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#265416 - 11/29/13 08:12 AM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: TeacherRO]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2760
Loc: Big Sky Country
Well, blizzards here on the plains can be pretty severe. With nary a tree or rock on the mile after mile stretch of open plains the straight line winds in a blizzard can hit 30 mph or more. Even when the snow stops it can be a white-out situation, with visibility limited to the end of your arm. Combine this with wind chills of -50 to -100 F you have a dangerous situation. With no natural cover and no visibility you can die pretty quickly from hypothermia.

Farm families, especially in years past, relied on themselves and had little hired help. Livestock still needed to be tended and you could easily lose most of your animals. Trips to round up cattle or sheep could be dangerous but failure to do so could be your financial ruin. Just going out to the barn to milk the cows or feed the animals could be risky in those conditions. Dad told me of a friend from school that died in that situation when he was young, and he told it happened more often in his dad's time. In fact, his dad is the one that strung the rope to the outbuildings, to prevent him or his brother from wandering off and freezing to death.

If you've never been in a bad blizzard out in the open it's hard to understand just how disorienting it is. Wind stings your eyes, blinding you. There's no way to tell direction and no visible landmarks. You could be fifty feet from your front door and never see it. And your outbuildings are a way away (if you've smelled a barn you know why it's not 30 feet from your house!). Our barn was about 120 yards from the house, our garage was maybe 50 yards. If it's -35 F (the coldest temps I recall as a kid) you won't last long out in 40 mph winds. When my dad's dad was a kid they didn't have electricity, and even my dad didn't have it til he was maybe 10. So no porch light to follow, even if you could make it out through the storm (and you may not be able to, especially in the day time). Pretty dangerous at night.

It's not a person but we lost a dog to a blizzard when I was a kid. Dad's spaniel 'Clem' was out in his doghouse; it was well insulated and heated, and he had a leash clipped to a wire run between stakes so he could run around. Dad sent my brother and sister out to make sure he was in the doghouse during a bad storm. They ran out and didn't see him, and thought he was inside. The next day we found him at the end of his run, frozen stiff. The leash got tangled on something and he couldn't get to his doghouse. He was pretty much frozen solid, poor little guy.
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#265424 - 11/30/13 02:11 AM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: TeacherRO]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1442
Thanks, Phaedrus. Sorry about the dog. What a sad end.

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#265426 - 11/30/13 04:43 AM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: TeacherRO]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2760
Loc: Big Sky Country
Yeah, sad. But it was like 35 years ago. Note: Man, I'm old! blush
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#265471 - 12/03/13 08:47 PM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: TeacherRO]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Good thing about living in the south: No snow.

I'd argue that either cold or snow can cause issues. Certainly you don't need snow to get hypothermia, but it exacerbates things. Loss of visual landmarkes, windchill, clothing getting wet (either from lack of waterproofing, or sweat from exertion).

Don't forget to factor in that you NEED to slow down in heavy snow, or you over exert, sweat, chill, and start to do yourself in.

Smartest thing, often enough, is to tough it out. Yeah, it sucks if you're stuck at the bus station overnight, but dead in a snowbank is pretty crummy too.

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#265474 - 12/03/13 09:40 PM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: TeacherRO]
JPickett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/03/12
Posts: 264
Loc: Missouri
You're wrong, MDinana. I lived in Macon, Georgia for 17 years and I distinctly remember 3 occasions when we got snow. (one was only a dusting though). I miss the South.

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#265476 - 12/03/13 10:22 PM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: MDinana]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1198
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: MDinana
Good thing about living in the south: No snow.
Hmmm..... I would say that no snow is one of the bad things about living in the south. The skiing sucks when there is no snow! (That getting pulled behind a boat thing you guys do down there doesn't count as skiing.) grin
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#265479 - 12/03/13 11:42 PM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7347
Loc: southern Cal
You may not have snow, or at least not much,down south, but you do get lots and lots of heat, and sometimes plenty of humidity, as well. I think I would just as well prefer to deal with the cold and snow - there is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothing - and after all, it usually a dry cold.
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#265480 - 12/03/13 11:50 PM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: TeacherRO]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Sunny Day in the Sierra Nevada, Crust on snow, skate skis,-- 50 miles a day.

Same location (Think Donner Party) Fresh series of storms with 7 feet of new snow-- 100+ yards a day.

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#265481 - 12/04/13 03:02 AM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: hikermor]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
Originally Posted By: hikermor
You may not have snow, or at least not much,down south, but you do get lots and lots of heat, and sometimes plenty of humidity, as well. I think I would just as well prefer to deal with the cold and snow - there is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothing - and after all, it usually a dry cold.


Part of the problem living in the South is the humidity in the winter. Winters can be very wet, and hovering a little above freezing. It is difficult to get warm sometimes, and these old bones tend to ache. One reason I am still a fan of wool.

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#265482 - 12/04/13 03:59 AM Re: Walking speeds in Winter [Re: MDinana]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Yeah, depending how far south you are, you don't get snow. You get ice!

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