Sit. Rep. #104: String, Food, and Circulation

1- Nutrition in cold weather and in hot weather help your body cope with outdoor temperatures.  Let us look at the winter conditions.  Cold weather, medically speaking, starts at about 50 deg. F ( 10 deg. C ).  In cold weather your body starts retreating your blood circulation to the inner workings of your body.  And that restricts the circulation to your outer anatomy.  I bet you already know the answer by stating what gets cold first.  Your hands, feet, nose, and ears are where the blood retreats from.  In medical terms, this is called “vasoconstriction”  (vein constriction).  And with the cold-caused constriction, there is also loss of sensation and movement.

One method to beat the cold weather is a cold-weather diet.  What???  Yep! A cold-weather diet that should include some extra of the following.  These are called “vasodilators.”  These foods & spices promote circulation giving more warm blood to those extremities of your body.

  • Cayenne Pepper (I think chili)
  • Pomegranate
  • Onions (more chili, or pintos & onions, or onions on your burger, or extra onions on your salad or foil pack w/ onions, stew w/ onions…)
  • Cinnamon (hot apple cider w/ cinnamon, or oatmeal w/ cinnamon, or baked apples w/cinnamon)
  • Garlic (another reason for chili)
  • Beets
  • Salmon and Mackerel (fatty fish – with the good kind of fats)  (try blackened salmon)
  • Tuna, Sardines, and Trout (are also considered fatty fish)
  • Turmeric
  • Spinach and Collard Greens (leafy greens)
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Walnuts
  • Tomatoes (another reason for chili)
  • Berries (all kinds)
  • Ginger (root)
  • Bananas
  • Almonds
  • Carrots
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Sunflower Seeds

Stay hydrated with more water than you think you need.  Monitor the color of your urine.  Drink more water if the color gets darker than a light yellow.

S: What do you call a quiet honey bee?
T: A mumble bee.

I have miles marked in black and Km marked in red.

2- One very useful, small, and lightweight tool is a piece of string about 2 feet long.  White if possible or a solid color that you can use a permanent marker on.  Lay your string out on the distance legend of your map.  Mark known distances onto the string.  Then you can lay the string on a crooked trail to get a better estimate of the distance from point A to point B.  (Note: This does not include any vertical changes in elevation and therefore distance that you will have to hike will be longer than measured.)

U: What did the beaver say to the tree?
V: Nice gnawing you.

3- I always take wet weather gear when I go camping.  It may only consist of a poncho or a foul-weather jacket.  Or it may be a full rain suit complete with gators.  REMINDER: Waterproof your boots.
3B- I line the inside of my pack with a heavy-duty trash bag that will protect my clothes and gear.
3C- I also use a pack cover (waterproofed – of course).
3D- I like synthetic insulated gear (jackets and sleeping bags) instead of down insulation because the synthetic will keep you warm even when the insulation is wet.
3E- Remember to waterproof your hat.

W: What is always in you, sometimes on you.  But if it surrounds you might die?
X: Water.

4- Exposure is probably one of the most causes of death in the backcountry.  Staying safe starts at home with your planning, personnel, and gear selection.  Does EVERYONE on your team have the skills to survive the weather turning nasty?  Review the First Aid for exposure.

Personal Note: The 2 times I have been hit with exposure-related illnesses were in the summer.  Simply I/we got caught in an unexpected rainstorm and got soaked.  Both times I was wearing cotton t-shirts on a day trip.  I could not get them dry quick enough to stop me from shivering.

Esto Paratus,

Superior Campfires by Thomas Mercaldo

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