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#216967 - 02/12/11 09:30 PM Hypothermia Kit
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Okay, now I am going to assemble a hypothermia kit, including some instructions on when and how to deploy it aimed at me as I slip into hypothermia and at a relatively uneducated helper [no big words, etcetera].

Thoughts, oh mighty brain trust?

#216970 - 02/12/11 09:57 PM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
A hypothermia kit.

1) A dry bag to carry the following items.
a) Insulation layer consisting either a set of bivi trousers and Jacket or Down Sleeping bag specified to the highest rating for the weight with the possible addition of a lightweight waterproof bivi cover such as a Heat shields Bivi Bag.
b) A neoprene covered flexible water carry system with a drinking tube such as a 2 Litre Camelbak Unbottle.
c) A compact fast water/beverage stove system such as a Jetboil Flash or Primus Eta Solo etc.
d) Beverage mix such as hot chocolate or soup sachets etc


Get out of wet clothing.
Get into dry bivi sack and bivi clothing/sleeping bag.
Heat some water using the stove until it is just too warm to dip fingers into - then add some beverage mix such as hot chocolate or fruit flavor mix. Pour into the Unibottle then place into the bag/bivi along with the patient to warm torso area. Get patient to slowly sip on warm liquid contents.

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (02/12/11 10:02 PM)

#216975 - 02/12/11 11:41 PM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
Hikin_Jim Offline

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Stove, sleeping bag, and shelter are all good. Hot sugary drinks are also good. You might add a little solid food to that. Yeah, I know "food isn't a priority in a survival situation." Well, maybe that's true in warmer weather, but in winter calories = warmth. Hard to stoke the furnace if you've got no fuel.

For that stove, if you're going out in temps less than 20F, then forget the Jetboil or Eta Solo. Even in the 20's upright canister stoves won't work all that great. Go with either an inverted canister stove, a specialized cold weather gas stove, or a liquid fueled stove. I've got recommendations on my blog for lightweight winter stoves if you're interested:
MSR Windpro (inverted canister)
MSR Simmerlite (liquid fuel)
Coleman Xtreme (specialized gas)

Adventures In Stoving

#216985 - 02/13/11 01:31 AM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Good stuff as always, Grey Man.

Jim, been loving your stove posts!

Insulation from more cold
Hot liquids
Multiple hot packs to "wear"
Easy to eat and absorb energy food


Edited by dweste (02/13/11 01:33 AM)

#216988 - 02/13/11 02:38 AM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
Eric Offline

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Good lists so far. What sort of size / weight constraints are you looking at for this kit?

If compact is a priority maybe consider a candle lantern with waterproof matches or a bic for a quick source of heat along with a some basic fire starting materials and a heatsheets blanket or bivvy. Additional heat from chemical hot packs would probably be good also.

Clothing is tough trying to keep things small and light but maybe keep a pack of light weight long underwear in a ziplock/dryback with the rest of the kit and a decent hat.

Personally I'd rather have the stove and the sleeping bag (actually I do have them in my car) but I can think of some circumstances where it just wouldn't be practical to carry that much.

You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton

#216990 - 02/13/11 03:49 AM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Everyone above,has most of it covered Well!I'll add-Military Poncho/Woobie:Poncho Liner,Drinking Water of course,A few tins of Brisling Sardines,Spam Packs,Vienna Sausages for Instant Protein/Fat absorbtion.MRE Heater&Instant Jello for a Quick Charge,Hot drink.Snickers/3-Musketeers bars for present/future Malady.Silk Top,Bottom,Socks,gloves,Balaclava-Can all fit into a 1-Gal.Freezer Bag.Couple of Camp Towels.Faith in Yourself!

#216992 - 02/13/11 05:55 AM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
My current thoughts, based on your suggestions in part:

Towel: super absorbent and compact

Clothes: ultra thin wicking poly/merino wool:
pant, preferable footed or stirrup
top, preferably hooded

insulation layer, high tech and thin:
top to toe as above

ultralight hooded rainsuit

ddry footwear ?water socks?

Insulation from more cold
bivy heatsheet
ultra light ground pad?

Hot liquids
?self-heating soup

Multiple hot packs to "wear"
armpits, groin, back of head?

Easy to eat and absorb energy food
self-heating stew
chocolate ?

Wetfire tinder and stove

Sparkie one-handed blast match

Nalgene bottle "wearing" a TI cup

Can "wear" the bivy at need as an outer layer

Maybe the size of 2 breadboxes?

In a dry bag inside the smallest workable daypack?

Edited by dweste (02/13/11 05:57 AM)

#216996 - 02/13/11 11:00 AM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7328
Loc: southern Cal
What you are proposing is excellent - for some conditions, not so much for others. Preventing and treating hypothermia is all about skills and knowledge, and not so much about "gear."

The classic PSK and "ten essentials" equipment lists are basically all about hypothermia and its evil twin, hyperthermia. Interestingly enough, staying hydrated is critical to avoiding both states.

What you need can vary from something the size of a belt pouch to the entire contents of a 6,000 cu in pack. Basically you want clothing and shelter adequate for conditions, and then just a little bit more. My irreducible minimum extra clothing that I have always carried for years is a light coated synthetic hooded shell. The present version weighs all of 4 oz, but it will provide crucial wind proofing and allow rewarming. It doesn't get used very often, but when it is employed, the circumstances are memorable.

The ability to provide hot food and drink is important; again, my minimum kit can fit inside a sierra club cup, but when it gets cold I carry much more. Life as we know it is impossible without the proverbial nice cup of tea.

Remember -"There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." Another line I just ran across from my bible, "Medicine for Mountaineering" by Wilkerson - "A human's greatest protection against the cold is his intellect."

Read extensively in the literature on hypothermia and/or take a good first aid course.
Geezer in Chief

#216999 - 02/13/11 03:37 PM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: dweste]
Teslinhiker Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1412
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Hypothermia is often equated to being extremely cold and wet with the usual scenario of a person being dunked in icy cold water or caught out in unfavorable wet/cold weather.

The oft missed and more common causes of hypothermia is simply being tired, hungry, unhydrated and under dressed in temperate weather....along with having an unhealthy "go fever" attitude.

As I have mentioned previously, hypothermia can occur when the temperatures are in the high 60's to low 70's F and it is important that others in your group, are knowledgeable in the early signs of hypothermia and react proactively when somone shows they are in these early stages.

All too often, the hypothermia victim does not acknowledge/denies that he or she is slowly losing body temperature and hypothermia insidiously slips in...at which point it may be too late to treat with your aforementioned hypothermia kit and the person will require a quick evac to medical facilities.

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

#217000 - 02/13/11 03:57 PM Re: Hypothermia Kit [Re: Teslinhiker]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Isn't the "After-drop" mentioned at: http://www.hypothermia.org/hypothermia.htm caused by cool blood returning to the core and re-cooling it, causing a relapse after hypothermia treatment has begun? "Avoid having the victim assist with their own rescue! Muscular activity by the hypothermic victim pumps cold peripheral blood from the arms and legs into the central circulation causing the core temperature to drop even further." A hypothermia kit would need to account for this issue.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

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