Keeping Warm On The Mountains (Especially When Things Go Wrong)

Keeping Warm On The Mountains (Especially When Things Go Wrong)
Carrauntoohil In Feb, Looking Across Glencar

The temperature drops by approx one degree per one hundred metres of height gain, so easily six – ten degrees colder on a mountain top.

In an incident unless a helicopter is tasked you may wait for up to three/four hours for Mountain Rescue to reach you.

If it is wet enough there is no such thing as waterproof gear!

With these things taken into consideration here are some tips/tricks for staying as warm or dry as possible in the mountains, especially in a standing still/incident situation, when you are not moving and creating body heat.

Some of it may sound ridiculous! Some of it you may know. Hopefully there will be one or two useful things here for you though…

1.Wear Several Fleece/Dry-Flo Layers

2. Tuck Your First Base Layer Into Your Underpants

3. Tuck Most Of Your Other Layers Into Your Hiking Pants & Have Your Pants Waist High & Tightly Belted

4. Wear A Pair Of Dry-Flo Leggings Under Your Hiking Pants & Tuck The Dry-Flo Ends Into A Pair Of Thick/Long Hiking Socks

5. Completely Close Every Zip To Trap Any Warm Air

6. Tightly Fasten Velcro, Especially Coat Cuffs & Coat Waist, To Trap Any Warm Air & Keep Out Rain

7. Wear A Neck Gaiter Around Your Neck/Nose/Mouth

8. Wear A Warm Hat With Ear Protection & Have A Spare Hat In Your Backpack

9. Wear Mittens Instead Of Gloves & Have At Least One Spare Pair Of Mittens In Your Backpack

10. Have Your Layers & Waterproofs Plenty Long So They Can Tuck In Well & Won’t Ride Up

11. Wear Gaiters

12. Avoid Wet Ground If Possible, As Even Walking Through Damp Ground Will Cause Wetness To Seep Into Your Boots Over The Day. Not Always Possible! Don’t Erode Existing Wet Paths

13. Avoid Perspiring! This Dampness Causes The Same Issues As Getting Damp From Rain, So Slow Down Your Pace Or Remove Some Of Your Layers

14. Close Up Your Layers, Especially Coat Front Zip, Before Rain Starts; Or Get Your Waterproofs On Before Rain Arrives By Watching Approaching Cloud Formations & Color

15. Be Careful Of Damp Mist/Drizzle. You Can Easily Ignore It Sometimes & It’s Deceptively Wet

16. When Wearing Mittens/Gloves Don’t Touch Rock/Ground As Damp Seeps In. On Steep Ground If You Need To Grab Rocks For Balance Use A Walking Pole Instead

17. Don’t Sit Down Or Lean Against Rock, Even If Dry. Damp Seeps In Quickly, Or Even If Dry, Cold Will Seep In Quickly

18. If Putting Down Your Backpack Don’t Place On Damp Ground If Possible & Don’t Let The Area Which Touches Your Back Get Wet From Rain

19. Slowly Munch On Food From Your Pockets, So You Have A Constant Stream Of Fuel Keeping You In Good Condition & Warm

20. Carry Plenty Of Hot Drink & Drink It Sparingly So You Always Have Access To A Constant Stream Of Hot Drink. Hot Ribena/Mi Wadi Is Best!

21. Allow The Steam From Your Hot Drink To Warm Your Face & Fingers

22. Get Good At Completing Tasks Without Taking Off Your Mittens

23. When Stopped Stand With Your Back To The Wind/Rain & Keep Your Hood Up

24. Cold/Rain Access Points Are Up Your Coat Sleeve Cuffs & Up Your Coat Waist

25. If You Are In A Group Huddle Together, With Your Backs To The Wind/Rain, For Group Warmth

26. Carry & Freely Use A Group Shelter/Kissu, Especially For Longer Stops, Such As Lunch Or A First Aid Incident

27. You May Look Foolish, But Wearing Ski Goggles Keeps Your Face Nicely Warm

28. If You Need To Sit Down Protect Yourself From The Cold Ground With A Survival Bag, Backpack Or Piece Of Carry-Mat

Anything I Have Missed? Just Add A Comment Below

Keeping Warm On The Mountains (Especially When Things Go Wrong)
Burren Hills On A Mountain Skills Course

Kerry Mountain Rescue
Galway Mountain Rescue

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