Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Ability to stave off hypothermia

  1. #1
    Senior Member doug1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    1,653

    Default Ability to stave off hypothermia

    I watched a show the other night about a Former Navy Seal who was able to stay submerged in ice cold water for over an hour before his core temperature dropped to 95* He was given a small obsticle course to do before he got into the cold water then immediately after. He was able come within 3 seconds of his best time even after the ice bath. His weapon accuracy and mental alertness was still sharp as ever. The scientists said that he was able slow down the affects of the frigid water because of his training and his mental toughness. I thought that was pretty impressive. It's amazing what people are capable of.
    Alaska to Florida, for how long, who knows...


  2. #2
    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,719
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Ocean temperatures here hover a bit above 60* during the summertime. Swim for 2 miles - no problem. Drop that temperature by 10* and try to swim just 1/2 mile - no way.

    SEALS ain't normal people.
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
    General John Stark

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chugach National Forest
    Posts
    9,795
    Blog Entries
    11

    Default

    My "First Hand" Field experience is that it would be the most seductive and painless way to die. I stopped being cold, and was just tired, exhausted tired, just so very, very, very tired, and just wanted to take a short (and fatal) five minute nap, then continue to camp. It is easy to see in an other person, but invisible & seductive if one is alone.
    Last edited by Sourdough; 03-05-2010 at 04:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    4,227

    Default

    I saw the same show. The main reason he was able to is because they told him that he wasn't able.
    I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/FinallyMe78?feature=mhee

  5. #5
    Neo-Numptie DOGMAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    cyber space
    Posts
    2,028

    Default

    Mind over matter....

    If you don't mind, it don't matter

  6. #6
    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,719
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sourdough View Post
    My "First Hand" Field experience is that it would be the most seductive and painless way to die.
    I can think of more seductive ways to die. Bring on the pain!

    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
    General John Stark

  7. #7
    Neo-Numptie DOGMAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    cyber space
    Posts
    2,028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sourdough View Post
    My "First Hand" Field experience is that it would be the most seductive and painless way to die. I stopped being cold, and was just tired, exhausted tired, just so very, very, very tired, and just wanted to take a short (and fatal) five minute nap, then continue to camp. It is easy to see in an other person, but invisible & seductive if one is alone.
    So true. I've dealt with being hypothermic myself a couple of times,and with other people several times...lethargic, extremly tired is what you feel. I remember a friend of mine that was hypothermic, and we were trying to get him to get in some dry clothes and he said mumbly "I'm alright I just'll take a nap first"....he was frozen solid almost, and instead of putting on dry clothes he wanted to take a nap first...reasoning and mobility are just thrown right out of the window

  8. #8
    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
    Posts
    360

    Default

    Sourdough and the others, I would like to hear more about how you ended up with hypothermia. I know most outdoorsmen put such a premium on staying dry and warm, I curious as to how you got in that situation - and how others can avoid it.
    Preach It - Teach It - LIVE IT

  9. #9
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,188

    Default

    It's my personal opinion but I don't think you can "will" some change in physiology that drastic. There are differences in people based on genetics and perhaps that's what was at play here but just being tough doesn't keep you from freezing to death. I'll bet Inuits could out last anyone here in that kind of cold just because of their genetics.

  10. #10
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    tip of the mitt
    Posts
    4,956

    Default

    houdini would soak in a tub of ice water as training for his stunts.

  11. #11

    Default

    A boat sank in Cook inlet a few years back with a teenager, several grown men and an older middle aged fat guy. The only one to survive was the old fat guy, supposidly his fat acted as insulation. Come to think of it I have not been that cold the last few years.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southern WV , raised in Eastern KY up a holler
    Posts
    2,668

    Default

    I watched the same program and the SEAL was amazing. The Israeli commando wasn't human. Either man was above anything I have ever seen.
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old
    to fight... he'll just kill you.

