How To Stay Warm and Dry in the Wilderness

James WerbOutdoor Clothing, Wilderness Hazards1 Comment

Man keeping warm and dry

Any fool can be uncomfortable, right?

Staying comfortable whatever the weather throws at you takes preparation. Whether it’s a quick day hike or a month long expedition into the wilderness, it’s essential to stay warm and dry.

The human body need to maintain an average core temperature of 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).

Dropping just a couple of degrees below this and you could be heading into serious trouble. At 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), you will be on the verge of hypothermia so understanding what causes heat loss and how to maintain your core temperature is vital.

This isn’t just a risk for polar explorers. In fact there’s plenty of cases where hikers have succumbed to the effects of hypothermia in cold, wet conditions after only a few hours on the trail.

Heat loss & heat production

Most of our energy comes from converting glucose. The good news is that you can regulate this process yourself. Making sure that you eat and drink enough has a big impact on your core temperature as well as the foods that you choose. Always take snacks or energy bars with you that are high in calories as these will ensure that you have the energy you need during the day.

Slow down or speed up.

If you start to feel yourself overheating then ease off the amount of effort you’re putting in or take a layer of clothing off. When you’re working hard the body will start to pump out heat and moisture.

Man climbing up rocks

Regulate the energy you use to make sure that you don’t get too cold or too hot.

Getting soaked through with sweat will have the same effect as standing outside in the rain without any waterproofs on. You’ll lose heat quickly this way.

Equally, if you’re feeling a bit cold then start to work a little harder put on an extra layer.

The body loses heat in four main ways:

Radiation

This is the way the sun heats the Earth or how a camp fire warms you on a cold evening. Your body is also producing heat which is radiating away from you. Wearing clothes doesn’t stop the radiation from occurring. Instead you radiate heat to your clothes, which in turn radiates