Just as the hot summer months pose weather dangers such as sunburns, heat strokes and heat exhaustion, the cold waves of the winter months pose there own.  

There is an abundance of outdoor sports activities the winter season brings to us. Anything from skiing and snowboarding to ice climbing, ice fishing, nature walk’s, hiking, and backpacking just to name a few.

Physical exertion in cold temperatures tend put an extra strain on the heart. Heavy exertion, such as hiking steep trails, walking a long distance, trudging through deep snow, and etc. tend to increase ones risk of a heart attack. Hypothermia is another serious condition and can be life threatening when you’re exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a prolonged period of time. Frost bite is yet another problem because it is not associated with pain in the early stages. It been said that winter storm conditions and cold waves are the deadliest types of weather.

“It’s been my experience that cold weather can make you just a miserable as the hot days of summer. The older I get the worse it gets.  However you can still enjoy the winter months outdoors if you prepare appropriately. Here are just a few tips that may help you to avoid some potential risk associated with cold winter conditions.”

  • Check the weather forecast and always prepare for the worst.
  • It’s safest if you don’t hike alone. However if you have to, be sure to tell some one where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • Layer yourself with loose, lightweight, warm clothing. Clothing made of light weight material and worn loosely will trap air between the layers acting as an insulator. Layered clothing will also allow for layers to be added or removed depending temperatures which may vary during the time of planed activity.
  • It is recommended the outer clothing be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Use the proper gear for the activity and make certain it is in good condition and proper working order.
  • Your footwear should be waterproof, in good condition with the proper sole designed for the specific activity you have in mind.
  • You should have a hooded jacket or some type of head gear to cover you head and ears.
  • Covering you mouth with a scarf will help protect your lungs from extremely cold temperatures.
  • Protecting your hands with mittens sung at the wrist tends to do better than gloves as your fingers will remain warmer when there touching each other.
  • Slow down your pace, don’t get in a hurry.
  • Stop to rest. Frequent rest breaks will help avoid over exertion.
  • Seek medical attention. If you experience chest pain you should stop and seek immediate help. Don’t push yourself to the point of no return. It’s not worth it.

As with any activity which requires physical exertion you should check with your doctor before participating. Learning to recognize the signs of cold weather dangers and being prepared for the worst will help ensure a safe and enjoyable outing not to mention your safe return.

Wishing you a safe and happy winter season!