Survival Shelters – Heat Loss Mechanisms

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

Picture of Survival Shelters - Heat Loss Mechanisms under Outdoors in Wilderness Survival Skills

We lose heat through Respiration or breathing, but there’s 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 cover.

We lose it through Evaporation or sweating, which we try to control while building the shelter (not easy for beginners). We lose it through Conduction, where our body will try to conduct heat to cold and try to heat the cold surface to meet our body temperature at 98.6, which proper shelters also prevent. And finally, through Convection, where currents, in this case, wind currents, pull away heat from the body, and shelters avoid that.

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