View Full Version : Preventing Hypothermia in ourselves and neighbors

31st December 2010, 00:51
Hi everybody,

In the sleepless hours of last night, I decided that sharing useful information on the prevention of hypothermia might be very useful, because northern Europe is going icy cold, from unusually warm.
I feel I need to share some of my knowledge.
Perhaps everyone already knows this. (I don't do tv so I don't know if this is already all around.)
It seems that if the young and healthy are going to check on the weaker / older neighbors on the street or apt. building, this knowledge might help save some lives or at least help with the discomfort from cold.

OK, here goes:

In the 70's, I had a job in a backpacking store.
One of my jobs was to be watchful that people knew how to not die of the cold in the heat of the summer.
This is because at 55 deg F, (14 deg C) in light clothing the body will die of the cold.
I learned a lot and have continued to learn more.

Please others, feel free to share your knowledge as well.

2 Kinds of heat exchange are the most important here.

Conductive = direct transfer by touching. It is immediate heat loss.
Radiation = what it sounds like radiating waves of heat leaving one spot and going out in all directions. It is fast, but it can be slowed down.

1- Counteracting conductive heat loss is obvious.

When you touch something cold, the part of you that touches the cold item has to pump blood into that piece of your body to make up for the heat that is being conducted from it.

So, sit on a warm blanket, or wear gloves until your computer or steering wheel gets warm.
Put a folded blanket under your feet at your chair.
If your house is too cold, avoid touching metal with your bare hands.

2- Less obvious is radiation heat loss.

The important piece here, is that your brain needs most of the body's heat and so it is kept the warmest, and it therefore loses heat the fastest when in a cold environment.

To protect your brain, your body will draw blood flow from your hands and feet first, since they are more expendable than your brain.

Cold hands is your first clue that you are losing too much heat.
So, the simple rule is taught to all: if your hands are cold, put on your hat.

The beneficial effects of doing this can not be overstated.

A scarf around the neck is the second best place to keep in your body heat.
If the scarf is long enough you can slip it over the head and around the neck at the same time.

Radiation heat lost can be slowed down when the heat source is surrounded by what is known as dead air space. (= insulation)
This has a definition which I think is any air pocket less than 1/8 inch per side.
The point is that the air cannot move inside the air pocket so the heat transfer from the warm side of the air pocket to the cold side is slow.

3-The materials of warmth are...
This should be easy for anyone in England, if the wool industry is still strong there.
Perhaps, everyone already has a wool hat and scarf.

The structure of wool is that it has curly fibers with spines all along these fibers.
When nearby fibers touch each other, these spines make extra dead air pockets.

Wool has another factor which makes it unique.
It literally gets warm when it is wet.
I forget the amount. It is something like 13 calories per um gram? I forget.
Anybody know this?
In Maine, the fishermen dip their double layered wool mittens into the icy waters before they go out. (YIkes, but true.)

Microfibers are the next best.
YES, I said microfibers. I know, they are oil based synthetics but the micro part is the essential part here.
I forget when, maybe in the 80's, a big effort was made to replace wool.
This was never accomplished, but during the process, the very thin size of wool was copied and it turns out to be insulative, and warming.
Microfibers have no real itchiness factor, and can be worn near sensitive skin.

Now, This is really important.
avoid cotton. When cotton gets wet from perspiration, for example, it gets cold.
there is cotton thermal underwear sold. It is useless or worse, dangerous.
Also, put the cotton sweater away in the closet until next summer.


There are also spiritual ways to warm up, and I have only tried one of these.
I have found that it did work for the time I was concentrating.
I would love to hear of some that other Avalonians have tried and found some useful spiritual warming techniques.

I do not expect that a visit to the elderly couple's house would do with a spiritual exercise, but you be the judge of that.
Since you CAN take that exercise along with you if you forget your hat, it might save your life.

OK, Please anyone who can, add to this from your own knowledge and experience.
We will all thank you.


31st December 2010, 01:09
Thanks for the info Jeanna most interesting, but the one that is all important is if you feel cold older people are colder and tend to do nothing and get hypothermia. It is important for older people to use your your information and stay warm .

31st December 2010, 01:20
I forgot to add the hot water bottle!
(It belongs in the conduction part.)

I recently began to use a hot water bottle and it is a great way to get warm quickly.
I use mine all winter all day and night.
It takes 3 hours to get cold in the air on my chair, and about 6-8 hours under my blankets.

I put it on my pillow before going to bed and my shoulders and head are cozy. Then I move it around as needed. Under feet is a good place for total sleep warmth. (too much sometimes.)

Hand warmers a cheap, lightweight and hot too.



31st December 2010, 02:02
just wanted to make quick comment being a refrigeration engineer heat always goes to the cold never does the cold go to heat,,all whom live in europe stay warm and healthy....love,light,and abundance....thirdeye