Your body strives to keep your brain operating, no matter what the conditions. It will sacrifice toes, feet, and fingers to winter’s bite but continue pumping warm blood to your head until the bitter end. And your neck is the conduit for all that brain-bathing warmth. In cold conditions, retain this precious body heat with the right accessories.
Know the Flow
Your heart pumps warm, oxygenated blood to your head through two primary pathways: the carotid and vertebral arteries. Located on the front and back of your neck, respectively, these arteries each consist of two separate, near-surface vessels; the pulse points on either side of your trachea mark the passage of blood through the carotids. Upon entering your head, the majority of blood circulates inside your brain while the remainder courses through your scalp, face, and ears. It then returns to your heart primarily via the larger diameter jugular vein, located adjacent to the carotid arteries. Whenever that warm blood passes close to the surface—especially on the scalp and neck—heat loss occurs at an accelerated rate. In cold conditions, it is imperative to retain that warmth for comfort and safety…
This column originally appeared in the January/February edition of AMC Outdoors. You can read the full story here.
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.
(photograph by Jerry & Marcy Monkman)