The Stark Truth: A Step-By-Step Guide on How You Die From Hypothermia

I saw this article on Reddit and found it so well-written and informative I could not put it down. It is how you die (or possibly survive) from hypothermia. It is written by Peter Stark, a contributor to Outside and author of Driving to Greenland.

One of the most fascinating parts of Stark’s article in Outside Magazine is the part on “rewarming shock” where rescued individuals die after warming too quickly. In one case in 1980, 16 shipwrecked Danish fishermen were recused after an hour and a half in the North Sea. They were able to walk across the deck of the ship, go below, and drink warm drinks. They then promptly died . . . all 16 of them.

BTW, there is another snow storm supposedly heading to D.C. This article is a lot like reading Jaws before a summer beach trip. I may just stay inside and wait for Spring.

For the article, click here.

44 thoughts on “The Stark Truth: A Step-By-Step Guide on How You Die From Hypothermia”

  1. Years ago my folks set off to Florida mid-winter. I was worried and fought to get them to take extra clothes, supplies, snacks, and heavy blankets.

    They got to Ohio (Findlay) and the blizzard struck hard. Traffic on the expressway came to a halt.

    Cars couldn’t move.

    Police tried to assist but they couldn’t do much. They told people to stay in their cars (usually a good idea).

    My folks did stay for a while but then the snow got so high they would be trapped in the car. So they bundled up and set out on foot.

    The snow was blinding. My dad led them out away from the road onto a service drive they could not see. An eighteen-wheeler was inching by and dad forced–begged–the guy to stop and take them to safety. They all went to a nearby hotel.

    Dad’s a short frail, but tough as nails, Napoleon sort of guy (we love him that way).

    Some of the people who stayed in their vehicles because they the police suggested it (I don’t blame the police)died.

    My folks were real troopers that day.

    They got in contact with me with one of those modo-sized portable radios that were had by mostly rich businessmen in those days (one like the guy has that in funny Freecreditreport commercial right now).

    Mom said women were stranded at that hotel and sitting around in the lobby in thin little dresses with dress shoes and panty-hose, half-frozen. They barely made it to safety. The hotel overflowed with those escaping the storm.

    They still talk about that bad blizzard when 51 people died and I have a link about it below–its a recent commentary.

    I adore the cold and winter. I always will. But I have the utmost respect for then. A lighted candle in a car will keep the temp from dropping below freezing. A shovel, sand, newspapers, rock salt, or asphalt roof shingles will help you keep going on city roads when you get stuck. Extra clothing and the heaviest of boots should always be stowed away in the trunk if you live in the north during the winter. So should nuts and raisins.

    You must NEVER let yourself sweat in the cold. Before that ever happens you should be temporarily opening up your outer-wear, taking off a hat or some other layer of clothing. If necessary, stop physical activity until you feel the threat of sweating has subsided. Once you start to sweat, you risk your life.,2010,Jan,21&c=n

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