Sunday, December 01, 2019

out in the cold

i keep running into a phenomenon when i am out with people winter camping and the people maybe aren't that experienced camping in winter, because winter makes a big and important difference.

i don't blame them for not understanding, because i didn't really understand how to live in cold weather either.

i tell people not to let themselves get cold.

don't let your hands get cold, don't let your feet get cold. don't let your ass get cold. if you feel chilly, move. get up and do things. do not sit with a blanket near the fire, because that fire is not putting out enough heat to keep you warm.

i tell them this over and over and they act like they understand, but their versions of not getting too cold is very much the not getting cold of people who plan to be indoors having a hot shower and spending the evening with central heat.

because how cold you can get and still have a safe and comfortable night is very different if you go out into the cold and get a little chilly and then you come inside and warm up. you can get WAY COLDER and still end up safe and comfortable.

but if you're staying outside, you absolutely cannot hang around until you feel too cold and then sit with a blanket around you until you warm up because you're not going to warm up.

you have to get your muscles moving. you have to eat hot food with a lot of calories. you have to remember to eat and drink and pee because you NEED your body to be working.

if you go to bed cold, without a hot shower or time inside, you're going to have a cold uncomfortable night while your body catches up, and your body can't afford to catch up like that too often.

if you're out with me and i tell you you need to have a hot beverage, i'm not being polite. i'm thinking of your safety.


Zhoen said...

I wish my Drill Sergeants knew that. Bivouac in basic was cold and miserable, with breakfast hot when we got it, but not allowed to eat it until it'd gotten pretty much cold. After that, I had no desire to sleep outside ever again.

What you say makes really good sense to me, but I'm not up to testing it out.

flask said...

your drill sergeants knew that, but their job wasn't to keep you comfortable, but to get you prepared for a whole mess o' that ugly.

i'm about safety and COMFORT. pretty views, fresh air. while your DI and i have some things in common (like wanting to help people build skills), i am also about showing people how lovely it is to roll out of bed on a november morning to a lake view and fried potatoes with a salmon fillet and a fried egg on top.

Zhoen said...

I'm not giving them that much credit. Couldn't feel my big toe for months after. This was November in New Jersey.


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