  13. #13
    Neo-Numptie DOGMAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    cyber space
    Posts
    2,028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by preachtheWORD View Post
    Sourdough and the others, I would like to hear more about how you ended up with hypothermia. I know most outdoorsmen put such a premium on staying dry and warm, I curious as to how you got in that situation - and how others can avoid it.
    I have been hypothermic two times. Once severely and once mildly.

    The first time was severe...I was a second year raft guide, and it was early season (early June) we were training the rookie guides during extreme high water (near flood stage) in snow-melt run-off (Glacier Park, Montana). The water temp was about 38 degrees, the day was sunny, but only about 70 degrees. I was wearing polypro long underwear, a lightweight fleece pullover, with a splash suit (nylon jacket and pants with neoprene cuffs at the ankle, wrist, and neck) and a pfd. A raft flipped and everyone made it safely to shore or to other rafts.

    The raft floated down a little ways then was pushed into a log jam. Me and two other guides waded out into the river to start working on getting the raft off the logs. We worked on it for about 10 minutes. I was waist to chest deep in the water for alot of the time...I wasnt worried, even though I knew i was getting real cold, but I figured I'd just get out on shore and do some jumping jacks and warm myself up...the next thing I remember was slipping of a log backwards and no longer being in the eddy, but being rushed down the river.

    I was pulled to shore about 5 minutes and a 1/2 mile downstream, from another guide who had been in a raft that started chasing me. The wind was blowing pretty good and the raft couldn't make any time on me (the raft had a lot of it above the water line, only my head was out of the water- so little wind to slow me down) the guide (thanks Andy) jumped out of the raft (wearing a dry suit) and swam after me and dragged me to shore. I was barely conscious. I was treated for hypothermia on the spot (stripped off clothes, put-in sleeping bag next to a big bon-fire. had people taking turns in the bag with me.

    I was really lucky. There were 12 of us on the trip, all guides or guides-in-training and everyone was either an EMT or First Responder- plus we had all the right gear for the emergency. If it was a less experieced crew, there is no doubt in my mind I would have drowned...all I really remember from the epic swim, was not being able to control my arms and legs and not really caring. I never paniced....it just seemed like a dream

    The second time I got hypothermic was less dramatic. I was at a gas station in the Fall one late afternoon, and one of my buddies pulled up, hopped out of his truck all excited and said he'd just shot an Elk, and asked if I would come help him pack it out. He promised it wasnt too far from the road.

    So, we get in his truck and drive down the road into the National Forest, it started sprinkling on the drive. I was wearing a cotton T-shirt, Carhartt pants, and a cotton hooded sweatshirt. When we got back to his truck 5 hours later I was soaked to the bone and could barely move. However, my mind was working and I knew I was in trouble. He took me to another friends house who lived closer, and we barged in soaking wet and covered with blood. I stripped off my clothes and got in his shower for about 30 minutes, then crawled into a sleeping bag- in his guest bed (under all the other blankets) and spent the night there.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ClayPick's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    706

    Default

    Never seen the show (I don’t own a TV). Was he able to breathe warm air surrounding a tank or was he outside? Quite a feat none the less.

  15. #15

    Default

    "His weapon accuracy and mental alertness was still sharp as ever."

    One thing I know about is making a shot under field conditions. The most obvious way to steady your nerves is pouring a shot of whiskey in your coffee when you wake up. Another way is a shooting technique that is kind of the opposite of hitting a moving target. I'm not talking about leading, I'm talking about trapping were you pick a point in a line ahead of target and time shot to when the target gets there. In this case the target is not moving, you are. What I do is raise the rifle from under the target in a straight line and time the shot with it crossing the target. It not only works on frosty fall hunts but also shooting from boats rocking in the water. I don't know how to stop the shakes with mental toughness but whiskey or this trick works.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 03-06-2010 at 03:54 AM.

