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the danger is always body produced moisture

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Three or four years ago a British fellow embarked on a journey never accomplished before, it was a walk across Antarctica unsupported. The distance is 921 miles. He never made it and was medevac’d to a hospital I believe located in New Zealand where he died.

Last year one of his friends also an Englishman tried to accomplish the same journey and his trip was recorded on the internet as he was proceeding. It made for interesting reading as he was deteriorating. You could comment as you followed his daily reports. I wrote that he would not make it and if he was a diehard would ultimately join his friend. He made it to the US base at the South Pole where he stopped to wait for a Russian aircraft that would pick him up and return him to the safety of the civilized world. His intelligence got the best of him, he boarded the plane.

At this moment there are two men walking individually in an attempt to accomplish the same journey. I am confident that neither will make it. Whether they die trying or not remains to be seen. From what I have read the American fellow told his wife via e mail I guess that he has lost I believe 30 pounds and his calf muscles are getting smaller.

The British fellow said he was incredibly hungry if I am not mistake in the article I perused.

The reality they are experiencing is of their own deterioration of their bodies from their own perspiration building up in their clothing.

As we know the human body is perpetually generating moisture in a liquid form. The heat from our skin surface will in proper conditions heat the moisture so it becomes a vapor which will move away from the body to a lower temperature. Considering what these men are wearing will determine how far the moisture either liquid or vapor will move. I doubt it will ever actually become a vapor. If as I suspect these men are wearing base layers that are made from closely knitted material which could be synthetic or natural fiber is irrelevant, either will stifle the moisture from moving away from the skin surface. The moisture will build up and eventually some will move via some evaporation into the rest of the clothing they are wearing. This will occur while they are actively moving. When they do stop for the day and start their rest period they will get a chill, moisture still on their skin surface.

They will start their work cycle of setting up their tents and preparing the food and during this active period they will warmup. However, they will then do things before getting into their sleeping bags and their bodies will easily consume their fuel; i.e. food intake very quickly and will be consumedand again start getting chilled. So they get in their sleeping bags to get warm. I am quite sure they are using down sleeping bags and of course the down will absorb some of the moisture. At some point during their journey even the down bags will not provide the heat retention they did at the beginning of the journey.

Physiologically regardless of how many calories they are taking in their bodies will be consuming it more quickly than they actually realize. Since the human body likes itself it will automatically do whatever is necessary for survival. When fingers and toes get cold the human body automatically shuts down the warm blood supply going to the extremities and redirects the blood to the vital organs. Since these men are wearing big mitten and boots to keep their extremities warm the body starts to consume the fat that has been stored, that is why the guy lost 30 pounds. The body was doing what it has to too survive and if it means consuming stored fat then that is what it will do. Once the fat is depleted the muscles are next. He also if I remember correctly told her he was getting tired. You lose energy when you lose muscle mass. Just look at an old man who had an Adonis body in his youth now without the same energy, he also gets cold more quickly. It is not psychological, but physiological, his energy level is diminishing due to a lack of adequate nutrition and loss of muscle mass.

The problem they are facing as is true of all people who go into the extreme cold is their own body produced moisture. There is only one way to solve the problem, and that is by wearing fishnet base layer garments. From my research into what these guys are wearing as a base layer it is close knit underwear. All of the mountaineers I have ever spoken with do the same and get a chill. When I recommend that they wear a fishnet top they say no, possibly because I will not give it to them plus money as happens with the close knit crowd of makers or they are just too dumb to understand wearing fishnets is in their best interest.

Now that you are wearing the fishnets what to wear over them; garments made from materials that DO NOT inhibit the moisture as a vapor movement away from you. The faster it gets away from you the less heat is required to keep it moving away from you. The second layer garment and so on should always be non-moisture absorbing and that means garments like the Lamilite liner vest and liner jacket. So far each of the garments mentioned are lose fitting which means all movement is not restricted as is the case with the layers of knitted garments. Lamilite garments are very light in weight as thousands have discovered while being remarkably warm for their weight.

Years ago when the group of people died on Mt Everest I wrote they would have had a far better chance of surviving if I had dressed them, no guarantee but a better chance. Having had the experience getting lost with temperatures ranging from minus 20 F to minus 50 F which was wind chill and wearing Lamilite insulated clothing taught me how efficient the Lamilite is!!!

I doubt that either of these men will make it, I obviously could be wrong, but if I were a betting man I would bet they fail. However, if they came to me for advice and clothing as well as a sleeping bag, (by the way as far as I know all sleeping bags used by the USA on Antarctica are Wiggy’s bags; Antarctic bags originally tested there about 25 years ago. Each season they order more.) There chances of being successful would be greater, no guarantee but better.

Will any of these adventurers come to me, probably not because they would have to buy my products? The price is cheap when you consider you are putting your life on the line and you should have the best you can get. Do these guys have a death wish?

Military Frostbite, Cold-Weather Injuries Up with Little Explanation Why

After you read this article I will give you the answer to the above question and the answer as what to do about solving the problem!


