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#87505 - 03/06/07 12:18 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
Old_Scout Offline

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 95
Loc: Delaware
4. "If your feet are cold, put on a hat." Fact: We do not lose more heat from our heads than from any other portion of the body with the same surface area.

Let's keep some other important facts in mind. It's not just a matter of heat loss from the "head area." A key element in advancing hypothermia is the cardiac and pulmonary functions affected. It has been passed on to me that some key controlling organs (glands) for these functions are located in the head/neck area and must be attended to in treating hypothermia. Thus, I have always taught that in treating advancing hypothermia special attention must be paid to this area which means three things:

- cover head and neck (this is why a gaiter feels so good!)
- drink warm (not hot) liquids to warm the throat area.

I would also keep in mind that much of "conventional" wisdom, while not the "entirely sufficient" explanation has some value hidden in it, i.e. if it can't hurt, why not do it? So, check that it doesn't hurt - then do it, too. Like put on a hat!
See 'Ya Down the Trail,
Mike McGrath

"Be Prepared" "For what?" "Why, any old thing!" B-P

#87507 - 03/06/07 12:56 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
*catches the valencia* Thanks for breakfast.

I was talking about a controlled condition experiment, say in your house. Fire is going to help, but if you have the thermos that OBG mentioned, it's going to help more than your buddy's cold, slushy OJ. Of course, tea hot OJ is nice to, once you have the fire going.

Chris, got any more? *waves the empty orange peel with a grin*

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#87512 - 03/06/07 02:50 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: duckear]
williamlatham Offline

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 234
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
All I know is that when I shaved my head or keep it really close cropped, any type of hat regulates body temperature really well. Anything from a cotton cap to a wool watch cap. Think about it, when the body starts to cool down it restricts blood flow to your hands and feet and other extremities. It puts more blood flow to the head. If your feet are cold put on a hat works because the heat loose through your head is now slowed with insulation, more heat is retained, so more blood can now be reapplied to the extremities. And yes, you can loose alot of heat through your head, but it is amazing what a 1/4 inch of hair will do to slow that transfer down.

#87515 - 03/06/07 03:24 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: williamlatham]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...it is amazing what a 1/4 inch of hair will do..."

Go ahead, rub it in... smile smile smile

#87516 - 03/06/07 03:27 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Thermoregulation is not simply a matter of body surface area (BSA); it also has to do with vascularization of the area. For example, in the reverse case of hypothermia, where hyperthermia is the problem, it is not uncommon to place cold packs in the groin area and under the armpits and sometimes round the neck region. Why? Because these areas contain major blood vessels, yet represents probably less then 2% of BSA. Likewise, the head, while comprising approximately 9-10% of BSA does have an increase in vascularization over other parts of the body. In addition, as noted by others, insulation by body fat has an effect on heat loss/retention in any particular area of the body and the head has little body fat for insulation.

If I remember correctly, in the impromptu study, thermal sensors were placed on various parts of the body (and presumably in the rectum to monitor core temperature) then used to examine the surface skin temperature of various parts of the body/core. This was then used to “debunk” the myth to “wear a hat if your feet are cold” paradigm. What they should have used is a thermal imager looking at heat loss/retention of the whole body under various conditions.

One thing to keep in mind is it that infants and young children have a larger BSA of the head then teens and adults. Therefore, even under their theory (with which I do not agree) children would be at greater risk for heat loss through their heads.


#87520 - 03/06/07 03:48 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: williamlatham]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4552
I agree. I've got a full head of hair, but when it gets cold, a lightweight Wigwam Thermolite Cap makes a big change. I'm already in wool socks and layered around my core, keeping my head warm is simply the next step.

#87525 - 03/06/07 04:37 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: NightHiker]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
3. Drinking hot tea or coffee will keep you warmer than drinking cold soda or juice. Fact: It's the calorie content, not the heat of the beverage that produces body heat.

This is another "straw man" argument. You should to drink something that is hot AND full of sugar.

Its like one of those multiple choice survival quizzes:
You're hypothermic - Do you:
A. Build a fire and make a hot cup of coffee.
B. Drink a cold bottle of OJ.
But they don't give you "C. Build a fire and warm up the OJ" or "D. Build a fire and make a hot cup of coffee with lots of sugar."
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

#87542 - 03/06/07 06:32 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: thseng]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
It is my personal opinion that people who drink tea or coffee without sugar are a little off anyway.


#87562 - 03/06/07 08:36 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Susan]
Frozen Offline

Registered: 01/07/05
Posts: 86
Don't forget the diuretic effect of tea and coffee. Dehydration is a factor in hypothermia as well
“Expectation strolls through the spacious fields of Time towards Opportunity.” Umberto Eco

#87564 - 03/06/07 08:46 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Frozen]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I carry decaf with me too...

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