Thursday, January 21, 2010

Out of the woods?

Its cold out of the water too

You end up swimming and your paddle buddies get you back in your boat but your cold. You think as you reattach your sprayskirt, I'm safe. Not so! 20% of immersion deaths occur during extraction or within hours of extraction.

The first 30 minutes during rescue is the most critical phase of hypothermia management. I'm not going to get into details here, rather I'll refer you to fellow kayak blogger abduk who provides a very good analysis in a recent post:

The key to treatment of hypothermia is having the items you need to rewarm a hypothermic paddler. Here's a list I'll finish putting together:
  • change of dry clothes,
  • plastic sheet or large garbage bags,
  • sleeping bag or heavy wool blanket,
  • tarp,
  • space blanket,
  • thermos of hot liquid
  • stove and pot to warm liquids
  • wind shelter
In the case of a severely hypothermic victim who may need to be evacuated to hospital for treatment, someone should have a VHF radio to call for assistance and signaling equipment like flares.

Making the right decisions to manage risk will minimize the threat of hypothermia but know what to do if it happens.


  1. Glad you enjoyed. Paddle safe.

  2. Hope it never comes to having to deal with hypothermia but knowing something about it when it happens makes the whole group safer. You paddle safe also.

    Tony :-)