Hunting as a hobby can be one of the most lucrative hobbies you will ever develop. You don’t have to be a master painter or a novelist to get return, even a moderately successful hunter will easily pay for his/her hobby. Hunting is very challenging and rewarding on many different levels. But to own or develop this hobby you should learn some basic life skills to prevent any harm. Following are tips and ways to cope with the extreme weather conditions if you encounter while hunting.
Extreme weather exposure is one of the most prevalent and deadly dangers for hunters. When your body loses heat faster than it can create it, hypothermia sets in, causing your core body temperature to drop.
- Cold, wet circumstances, such as rain, snow, sleet, or immersion in water, can cause hypothermia. Hypothermia can develop at temperatures as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Perspiration, humidity, and dew or rain on plants and trees may all saturate your clothes over time, placing you in danger in the cold. Wet or damp clothing will wick heat away from your body faster than chilly air. • Resting against chilly surfaces will also take heat from your body when the wind cools you down by evaporating moisture from your skin.
Prevention of Hypothermia
- Hypothermia may be avoided by clothing appropriately, avoiding potentially hazardous weather, and drying out as fast as possible when wet.
- High-calorie meals like chocolate, peanuts, and raisins give you a burst of energy that helps your body generate heat.
Symptoms of Hypothermia
- Uncontrolled shivering—usually the first obvious symptom, but ceases as hypothermia progresses
- Slow, slurred speech
- Memory loss
- Irrational behavior, such as removing clothing
- Lack of body movement
- Unconsciousness, which could lead to death
Treatment of Hypothermia
- Find shelter for the victim.
- Remove wet clothing, and replace with dry clothing and other protective covering. If there is no dry clothing, use a fire to dry one layer at a time.
- Give warm liquids to rehydrate and rewarm, but never give the victim alcohol to drink. Quick-energy foods also produce inner body heat.
- In moderate cases, warm the victim with fire, blankets, or another person’s body heat; in more advanced stages, progressively rewarm the victim by placing one or more people in bodily contact with the victim.
- A victim in or near unconsciousness should be treated carefully and should not be submerged in a heated bath or exposed to a big fire, which can result in severe shock or death. Contact emergency medical professionals right away to have the injured transported to a hospital for treatment.
When tissue freezes, it causes frostbite. The easiest way to avoid bad weather is to stay indoors. Pay special care to your head and extremities, such as your fingers, toes, ears, and nose, if you’re trapped in bitterly cold weather. If the temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, wear a face mask. If you see any signs or symptoms of frostbite, get medical attention right once.
Symptoms of Frostbite
- Skin turns off-white.
- Prickly or tingling feeling occurs as ice crystals form.
- Pain may be present initially, then disappears as frostbite progresses.
- In severe cases, victim experiences a loss of feeling in the affected area.
Treatment of Frostbite
- Warm the affected area with body heat, but avoid rubbing the area—it can damage tissue.
- Don’t use hot water or other external heat sources, which could cause burns.
- Wrap with warm, dry clothing.
- Move to a warm shelter.
- Drink hot liquids.
- Get medical attention.
Basics of Cold Survival Without Fire
To survive cold weather when you cannot build a fire:
- Wear the proper type of clothing (no cotton).
- Stay dry. Use water-repellent outer garments.
- Build a shelter. The best is a nylon tarp shelter as it will protect you from wind, rain, and snow. Insulate the floor of the shelter with pine boughs, if available.
- Avoid contact with cold surfaces (the ground, rocks, or snow).
- Wrap your body in a thermal foil blanket. This will maintain a temperature of 60°F inside the wrap even when the outside temperature is –10°F.
- Limit your physical activity to conserve energy.
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion is the opposite of hypothermia—the core body temperature increases, usually as a result of hot and humid conditions, plus a lack of water.
Prevention of Heat Exhaustion
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take frequent breaks if you’re hiking to or from your hunting spot, especially when carrying a large load.
- Dress in layers, and shed layers as physical activity increases.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
- Pale and clammy skin
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
Treatment of Heat Exhaustion
- Move the victim to a cooler place.
- Have the victim drink water or sports drinks.
- Keep the victim inactive.
- Fan to lower body temperature, but don’t over-chill.
- In severe cases, seek medical attention.
Heat stroke should be treated as a medical emergency—it can be fatal.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
- Dry, hot, and flushed skin—dark or purple in color
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Shallow breathing
- High temperature—may be in excess of 106° Fahrenheit
Treatment of Heat Stroke
- Wrap in a sheet and soak with cool—not cold—water.
- Fan, but don’t over-chill.
- Get to a hospital immediately.