clothing to keep you warm. Your clothing is an important part of your protection from the cold.

O - Overheating. Avoid getting overheated. Perspiration and sweat will cause both your skin and clothing to become wet which can work to increase your “chill factor”. You can avoid overheating by adjusting your layers of clothing or reducing your activity levels.

L - Loose. Blood flow is critical to maintaining body heat and is an essential part of staying warm. Snug or tight-fitting clothing that restricts the blood circulation of your body are best avoided in a cold environment.

D - Dry. Wet clothing in any type of cold weather will be a threat to your survival. Avoid cotton fabrics and clothing which absorb and hold moisture.

In most any cold weather situation, dry and cold will always be your best survival option.

If you happen to be inside with a nice warm fire, you may prefer “cold and wet”!

Margaritas anyone?

Staying above the water line!



Chief Instructor said...

Excellent points. You can use wool clothing to help keep you warm even when it becomes wet. When we swap out our clothing choices for our BOBs/GHBs for winter time, all of the cotton clothing gets exchanged with wool.

riverwalker said...

To: Chief Instructor

Wool is one of the best clothing choices for cold weather...keeping your GHB's updated for a change in weather is a good thing also.



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