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Monday, April 13, 2009

Survival Shelters - Heat Loss Mechanisms

Heat Loss Mechanisms
 
Before we get into shelters, we should talk a little about how we lose heat and how shelters help to prevent this. There a 5 Heat loss mechanisms. The picture below shows them and I'll try to sum them up for you.



We lose heat through Respiration or breathing, but there's really nothing we can do about that other than a balaclava or scarf (remember the first of the Rule of 3's). We lose it through Radiation or the heat we radiate to the outside, shelters prevent this by trapping that heat in the shelter. We lose it through Evaporation or sweating which we try to control while we're building the shelter (not easy for beginners). We lose it through Conduction where our body will try to conducted heat to cold and try to heat up the cold surface to meet our temperature of the body 98.6, which proper shelters also prevent. And finally through Convection, which is where currents, in this case wind currents, pull away heat from the body and shelters definitely prevent that.
 
See you on the trail,

---Greg


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