Winter Survival – Frost Bite

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,048
    Wilderness expert Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills discusses winter survival tips including how to avoid frost bite.

    Tim MacWelch: Hi! This is Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills near Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is our video clip series on winter survival tips. In this clip, we are going to talk about frost bite. How to identify it and how to prevent it? Frost bite is a medical condition in which the surface of your skin actually freezes, the water becomes crystallized and the cells burst. This causes quite a bit of damage to our skin. Typically, we get frost bite in sub-freezing weather with a significant amount of wind blowing. The wind will cause our skin to chill and freeze at a much faster rate than if the air was calm.

    So in windy, sub-freeing conditions, we would always want to keep our skin covered, But any skin that was not covered, may start to show frost bite signs by becoming a little ashy or a little gray, and even kind of stiff or crispy to the touch. Our preventative for frost bite is to always have all areas of our skin covered in sub-freezing temperature, especially if the weather is windy. We would want to keep our hands and all of our body covered. In intense cold, people will actually wear goggles and face masks and keep every single square inch of skin covered, and this will greatly help prevent frost bite.

    But we still need to check, even with all these safeguards, for frost bite from time to time. So we may want to get out in the wind and check our skin, particularly extremities, fingers, the nose, the cheeks. Have someone else check our skin, so that they can look at our face and see what our skin looks like. It maybe very rosy right before it becomes that gray, ashy, frost bitten look.

    Now in our next clip, we are going to talk about survival gear that you should always have with you, when you are outdoors in the winter.