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Thread: Navy SEAL Rewarming Drill

  1. #1
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Navy SEAL Rewarming Drill

    'Tis the evening before the ides of July, and a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of … hypothermia.

    The method described here can be used in packable emergency shelters as well as in tents:

    THE DARKROOM: A NAVY SEAL REWARMING DRILL
    sardog1

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    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

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    Member Bushwhack's Avatar
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    Sounds similar to a method we learned a ways back- if you are hiking off trail in cold conditions, have everyone carry some food close to their body. there are various ways of attaching it, but you generally want to have one base layer between it and your skin. if someone falls through into cold water, get them out, feed them as much body-warmed food as they handle from other people's caches, and then get moving again. So long as they aren't wearing the wrong stuff, they should be pretty dry in a couple hours, even after a full immersion.

    I don't know if this works for everybody though- I know some people, usually cold sleepers, who claim that food doesn't make them feel much warmer. Also, this requires a person to be in good enough shape to be able to hike fore few hours in cold condition, which not everybody can do.
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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    That is pretty cool and makes a lot of sense when you think about what you are "supposed to do" and how tough that could be under the conditions (light a fire, etc). Is there anything special about Sitka clothes that is different from other reputable manufacturers? I clicked through to their website and don't see specifics on what there stuff is made of. I see the Gore Tex and Primaloft logos on their page so I assume this Rewarming Drill would work with any similar layers. Would love to get more info on the specifics of what the layers were.
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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    That is pretty cool and makes a lot of sense when you think about what you are "supposed to do" and how tough that could be under the conditions (light a fire, etc). Is there anything special about Sitka clothes that is different from other reputable manufacturers? I clicked through to their website and don't see specifics on what there stuff is made of. I see the Gore Tex and Primaloft logos on their page so I assume this Rewarming Drill would work with any similar layers. Would love to get more info on the specifics of what the layers were.
    Most of it appears to be the usual... The only thing that appears to be different is combined water-repellant down and polyester "puffy".

    I suspect that down is not used in the rewarming drill... I'd also be interested in the relative merits of wool and polyester in the drill.

    Even cotton can be a good choice in certain situations... (eg shells in Antarctic cold)

    Doug

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    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Excellent article. Years ago, at an AMC NH winter backpacking course, we were taught that it is possible to dry base layers by simply hiking in them. So even if your base layers become damp from sweat (or whatever) during heavy exertion, you can dry them by simply donning an extra synthetic insulation layer an hour or so before you plan to arrive at your camping destination for the night. Hike slower than you normally would for that last hour, you want to be warm but not sweating. Everything will be dry by the time you get into camp. Sounds exactly like the advice given in this article.

    For several years after receiving that advice, I still carried an extra base layer with me on all of my trips, "just in case," but I employed that technique to great success. In the 15 or so years since that course, I've never once needed the extra base layer since I've always been able to dry the ones I'm wearing, even after sweating pretty heavily on several occasions. Five or so years ago I stopped carrying the extra set of base layers. And I'm not dead yet. Funny thing is, I've always assumed total submersion to be the one situation where I might NEED an extra base layer. But this article suggests that's not so. I believe it. Of course I'm not a Navy SEAL, and later in life I may not have the option to push my body physically through a challenge like this. But for now it works for me.

    One other thing the article doesn't stress enough is that eating when you're really cold is really, really hard. It's the thing you absolutely need to do, but in a twist that would seem to be at odds with evolutionary theory, most people (myself included) have absolutely no appetite when really cold. On a few occasions I've had to absolutely force myself to chew and swallow a few squares of chocolate just to get the furnace running again. Strangely enough, once that initial burst of metabolic heat hits, I'm suddenly ravenous! I've seen this exact sequence of events unfold with others on several occasions.
    Sure. Why not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Funny thing is, I've always assumed total submersion to be the one situation where I might NEED an extra base layer. But this article suggests that's not so.
    If I ever found myself in a total submersion event and had a dry sleeping bag to crawl into, my wet clothing would all come off first. Once I warmed up, I'd worry about drying my layers (probably by hiking in them).

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    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    If I ever found myself in a total submersion event and had a dry sleeping bag to crawl into, my wet clothing would all come off first. Once I warmed up, I'd worry about drying my layers (probably by hiking in them).
    Yeah, me too. It's exceedingly rare that I'm wearing everything, so I think my response would be to strip off the wet clothes, throw on something dry (even if it's my puffy and fleece pants, which I never wear while actively hiking), get warm, and then make a good decision on how to proceed. Much easier to make good decisions when you're warm.
    Sure. Why not.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    This video caused me to think about my baselayer and how quick drying it really is. I have some pieces of clothing from Terramar, ExOfficio and I just got some stuff from REI. It was a warm day in New Jersey today, so I asked my daughter to soak me with water (she had a lot of fun in doing so ), I wrung out my fleece and T-shirt and went inside of air-conditioned house. I didn't really do any vigorous activity and about an hour later my clothes still felt somewhat cold. Somehow I have an impression that my EMS camp cargo hiking pants dry faster then my T-shirt when I am hiking. I guess I am not really thrilled with what I have and the search for ideal baselayer is still on.

    On a separate note, I really believe that generating heat through movement helps a lot to get things dry and stay warm.

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