Hiking in rustic terrain can be a fun and exciting way to explore new areas. However, spending time outdoors in the winter also comes with risks, including hypothermia. Before you book a hotel room near your favorite winter hiking destination, here are some important things to know so you can stay safe while you explore.
What Is Hypothermia?
Hypothermia occurs when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for long enough for their body temperature to go down significantly. This can impact brain function and ultimately lead to death after prolonged exposure. Those who have been exposed to rain can be at risk as well.
What Are the Symptoms?
Hypothermia often starts with shivering and shallow breathing. As it progresses, people often show signs of slowed brain function, like confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech, and loss of consciousness. Skin redness can be a visible sign to look out for, especially in young children.
How Can You Prevent Hypothermia?
The best way to prevent hypothermia is to keep your body temperature up. If you’re planning on spending time outside in cold weather, bundle up with plenty of winter gear. You should also try to avoid contact with water since that can lower your body temperature. Avoid going out in freezing rain or snow or bring outerwear that prevents moisture from soaking through.
What Should You Do If You Fall in the Water?
If you do fall into cold water, do your best to keep your head above water and keep your clothing on. If you’re close to the shore, get out as quickly as possible. Then, seek medical attention or call for help right away, even if you don’t think you’re experiencing symptoms. While waiting for help, roll your body into a ball to conserve heat and avoid sudden movements or temperature shifts that could change your heart rate significantly.
If you’re interested in safely exploring the Alaska wilderness, check out Totem Inn in Healy. The rustic hotel is located near the Denali National Park and provides the perfect setting for a relaxing evening after a fun day of exploring. A family owned and operated hotel, they offer comfortable rooms and plenty of nearby amenities, including a restaurant, bar, and shopping. Visit the hotel’s website to start planning your stay. To speak with a team member, call (907) 683-6500.