How to Maintain Body Temperature in Extreme Conditions

Categories: Outdoor Survival


In a normal situation, the body is designed to keep itself cool and running accordingly. When a survival situation occurs your body may not be able to handle extreme temperature changes.

This lack of operation means you will need to help your body out in order to stay warm or cool. You can do this by educating yourself on how your body temperature works and what ways you can help maintain a normal level.

Maintaibng Body Temperature in Cold WeatherMaintaining Body Temperature in the Cold

  • Water – Drinking water does not warm your body up directly, but it does play a significant role in maintaining your body temperature. The body warms itself up on its own if it’s being treated properly. Drinking water keeps your body hydrated, which is important when trying to keep your body functioning normally. So, to keep your body keeping itself warm you will want to ensure you are drinking plenty of water.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium is also a healthy solution to allowing your body to sustain temperature during cold weather. There are a variety of nuts that contain magnesium including peanuts, almonds, and cashews. Magnesium is not limited to only nuts; foods such as wheat germ, legumes, potatoes, oatmeal, wheat bran, spinach, soy bean, and brown rice also provide this mineral.
  • Clothing Layers – A more obvious way to directly keep warm is bundling up. Dressing warm and layering your clothes helps to ensure your body is protected from the harshness of the cold. There are specifically designed clothing called thermals that work exceptionally well when trying to uphold temperature. If you wear thermals, your everyday clothes, and top it off with a appropriate jacket, you will likely keep warm. For even better protection try wearing a beanie on your head. In exceptionally cold condition when you are not required to be moving around staying in a good cold weather sleeping bag is a good idea.
  • Hand and Foot Warmers – The body transfers the most heat from three areas; hands, feet, and your scalp. For this reason, the invention of hand and feet warmers was created. If you’ve never heard of these they are fairly simple to use and do not require any electricity. These handheld pouches are charcoal activated typically. You simply pop one into your ‘get home bag’ or ‘bug out bag‘ then place it anywhere on your person to keep it warm. You can even place one in your sleeping bag for heated bedding.
  • Insulation – Your body is not the only thing to consider when trying to keep warm in the cold winter weather. Your shelter can also be altered to warm yourself up. You may be wondering how you can do this when you’re out in the wilderness, fighting for survival. A heater may be your initial thought, but this can be hard to maintain without electricity or batteries. The next best option is to insulate your dwellings. This can be done by piling any material onto your tent or shelter. Some ideas to insulate your tent or shelter include leaves, sheets, clothing, or even pillows. The general idea is just to layer your shelter the same way you would layer your body.
  • Campfire – The next item on the list is probably a more obvious solution to keeping warm; fire. Building a campfire while you’re awake is an excellent way to warm up your chilly bones. Building a fire with the right tools is fairly simple, but can be dangerous if not cared for correctly. This is why you will want to begin by building a fire bed. This will keep your fire from spreading and catching any nearby particles on fire. Your next step will be to gather wood including tinder, kindle, and fuel wood. Once you’ve collected enough you’ll need to lay your fire then ignite using a good survival lighter, ferro rod, or fire piston.
  • Warm Drinks – Consuming warm liquid also will keep your body warm. There are numerous drinks to choose from including coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Just select your favorite beverage and keep a fair amount handy for when you feel a chill coming on.
  • Movement – Exercise heats up the body and causes you to produce sweat. For this reason, continuous movement in cold weather will keep your temperature. Execute a number of exercises to keep your body temperature up during survival situations including jump jacks, push up, running, walking, jogging, and any other movement that increases your heart rate and blood flow.
  • Blankets – Covering up during the cold will help to keep you warm. If you have some blankets on hand you can use them to create a barrier between you and the ground. After this, cover yourself with another blanket and trap in the heat from your body to keep warm.
  • Sleep in the Day – When you sleep, your body actually decreases in temperature. For this reason it is best not to sleep at night. This is because night time tends to be when temperatures drop the most. Instead, opt to sleep in the day where you can be lit by the comfort of the sun. This will make it easier for you to fall asleep and keep your body in a healthier condition to take care of itself.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne pepper contains an ingredient called capsaicin. When you consume this it makes your core body temperature heat up, thereby making you warmer. So, whenever you eat a meal or snack douse it with cayenne pepper to help keep it in your digestive system.
  • Brown Rice – Many know that brown rice is better for you than white rice. One of the reasons it is considered healthier is because it provides you with more energy. This energy will convert into heat as well as help you to stay awake and exercise.
  • Ginger – Ginger is responsible for constricting your blood vessels which in turn will get your blood pumping to heat up the body. The thing is the ginger needs to be raw to get the desired effect. So, when you’re feeling cold try gnawing on a couple sticks of ginger for comfort.

Maintaining Body Temperature in Hot ConditionsMaintaining Body Temperature in the Heat

  • Shade – Avoiding direct sunlight is one of the most efficient ways to avoid overheating when it is hot outside. The sun bears down directly on your skin and instantly causes such intense heat that your body may even experience sun burn. So, when you’re out in the wild look for a shady spot to rest. This will help to reduce your body temperature and keep you cool.
  • Wear Light Colors – Darker clothing, especially black, attracts sunlight easily. This makes you heat up quicker and can cause your body to sweat. Instead of darker clothing, try wearing lighter colors such as white or yellow to cause less attention.
  • Wetting Clothes – By drenching your hat, bandanna, shirt, etc. in cold water you will help to keep yourself cool. If the heat begins to be too much for you, find a nearby stream to soak your clothes in.
  • No Caffeine or Alcohol – Caffeine and alcohol prevent your body from regulating normal temperatures within the body. By eliminating them from your diet, you will help to maintain an even temp and not overheat so easily.
  • Stay Hydrated – It is vital to keep your body hydrated when you are out in the sun. The sun drains the body of water causing you to sweat more frequently. By default, you will then find yourself becoming increasingly hotter. So, be sure to drink plenty of water when out in the sun for long lengths of time.
  • Swimming – Besides consuming water, you can also cover yourself in it. Jumping into a lake or stream will instantly cool the body and give you relief from the harsh rays of the sun.
  • Avoid Intense Activity – Heat exhaustion and dehydration are two of the main factors that will kill you when you become overheated. Exercise or any type of physical exertion will only aid you in sweating. For this reason, you will want to avoid doing anything too strenuous. Instead find a cool spot to relax until the sun has gone down.
  • Wear Lightweight Clothing – Loose fitting clothes that have room to breathe will keep you cooler than bulky dark clothing. The lightweight clothing allows for the air to circulate with ease and keep your temperature at a lower level. Tank tops, t-shirts, and so on are the best options when choosing attire during a survival situation.

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