Health & Safety
Heat Loss Bear Song ] COLD Key Bear Song ] Insulation Basics ] Frostbite ] Hypothermia ] Breaking Through Ice ] Responsibility to Group ] Women's Hygiene ] Permission Forms ]




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Winter Health and Safety Hints:

bulletDo not sweat.  Try to adjust your layers so that sweating is kept to a minimum.  Sweating will dampen and chill you.


bulletMittens, Hats, Socks can be dried out during the day while hiking by putting them next to your skin.


bulletThey say that water must be boiled for at least five minutes before it's safe to drink.  But just bringing water to boil renders it safe, even at 14,000 feet.  Much of the time required to bring water to a boil works toward disinfecting it.  Giardia, for example, dies at 140 F, which is well below the boiling point.


bullet Wear sunscreen constantly.  Even put it inside your nose because snow reflects sun into unsuspecting places.


bulletIf you're cold, exercise.  This is a simple concept.  Take four laps around your tent through two feet of snow and you are guaranteed to get warm.  Drinking hot liquids also helps.


bulletKeep Blistex, Chapstick handy for frequent applications.


bulletHypothermia may affect you without your knowing it.  Watch your buddy and have him watch you for signs of confusion, inaction, or shivering.  You must take action immediately to build a fire or move to a heated shelter, dry off and drink warm liquids.



Zero weather hiking and camping calls for considerable physical stamina and general Scouting experience. Definite qualifications for Scout participation therefore should be laid down by the Troop Court of Honour (PLC) and Group Committee, the stipulations including age, health and Scout training. The requirements for an extended backcountry trek, or instance, may call for:

Age, not less than 13- 15 years. Minimum time in Scouting, two continuous years. Rank, First Class. Proficiency Badges to include Ambulance (First Aid) and Camp Cook.

A review of requirements, for modification or additions in the light of experience, should be made at each Autumn-resumption Court of Honour.

To emphasize the importance of age and Scouting experience it is sufficient to remind that during a physically taxing snow hike-which any hike may become through a sudden change of weather-the too-young and inexperienced Scout can prove a serious problem for himself and a serious handicap for his companions.

See Also:

Survival Kits

Okpik Online!






Additional Information:

Heat Loss Bear Song ] COLD Key Bear Song ] Insulation Basics ] Frostbite ] Hypothermia ] Breaking Through Ice ] Responsibility to Group ] Women's Hygiene ] Permission Forms ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.