How to Stay Warm and Dry When It’s Cold Outside
Dr. John Woods 12.06.16
The state of being cold and wet is a miserable condition. You’ve arrived at your bugout hideaway. It is winter, but not freezing, yet. The outside temperature is hovering around 50 degrees. There is a 10-15 mph steady breeze coming out of the north. The relative humidity is high and there is a light, drizzle rain falling. It’s just cold and nasty. How do you stay warm and dry?
Hopefully your bug out accommodation is structurally sound, insulated, and sealed from outside weather. This could be a rural farmhouse, barn, out building of some sort, or some type of RV or self-contained camping trailer. If your bug out is a tent, then there will be other issues to consider to maximize protection from the elements.
First, you have to create a dry environment by stopping any leaks of water or cold air. Dryer is warmer. If you get wet or stay wet, then it is much tougher to win the battle of keeping up your body temperature. Even modern day wet weather gear may not be enough to insulate the body and keep your core warmth intact. But at least it is one functional layer of protection.
Be prepared for cold, wet weather by buying the best insulated clothing you can afford with water shedding capabilities. Wool is the best clothing insulator you can get, but over that have a jacket or coat that seals out water, but still lets your internal temperature breathe. This goes for good socks, boots, hats, and gloves.
Work out a plan to have available some source of external heat. Maybe your cabin has a fireplace or a safe area for a propane heater or one that burns kerosene. Be cautious of the ventilation and carbon monoxide issues. Pack extra blankets, sleeping bags, comforters, or other covers to provide extra warmth, especially through the night when sleeping.
If you have to go outside, then make the trips short. Avoid overexertion and getting sweaty when doing chores like chopping wood or doing other essential work tasks. Take turns with others in the family or group. If solo, then pace yourself.
Always keep hydrated and eat regularly as well. You have to maintain body energy and thus body heat. One of the top rules of survival is to maintain yourself first so you can perform at your peak and then be able to help others.