Feb 25 2014

How to Prevent and Treat Hypothermia

Emergency Preparedness –hypothermia skull in ice

How to Prevent and Treat Hypothermia


There are many areas of wilderness that are very cold and when venturing out in such conditions it is very important to know how to prevent hypothermia.

Prevention must be a very big part of your wilderness preparedness, especially in cold conditions.

However, in some cases you may not be able to fully prepare properly making it very important to know how to protect yourself by using what is available in your environment.

You must be proactive when it comes to preventing injuries, and protecting yourself against things like hypothermia, hypothermia (heat stroke), frostbite and dehydration – knowing survival skills are essential to your survival, especially in an emergency scenario.

Understanding what the possibilities are and knowing the problems you may face can go a long way in preventing certain things from happening or developing. 



man covered in iceHypothermia is a very real concern in cold conditions – and you must act straight away if you find yourself stranded in a cold environment – you should always employ the Top 5 Survival Skills and ensure your emergency procedures are fully ready for the situation you find yourself in.

Medically, Hypothermia is a condition that is diagnosed when your core body temperature has dropped by three degrees.

If you are exposed to wind or wearing wet clothing this will accelerate the onset of hypothermia.



Becoming hypothermic is not a matter of days or even hours – in some cases the onset of hypothermia can happen in mere minutes.

A means to have a survival shelter in a cold climate, is so critical.

Experts generally advise that a means to shelter must be obtained within three hours –  but it just makes sense to find or make a shelter is something that must be done as quickly as possible.

 The Top 5 Survival Skills

1. Building a survival shelter

2. How to prepare and make a fire

3. Filtering water for safe drinking

4. Huntting skills including snares, traps, fishing and hunting skills

5. Preparing  and butchering fish and game

running in an ice strom

Essential procedures for Hypothermia

  • You must get the body warmed immediately if you suspect the onset of hypothermia.
  • All wet clothing must be removed as soon as possible without any full exposure to the air if possible.
  • When treating another person you may have to use your own body contact to warm that person up.
  • If you cannot raise the core body temperature it will result in certain death.
  • Knowing skills to prevent hypothermia are essential and a critical part of any emergency preparedness plan.


Using the above procedures it is vitally important to get heat back into the body – if possible, give the patient a warm drink and get warmth to the essential areas.

  • do not give the patient drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
  • Apply a warm compression to the groin area and also the stomach.


* You must not use hot water on any part of the body, especially on the arms or legs because this can force the chilled blood to rush to the heart shocking it.

*In a hypothermic condition the heart is under a lot of stress and caution must be taken by handling the person gently and warming the body slowly without shocking it.  

In this type of survival situation that results in hypothermia, part of your survival medical kit  must include an emergency heat source –  fortunately, again, modern technology comes to the rescue with the perfect answer to this type of survival situation – the Heat Factory Warmer Pack – this is essential survival equipment to carry in cold conditions, this pack gives you 6 Pair Hand, 3 Pair Toe and 3 Large Body Warmers, all fitted in a small pack, each one is ‘air-activated’ and will last for 20+ hours and is the perfect way to warm up and keep a patient warm.



Emergency Survival Mylar Sleeping Bag

Remember, being prepared is your number one consideration when planning your wilderness trip in cold conditions – To prevent hypothermia you must be prepared for the cold weather to close in on you very quickly.

If it is not possible to use a shelter then you must seek as much cover as you can and hunker down, behind a rock face or tree keeping you out of the direct wind, thus reducing as much ‘wind chill’ as possible.

In this ‘instant’ survival scenario hunkering down also means covering yourself up using an efficient insulator that will protect against the cold and wind as well as retaining your body heat.


A survival blanket is a must have item to carry with you for exactly this situation – the most common are the Emergency Mylar Blankets, these will reflect soem 90% of your body heat and are water and wind proof – originally designed by NASA for the space industry they have now filtered down to earth..!



Always be prepared for bad weather

Never underestimate mother nature, always ensure that you keep up to date with the latest survival equipment and your emergency preparedness is always checking and re checking for new and better equipment to may your survival life easier….

If you are caught in a situation where you or a member of your hiking party is not prepared it can have very serious consequences. Knowing how to prevent and treat hypothermia and carry the correct equipment must be practiced.