Kenai Fjords rainy, cold, and windy weather make hypothermia (or lower than normal body temperature) one of the greatest potential dangers to park visitors. Extreme hypothermia can be life threatening. Many people don't realize that once they are shivering or have numb fingers and/or toes, they are in the early stages of hypothermia.
The Best Way to Deal with Hypothermia...is to Avoid It!
- Drink plenty of water, even if you're not thirsty. Avoid alcohol and coffee. Dehydration reduces blood volume and thus limits the body's ability to produce heat.
- Eat high calorie foods throughout the day.
- Wear layered clothing…shed layers when you get warm and add layers when you get cold. The goal is to avoid sweating, which cools the body. Choose wool or synthetic clothing and avoid cotton, which is useless as insulation once it gets wet.
- Wear a hat…up to 25% of body heat is lost through your head.
- Stay dry and seek shelter from the wind.