Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Managing Body Temperature

T-Dogg's Got To, Got To, BEAT IT!

Yes, this is just an excuse to post the above montage that I created last night. Tugboatdude felt that it was not funny enough for him to comment on when I distributed it via email, so now you can all watch him in action, with his sassy moves.
But, his stupidity illustrates an important point. When air temperatures are below 35 degrees or so, the naked human body almost immediately starts to show signs of "exposure," which is just an inability to manage body temperature and bloodflow. Our bodies, for the first several minutes of exposure, foolishly pump warm blood through the most remote veins and arteries, trying to warm us up (this wastes valuable energy). When this fails, circulation begins to withdraw into the core of the body, which then begins to overheat, causing sweat.
The sweat collects on the body and transfers even more heat away from the skin into the atmosphere. This is going great, isn't it? Finally, your body begins to run out of energy to fuel its "furnace," and your core temperature begins to drop. When you start shivering lightly but uncontrollably, and have trouble using your fingers, your core temperature has dropped to about 96 degrees....the onset of mild hypothermia. As your temperature falls below 90 degrees, all shivering stops, since your body realizes it cannot possibly produce enough heat to keep you alive. Fatality is normally around 88 degrees.
So how do we avoid these things? The smartest thing I've started to do in the last 2 or so years is to BE CONSCIOUS of my sweat production......previously I only thought about it during archery season but it's so critical to having a comfortable and safe hunt during late hunting / early fishing seasons. Move strongly and deliberately, but don't rush. You may miss shooting light. Too bad. You should have gotten to the parking lot earlier.
Manage your body heat and sweat during the hunt. This is hard to do if you're up in a tree. Move around, flex your toes and fingers, and take a few quick laps....walking....around the blind. Take high protein snacks with you to eat at maybe 2 hour intervals - protein bars, nuts, even jerky....protein generates quick heat.
Third....please don't wear cotton. Another wise thing I did about 5 years ago is to give up all cotton clothes when I'm hunting, fishing, or surfing in cold conditions. Those comfy drawers will suck an unbelievable amount of heat out of you....whether they're holding sweat (mmm, tasty) or water from the outside world. Under Armour is expensive, but worth it. Even better, be like me and get the off-brand Under Armour at your favorite Hunting & Fishing Mega Store. I'm sure it's not as comfortable but it's about half-price of the real stuff.
OK those are all my wise tips for today. Make sure to use T-Dogg's picture above as your screensaver for the next two years.


tugboatdude said...

HAHAHA that's hilarious!Two years is a long time to stare at me dancing to Beat It!You have to much time on your hands to create such a masterpiece as that.

Anonymous said...

I guess that's what friends are for! Pretty funny stuff!

Good advice on staying warm, too. It's too easy to take stuff for granted out there, and it only takes a single mistake to lead to a deadly chain reaction of mistakes.

Cotton kills.

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