Many cold injuries can be prevented by
protecting yourself when you are outdoors in cold weather.
emergency kit if you are going into the backcountry so
you are prepared for cold, wet, or windy weather conditions that might
Head for shelter that will protect you from wind and rain if
you get wet or cold.
Avoid doing too much activity and sweating.
Sweating increases heat loss through evaporation, so you will feel
Avoid touching metal, especially with wet hands, because it
will make you feel colder and may cause frostbite.
Eat plenty of food to help maintain your body
heat. Carry high-calorie foods, such as candy bars and trail mix, when going
out in cold weather.
Drink plenty of water. Carry extra water with
you and drink it hourly. Your urine should be clear, not yellow or orange. If
you are not urinating every 2 to 3 hours, you probably are not drinking enough
Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol:
Interferes with your body's ability to
regulate body temperature.
Affects judgment. For example, a person
may not put on more clothing when it is needed if his or her judgment is
changed by alcohol.
Can cause blood vessels in your skin to dilate.
This increases heat loss.
Reduces your ability to sense cold
because it depresses the nervous system.
Do not use caffeine and do not smoke while in the
cold. Nicotine (from tobacco) and caffeine cause narrowing of the blood vessels
in the hands and feet. When blood vessels are narrowed, less blood flows to
these areas, causing the hands and feet to feel cold.