U.S. Soldiers assigned to Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment battle stiff winds, sub-zero temperatures and blowing snow as they prepare to hook up their 155mm howitzer to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for the flight to the Yukon Training Area, Alaska, March 7, 2018. (U.S. Army photo/John Pennell)

U.S. Soldiers assigned to Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment battle stiff winds, sub-zero temperatures and blowing snow as they prepare to hook up their 155mm howitzer to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for the flight to the Yukon Training Area, Alaska, March 7, 2018. (U.S. Army photo/John Pennell)

21 Dec 2018

Stars and Stripes | By Nancy Montgomery

Nearly 500 troops suffered from chilblains,( Chilblains (CHILL-blayns) are the painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold but not freezing air. Also known as pernio, chilblains can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on your hands and feet.Chilblains usually clear up within one to three weeks, especially if the weather gets warmer. You may have recurrences seasonally for years. Treatment involves protecting yourself from the cold. I did not know of this ailment so I looked it up.) frostbite, hypothermia and trench foot during the most recently studied annual period, more than in any of the previous three years and a 20 percent increase over the previous year.

The reasons for the jump in preventable injuries during what was a mild winter remain unclear, according to a study this month in the Defense Health Agency's Medical Surveillance Monthly Report. The studied covered injuries between July 2017 and July this year.

"Policies and procedures are in place to protect service members against cold weather injuries. Modern cold weather uniforms and equipment provide excellent protection against the cold when used correctly," the study noted. "However, in spite of these safeguards, a significant number of individuals within all military services continue to be affected by cold weather injuries each year."

Fort Wainwright, Alaska, had the highest number of cold injuries diagnosed, with 155 reported cases over five years. Second was the combined Vilseck and Grafenwoehr area in Bavaria, Germany, with 117 cases.

"It's an interesting question why. It's definitely not as cold here," said Maj. Luke Mease, a preventive medicine doctor at U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Bavaria.

But temperature is just one of several factors, he said, including exposure time.

"Cold weather injuries usually occur when it's cold and wet," Mease said, and Bavarian winters are both cold and damp.

He said that chilblains, a nonfreezing but painful inflammation of small blood vessels in the skin that can cause itching, swelling and blistering, was the most common cold-weather injury in Bavaria.

"These cold injury cases tend to come in clusters," he said. "If we have high-volume, high-activity training events, we'll see more cases."

Usually, he said, affected troops have been in the field overnight or longer. Most often they're young and junior in rank.

"These may be the soldiers that are least likely to speak up," Mease said. "I think it highlights the importance for commanders and line leaders and NCOs to really keep an eye on troops and make sure we're taking care of these young soldiers."

Over the past five years, soldiers under 25 had a far higher rate of cold injuries than older troops, the study showed: 76 per 100,000 "person-years," a term the military uses to include population while factoring in time at risk. By comparison, the rate for soldiers in their early 30s was 38 per 100,000.

The Army overall had the most cases last year of cold-weather injuries at 245 and the highest incident rate at 55 per 100,000 person-years. That was a 26 percent rise over the previous season.

Frostbite, in which skin and underlying tissues freeze, remained the most common cold-weather injury, according to the study. More than 760 soldiers were diagnosed with it over the past five years.

Frostbite is graded in severity similarly to burns, Mease said. It often requires hospitalization, may require surgery and can lead to lasting damage.

"If somebody has a frostbite injury that affects the nerve, that nerve might not function the way it did before it got frozen," he said. "We really want to prevent any of that from happening."

Hypothermia, a drop in body temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, is the most life-threatening of cold-weather injuries. In February 1995, four soldiers in Army Ranger school died of it after spending hours training in chest-deep water in a Florida swamp. Over the past five years, it was diagnosed in soldiers 233 times.

During the same period, the Army reported 217 cases of trench foot, also known as immersion foot, caused by having wet feet for too long.

The study found that rates of frostbite were also markedly higher among African-American troops and female troops. Those differences have been noted in previous studies and suggest that physiologic differences and/or previous cold-weather experience are possible explanations for increased susceptibility.

"It's an interesting finding and it's significant that (commanders) know that," Mease said.

After the Army, the Marine Corps had the highest rate last year of cold injuries, at 46 per 100,000 person-years.

The Navy had the lowest rate at less than 10 per 100,000 person-years.

The reason for the foot problems is nothing other than boots and socks issued to the troops that are made with materials that trap all of the moisture that comes out of each foot. It is that simple. The use of goretex and thinsulate should no longer be put in any footwear regardless if the boots are worn by civilians or soldiers!!!

The soldiers are issued wool socks that absorb moisture and since these socks are on feet inside of boots that trap all of that moisture the problem is amplified.

The solution to the problem is first and foremost to make boots with Lamilite insulation and number two issue the soldier Lamilite socks. The third layer is to issue the soldier either the Lamilite insulated over boots or Lamilite insulated mukluks depending upon the temperatures that they will be working in.

I cannot tell you how upsetting it is for me to read an article such as this because this type of injury is totally uncalled for.

When I was lost I walked through streams versus trying to jump them. Keep in mind the temperature was minus 20 F. When I was back at base camp and I took off my mukluks I had water in them and my hiking boots and thick wool socks (this was 1995 and Lamilite socks or boots did not exist) were saturated, but my feet were never cold.

When we went into Bosnia the 10th Special Forces Group, 500 of them were wearing my mukluks and NOT ONE TROOP had cold feet. That was in the mid 1990’s if memory serves correct.

At this time the army has 300 pair of my mukluks so we will see what they determine.

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