  16. #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chugach National Forest
    Posts
    9,795
    Blog Entries
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by preachtheWORD View Post
    Sourdough and the others, I would like to hear more about how you ended up with hypothermia. I know most outdoorsmen put such a premium on staying dry and warm, I curious as to how you got in that situation - and how others can avoid it.
    The worst, and nearly fatal, was on the Robertson Glacier near Delta, Alaska.
    We were camped on a shelf down in a crevasse about half way back the glacier, was Dall Sheep season 1980. We had spotted some nice rams the day before, and started at first light, with minimal gear in pursuit. We decided to split up and each go after different sheep, and meet back at camp.

    The weather had been good, but as I started up the wall, the fog came in, I kept climbing, the fog got so thick that I could not see far enough to plan a course. So I stopped and waited for the fog to burn off, instead it started to rain lightly, but I was already wet from sweat & the fog. I did not have enough room to remove my pack to get more clothing and put on rain gear, so I waited, and waited for the weather to break, I could hear the sheep just above me moving in the fog. Well the rain turned to snow, and I had to abort or fall off the mountain as the snow was sticking.

    By the time I got off the wall and back on the glacier, it was a white'out with visibility about 20 feet, I was very cold, the wind had come up and was about 30 MPH, and decided to double time it to the tent, figuring I would warm from the exercise. There were crevasses to navigate around or jump across (Note: 100+ feet deep).

    Soon I just wanted to stop and take a nap, I had stopped shivering, I was cold, but not bad cold, most just tired, like I had not slept in days. It was a classic Hemingway type event, I just keep stopping and starting to sit down, just for five minutes, but I knew at some level I would never wake.

    One problem was that the camp was down in a crevasse, and I could not see far enough to judge distance, and started to fear I had passed the camp some how. I was on a glacier one mile wide and eight miles long, with rock walls encompassing it, so building a fire was not an option, and I had all my clothing on, but the wind and blowing snow made me want to curl up on a ball, back to the wind, and sleep.

    I became more and more dejected as each crevasse did not hold the camp. It was getting dark, the fresh snow was 8" deep, I was ready to just die, I truly did not care. I said OK, go to one more crevasse and if camp is not there just lay down. Camp was there, but I still had to get down into the crevasse, mostly I just fell and rolled. The tent was caved in from the snow load, all our pots and stove were somewhere under the the fresh snow.

    I got the tent kind'a up, got naked, and into my sleeping bag. Then about an hour later I hear a muffled shot, way far away. I open the tent flap, and because I am down in the crevasse looking up at the sky, I see the faint outline of a person, and wondered why someone would be shooting in the dark, on a glacier. It was my hunting partner, and strange as it sounds, he could go no further, and wanted to hear his rifle go off before he sat down and died. He was not signaling. He just wanted to hear his rifle. I had some what recovered, he could believe I was yelling to him, slowly he turned and looked and could see me, but his mind would not believe it.

    That night we got 3 feet of snow. Now the problem was how to get off the glacier and not fall into a crevasse that was now covered with thin snow bridges.
    Last edited by Sourdough; 03-06-2010 at 12:24 PM.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by preachtheWORD View Post
    Sourdough and the others, I would like to hear more about how you ended up with hypothermia. I know most outdoorsmen put such a premium on staying dry and warm, I curious as to how you got in that situation - and how others can avoid it.
    I came VERY close to a hospital bill or worse from the effects of a one hour drive on a fairly busy highway, unprepared.

    In the late 70's I was running a pop route in a worn out truck. I had one of the small towns routes and the last town on the list was about 45 miles from home. With just a couple stops left to go I hopped in the truck and it wouldn't start. Small town in the midwest there was a friendly face attached to jumper cables there in less than two minutes but the jump only got me as far as the next stop. Luckily it was the auto repair shop and they quickly informed me that the generator wasn't putting out.

