Hypothermia

This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2018 issue of Appalachia Journal. Pam Bales left the firm pavement of the Base Road and stepped onto the snow-covered Jewell Trail to begin her mid-October climb. She planned a six-hour loop hike by herself. She had packed for almost every contingency and intended to walk alone….

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1: Wet leaves, slippery surfaces It is late October and you are descending Bear Mountain (2316’), the tallest peak in Connecticut, on the Undermountain Trail. You are with a small group of friends, about 2.5 miles from the trailhead parking lot. The trail is littered with wet leaves and very slippery. While navigating a tricky…

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Hiking and backpacking in the Northeast means that, sooner or later, you’re going to get rained on. So how do you stay dry in the rain? To help keep you a bit less wet than you might otherwise get, here are some simple tips and tricks, organized by type of gear. Rain jacket Look for wrist cuffs…

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What follows is an excerpt from Desperate Steps: Life, Death, and Choices Made in the Mountains of the Northeast, available now from  AMC Books. The screen door on the ranger’s cabin slammed hard in the wind. Baxter State Park Ranger Ralph Heath rose stiffly from the supper table to secure the latch, uneasy over the…

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Are you prepared to handle a survival situation in the backcountry? You may think so. You probably even carry some basic survival gear. It’s likely, however, that you are also packing some significant misconceptions about what a survival scenario actually looks like. THE DEADLY DISCONNECT Here’s the fundamental thing to understand: Survival situations typically occur…

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Photo by liveslow/iStock.com. Winter is a great time for kids to be outdoors. Snow allows for all sorts of activities that are not possible in the summertime. However, winter conditions also introduce new risks. Here are some winter precautions you can take to safely enjoy winter with your children. 1) Apply sun protection. Even in…

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Developed by Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, a professor at the University of Manitoba, this simple mnemonic might just save your life. A scene from Cold Water Boot Camp Cold-water paddlers are at particular risk of capsizing and going into the freezing drink (especially in the Northeast, where frigid ocean and lake temperatures lag far behind the…

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A series of telltale consequences begin to unfold as core temperature drops and hypothermia sets in. Knowing your “umbles” will help you recognize them—and take preventative actions before it’s too late. The “Fumbles”  Approximate Core Temperature: 98.6 to 95 degrees Condition: Mild Hypothermia One of the first signs of hypothermia is an inability to perform…

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