    Called the dispatcher and he said just get a quick charge and head back. Right! It was about twenty minutes before closing time at the garage but they shot as much juice into that battery as it would take in the time we had and wished me luck. It was mid winter and the sun had already dipped below the horizon but being very young, fairly dumb and eager to put the day behind me, I assumed that if I hurried there shouldn't be any problem.

    I wasn't five miles out of town before the truck started to stumble. I figured it was from lack of electricity so I turned the heater down a couple notches and the motor started purring again. Soon enough though it was stumbling again so I tuned the heater off and wished the maintenance people had done something about the enormous hole in the floor board where the shifter came through.

    If you've ever delivered beverages, you know that if you aren't in the truck or the store, you are manually unloading the truck so you don't normally need a lot of clothes. I had on those thin ugly pants the uniform companies love so much, short sleeve shirt, a light weight jacket and I'd put my jersey gloves back on when I switched the heater off.

    I had maybe ten minutes of smooth sailing this time but I'm running out of ideas to cut the drain on the battery and the engine is missing so bad now I had to downshift to keep it running. Then it occurs to me as I'm topping a fair sized hill that if I was right on somebody else's bumper, I wouldn't really have to have headlights so I take advantage of the downhill stretch and snuggle up behind a pickup that had passed me a minute earlier and switch off the headlights, put the truck back in high gear and start feeling a little better except that my fingers are freezing.

    About fifteen miles from home now and I need to downshift again. It took a pretty good tug to get my right hand off the steering wheel, I shove the shifter knob forward with the back of my fingers and try to get my hand to go back on the steering wheel but it won't open up. Now I'm starting to worry.

    I probably should have pulled off the road at this point and flagged someone down for a ride in but I had racked up a pretty good sized "road side assistance" bill a few months earlier when instead of telling my "co-pilot" to get his head out of my mirror, I accepted his "no cars back there" as an all clear and backed into $62 worth of ditch.

    Lots of oncoming traffic flashing me with their brights, engine stumbling again, I hook my wrist around the shifter and the motor dies as I pull the tranny into second gear. Restarts as soon as I let the clutch out but I know I need a new trick. I'm going WAY to slow to be on the highway with no lights in the back so I reach across with my right hand, kick on my left blinker and punch the lights off. The motor smooths out but I'm afraid to try and get a higher gear so I creep and blink my way into town. A half mile or so from the first open quick shop the truck started to buck in rhythm to the turn signal. I turned as sharp as I could without taking my left hand off the wheel, bucked into the far side of the lot and mashed the brake pedal killing the motor. MADE IT!!

    Pulled/pushed my left hand off the steering wheel, used my wrist to push the door handle up and almost fell on my face as I rolled out of the truck. I could not straighten up. It took me about thirty little "frankenstein steps" to get to the door of the quick shop walking with both my fists frozen at half mast out in front of me like a zombie. I guess one of the two men inside figured than Dr. Pepper had started hiring the handicapped because he beat me to the door and opened it for me.

    Now they are both staring at me like "Were you going to buy something?"

    I can't talk! Can't even make the little animal sounds used by some deaf people, nothing! After what seemed like a half hour of very uncomfortable scrutiny waiting to thaw out I try again and succeed in making an audable grunt. Eight or ten more unintellegable syllables and I finally blurt out a halfway decent "bout froze!"

    I noticed that it was actually painful to talk so I waited another five or ten minutes to run some more warm air in and out of my pipes and then I went and stood by the wall phone. The guy that had met me at the door asked me if I wanted to make a call and I rocked my upper torso in an affirmative fashion. Had him dial the Dr. Pepper office and with him holding the receiver, told the dispatcher "come get your truck." Then I went and sat down and he told them where the truck was. I'll never forget that.

    Nowdays, I dress for the weather, not the vehicle. I keep my coat on and the heater turned way down. Having a warm coat in the passenger seat doesn't help if you are pinned in the drivers seat.
    That which you sew, so shall ye reap.
    United States Blowgun Association

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •